The Raw Table: A Gift of Gathering
The Raw Table acknowledges the gift of gathering and weaving honest conversations around the table with like-minded individuals. Sharing stories over delicious food and being disconnected from the online world makes the moment surreal yet heartwarming and true.
The Raw Table comes to mind a group of millennials gathered around a table just laughing, sharing stories, connecting under the stars and burning the night away. In part, it was just that, simple yet profound. I found myself itching to write, document and capture every single conversation, smiles, and laughter that took place. It was magical. We talked about all things creativity, inspiration, and life itself - from poetry, to music, to veganism, to art, to writing, to filmmaking, to surfing, to traveling and to pursuing your dreams. You get the notion. It was overwhelming yet at the same time fulfilling to share these moments and personal stories with complete strangers, to find and connect on common ground, to break free from the clutches of virtuality, to be real once again.
Meeting flesh to flesh creates a solid ground for building relationships and breaking this generations cliché of virtual meetings and online friends.
Chiara Garcia, an all-around empowered, artistic and heart-driven lady who curated the event, had debuted its first gathering in mid-April through e-invites called to creatives in the South. I feel honored to have been a part of such a remarkable and magical night. Connecting with strangers over commonalities and stories makes it a profound experience.
The minute we got to the gathering, it was already brimming with heartwarming exchanges. There wasn't a single minute of awkward silences nor a "what do we do now" phase. Everyone just instantly clicked and to witness and be in that precious moment is insanely remarkable.
The pre-dinner icebreaker was a genius idea to ease into the introductions and slice through a creative introvert's persona and jitters of meeting strangers for the first time. It got the conversations going to a comforting buzz.
The night was held at Spoon Eat + Drink, a minimalist restaurant run by Philane whom we had the pleasure of meeting as well. The place spoke of comfort and love, with bare concrete walls decorated with handwritten mirrors, postcards, and other simple things that bring life and meaning. It was the perfect set-up for the evening.
As for the menu, what we were presented with was intriguing at most and included of seemingly exquisite dishes. From the Edamame Spinach Lime Dip down to the Italian Sodas. True, that I couldn't eat most of what was served, but Philane was gracious enough to whip up a dish that complemented my vegan diet. She made my sister and I an out of menu dish: quinoa spring rolls with peanut sauce. And it was delicious. I absolutely loved their Grilled Watermelon and Peach Salad, and most especially their Peach Italian Soda. I was told the Eggplant Parmigiana lived up to its name too. Truly, they stand up to their motto: "Stirring and serving good feelings all around."
The setup and the atmosphere for that night was in tandem with the whole vision of what the event is aiming for. Chiara and Pauline, who partnered with Print Cafè, did a wonderful job on designing the collaterals. From the palette down to the set-up, everything was on-point.
In the age of social media, connection — in the literal sense — loses it's real, honest meaning. Don't get me wrong, we certainly cheer the world wide web for bringing together communities that are oceans apart, but our problem is we carry this virtuality into the real world that we start to lose the appreciation of real connection. This is what The Raw Table aims to bring us back to — the deeper roots of connection in the present moment with real, human beings and learn to love this magnificent gift.
We are human beings who thrive in connection.
I guess in truth we've always craved that, the sense of belonging in the real world. After all, we are human beings who thrive in connection. It's a refreshing take to convene in these kinds of gatherings. To immerse yourself in the moment is both liberating and rejuvenating.