Turning it Down a Notch

I have not been here lately because life is so full of things I must do. Things I want to do. Unexpected things that must be attended to. Election worries. I feel the urge to run away from all of those responsibilities by finding, and pinning, pretty pictures on Pinterest. Online activities are so seductive; so easy, compared to living real life day to day. I must remind myself that pinning pictures of life, and what others create, is not the same as living my own life and creating my own art. I know that sounds lame, but I can actually convince myself that I've done something by pinning! And yet, it is a way to see more than I would see, and to be inspired, or to get specific ideas for the kitchen we need to remodel, and to connect, however superficially, to others. But only to a certain extent. I was reminded of this one evening last week when I went over to Heidi Swanson's blog 101 Cookbooks, here, and saw one of her "favorites lists". As I connected to her links I was aware of a loosening of tension in my body, and a feeling of well-being which I don't normally feel online. Usually my mental state is that of a pointer dog in search of the quarry...all nose and running legs, trying to sniff out and catch the interesting tidbit. But these links Heidi put up were comforting, showing a wide-ranging and genuine interest in life. She had obviously really read and been enriched by these articles, books and videos. It got me thinking about what really has captured and held my interest lately. So I'm going to share some of those here, in my own "favorites list" of sorts. I think the most important thing about this list is that it contains things that I do, and will do, and experience, in real life. That's what I finally realized makes me feel strung out online...too much looking and not enough experiencing.

Tea. I love tea because it stimulates at the same time as it calms and makes me feel relaxed. Not the same experience as coffee at all. I need the coffee in the morning, but by afternoon, give me tea. And this video, All This Tea, is a taste of a beautiful documentary on tea. I posted about this a few years ago, but it's worth revisiting. And I found the perfect everyday tea for me is Yorkshire Gold.

Rosa Nguyen. She is an artist who works in ceramics and glass, and bases her forms on nature. I've admired the intuitive the way she works in clay since she was featured in Contemporary Natural, by Phyllis Richardson and Solvi dos Santos. Here is a shot from that book.

A couple of cookbooks have to make it into any favorites list of mine. An enduring one for me is Cafe Beaujolais, by Margaret Fox and John Bear. I still can't find better chocolate cake recipes than hers. There is just something about cookbooks which are really memoirs that I find fascinating. The engagement with food is so deep in this one, and in another favorite of mine, Pass The Polenta, by Teresa Lust. I've also found Sauces, by Louise Pickford to be very useful and pretty simple. 

If you have never seen the documentary on Bill Cunningham, take a look at the trailer here, and watch it! Especially if you think fashion is an art form, and want a little inspiration about living a vibrant life.

Swann's Island Blankets are still a favorite. I'd like to own one someday! Every time I think I've got the money saved something in the house breaks down. Such is life. Meanwhile I can dream, and so can you by going over here. Wool is just about as low tech as you can get, and I'm for that.

That's probably enough for now. If you've made it this far I'd be amazed. All this talk about the issues with being online so much, and here I am encouraging you to spend more time here! But there is that connection thing.


kathrynclark said...

Sigh, I so hear you. I've been in the same boat, posting less because actual life gets in the way. I love the idea of a favorites list. Especially as it shows us what you're really up to when away from that computer. Cooking is a good one. Wait, I sat down to my computer five minutes ago to find a recipe for pumpkin bread! How did I end up here!? Ah, the distractions!!

Scott Waterman said...

Cafe Beaujolais! I've never forget when I lived in S.F. I had a friend visiting from the east coast and I somewhat impetuously drove us up to Mendocino specifically to have dinner there. I seemed to have forgotten what a long route it is along to coast. When we finally got there my heart sank when the hostess asked if we had a reservation! We did not! Fortunately we were seating in minutes. I too have the cookbook and mine is equally beat-up.

Scott Waterman said...

Whoops, typos!

Lari Washburn said...

Scott, I've never eaten there...is it still there?

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