This month, I read Tsh Oxenreider's memoir/manifesto Notes from a Blue Bike and I thought... if you like reading Shop Good, you might really like this book.
In one sense, I am loathe to point everyone to another writer who is like me, but much farther along, with many more resources, more wisdom, and a published book… But, Tsh is just that good!
The truth is, I don’t read blogs much. [I am all the more swelled with gratitude when anyone takes the precious time to read mine – seriously, THANK YOU. It means so much to me.] I create, I work, I cook, I clean (ha ha, no I don’t), and I do read. I love novels & memoirs, I read the Bible. I try to keep up marginally with news/world events by reading the New Yorker and (honestly, shameful as it is to admit this as a news source) scanning the Facebook trending stories. But regular, devoted blog reading just doesn’t make the cut.
So, all that to say, I am no expert in Tsh Oxenreider’s giant of a writing hub, The Art of Simple. I’ve read a number of articles over time, and I like it. I like her. The like her contributors. We are simpatico. So, when I saw her book, Notes from A Blue Bike, on the library shelf, I snapped it up and have been devouring it ever since.
Tsh's blog/community hub, The Art of Simple
The overall point of the book is summed up in its subtitle: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World.
She discusses food, work, education, travel, entertainment, & money all under the banner of intentional living. Good living, living the way you want your life to look, she argues, doesn’t just happen. You have to make it happen. And you can.
I’m about as non-extreme as they get, though I do find that friends are increasingly tagging me in the comments of "buy less" articles or forwarding me videos on sustainable products (those friends are right; I love it all).
Maybe I seem extreme to you! I hope I’ve documented the journey enough along the way, so that it is clear that my ramblings have been a result of no extraordinary eureka, but more of a very slow journey. Tsh has documented her journey, and is very relatable, though I would say she is a more radically committed pilgrim than I am.
Her life, and most of her examples, center around life with kids, babies through grade school. So, if you are in that era of life, you will probably be the most to benefit or find interest here. But, as with any wise & grounded piece of work, there are snippets & profundity here for everyone.
Give it a read & let me know what you think. Or, if you are already familiar with The Art of Simple, share the articles that you have found most interesting or impactful below in the comments!
A few stories, as I parse through the complexities of privilege & justice…
We spent time visiting in Dhomina’s relatively large home. The space had been expanded to include a separate cooking space — built upon because of the income she earned making kantha for Basha, for us. Amazing!
I've shared my favourite reads in the past, and today I'm sharing some faves to cook.
This is not a cooking blog (obviously) and I haven't styled any plates or hired any food photographers. I am no expert, but I do cook great food. This assertion is not self-congratulatory! I have little (no) inherent skill and I attribute all of my good cooking to 1) other people's excellent recipes, 2) access to fresh, reliable, & varied food, and 3) time (ie. the time I currently have currently to cook AND the many years of practice).