In my recent reader survey, one reader shared this (remarkably prescient) comment:
“The world moves too quickly now and we are expected to keep the pace but in my opinion it is far from healthy and we need to realize that.”
Here I am, in my home office, typing at my computer, surrounded by kantha blankets. This is nothing new; in fact, my work situation (and my husband, Wayne’s) is, on its best & most productive days, remarkably resemblant to “social isolation” or “social distancing”. Some weeks (most weeks?), I barely leave my neighborhood.
But the difference is the distant sound of piano keys pounded, the wrestling in the other room… the presence of three extra bodies in the house on an otherwise normal school week. And: the encouragement from both our government and our culture that we should not interact with the people or places we normally do, indefinitely.
Busy life, life full of movement and activity and hustle/bustle… it currently does not exist.
So, what to make of this? When the culture around us slows down to a halt, do we see the situation as an inconvenience?
Or, can we sift through the fear & frustration to embrace it as a gift?
I have been saddened by reading some comments (never read the comments! 🙉) borne out of pain, fear, & powerlessness. There was one list titled Seize the Opportunity of Home Quarantine and included ideas like "Learn to bake", "Write letters of love or thanks", "Phone old friends".
There were many frivolous & fun ideas, too, which inspired comments that lamented an inability to "just stay home" or actively participate in many of the "romantic" ideas listed.
It is completely legitimate to be in a financial or physical situation that doesn't allow the luxury of "free time" or ability. These are real concerns with deep implications. But, during wartime, if someone was at home writing letters and baking bread, does that imply they were not supporting the war efforts?
Seek the gift in your circumstance — whatever it may be — and let's cling to a generous spirit towards others, shall we? This unprecedented moment in time will bring a lot of pain.
But, I am choosing to do the little things I can and try to proceed, one step at a time, in the way of the good. Right now, those steps won't take me beyond my living room. ;)
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).