Smell This ~

I want you to do something for me. Do something for yourself. Lean forward....put your nose as close to your computer screen as you can.....and sniff my blog.

Isn't that just incredible? I'm creating a batch of chicken soup; yes, I am creating chicken soup, not just 'making' it. Where's the fun in mere making, when you can create? I took the back of my biggest Henckels knife and crushed that whole bulb of garlic, releasing all those cloves from their paper containment. The aroma was instantaneous and therapeutic. Then I quartered an onion, and sliced a lemon.

Heaven. I'm beside myself about it all.

I'm creating chicken soup because I can. Not because we aren't feeling well; we're fine. Not because it is budget-friendly, though it is. I'm creating soup because the very act of doing it is my version of a life well-lived. Always has been. I am an eccentric, and I own up to it, wholeheartedly. My idea of wealth has never, ever, been that of most people I know. Truly, this is the gift of God, not of works, and so I can't boast. I have been gifted with a perspective that sees things upside down and sideways.

I've heard it said that most people long for eternal life, and yet they don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy afternoon. This...this "knowing how to be", this keeping to simple pleasures, to me constitutes great wealth. I needed to be reminded today. It is strange, how a strong whiff of garlic and lemon can zest the soul. It is strange, how something so elemental and so basic as creating with well-worn cutting board, knife, and fresh things from the market, can remind me of what I value most.

I value the creative moment (I could say "the creative life", but life is lived in moments, not even in days) and I value the time it takes to act and live and speak soulfully. And as hilariously as possible. I value the artful perspective - one that exists wholly, and freely, placing great value on the ordinary.

Often, the thing that strikes me is that all the works of art in terms of hand made furniture, tools, painting, and sculpture - all the artifacts that tourists check off their lists of "things to see in Old Italy" for example - were the every day stuff of life for a simple people gone on before us. We admire it all with wonder, we feel a sense of peace and completeness in these beautiful remnants of history...the wooden spoon and hand made chair...yet we head back home to our silicone spatulas and mass produced minutae and our plastic everythings.

I have plenty of my own plastic things. None of us can entirely escape it, this utilitarian perspective we have, where people and things are thought of in terms of merely useful, instead of beautiful and useful. But I do want to escape the utilitarianism that suggests that wealth is measured by how often one eats out, or the number of conveniences that are owned - as though hanging out the wash, growing a garden, and creating chicken soup are things to be avoided.

Yeah - sniff my blog. In a few more hours, come by for some soup and soulful conversation.

"To affect the quality of the day; that is the art of life." Henry David Thoreau

"If your everyday life seems poor, don't blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place." Ranier Maria Wilke
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