[5/52]: 3 February 2011

February 1, 2011

Dear Reader,

Happy February! I love the clean slate that a new month brings, even if it is not one of my favorite months. I just keep reminding myself that one has to go through a February in order to get into March.

Last weekend’s mitten retreat was very fun. It felt good to focus on something, to not worry about other things, and to just go with something. Sometimes I got lost in my thoughts, sometimes I just blanked out and just, well, for lack of a better word, basked (which wasn’t difficult given the warm temperatures). It reminds me of a post-massage session, when we were led to a quiet room and we just laid there with a warm blanket and a towel. I was thinking, because I had just left the highly stressful field of academics, that it was odd that we were supposed to just lie there. I felt like I had to have some epiphany or think about something or be productive. At this point I realized that I always felt like I had to do something, to have results, to have something to show– and that it was not necessary, and that now I didn’t have to.

And that’s what the retreat was about, basically– “just sit and knit. and knit. and knit.” It’s not really about the results, but the process. It was very nice, and I’m looking forward to repeating it. I’m not sure what this month’s craft weekend will focus on, but I’m fairly sure it will be good.

I’ve been reading a lot of things this week that’s really resonated with me, and I thought I’d share them with you.

1- On solitude:
‘Solitude is the soul’s holiday, an opportunity to stop doing for others and to surprise and delight ourselves instead.’ – Katrina Kenison (from here)

I am one of those people who will literally drop everything to do something for someone else. It is actually hard work for me to get away from all of that and start focusing on myself instead of worrying about everyone else. On the plus side, I tend to do a lot of activities that involve being alone- not lonely, but alone.

2- On simplicity:
The industrialist was horrified to find the fisherman lying beside his boat, smoking his pipe.
“Why aren’t you fishing?” said the industrialist.
“Because I have caught enough fish for the day.”
“Why don’t you catch some more?”
“What would I do with them?”
“Earn more money. Then you could have a motor fixed to your boat and go into deeper waters and catch more fish. That would bring you money to buy nylon nets, so more fish, more money. Soon you would have enough to buy two boats, even a fleet of boats. Then you could be rich like me.”
“What would I do then?”
“Then you could sit back and enjoy life.”
“What do you think I’m doing now?”
from ‘Timeless Simplicity’ by John Lane (from here)

I’ve been thinking about this more and more often, especially when I worry about being productive and/or not doing enough. I’ve also been thinking about this in relation to consumerism.

3- On future of food:
Encourage and subsidize home cooking. (Someday soon, I’ll write about my idea for a new Civilian Cooking Corps.) – Mark Bittman (his full editoral found here)

I just wonder if this means that food bloggers are ahead of their time. 🙂 I do know that if it wasn’t for them home cooking for me would not be the same as it would have been pre-food blogger era.

Okay, enough philosophical musing. The weekend is calling, and I am looking forward what it brings (hopefully a new toy that I’ll talk about next week). Have a good one, friends.


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2 Responses to [5/52]: 3 February 2011

  1. thruhike98 says:

    I like the fisherman story. 🙂

  2. marthasnail says:

    eunice, your letters are becoming a favorite stop for me online. really a lovely, thoughtful post today. the simplicity story is wonderful and i’m looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on a new CCC. enjoy your weekend.

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