The past few days I was listening to a talk called The Joy of Food by Chef Francis Foucachon. I listened to this beautiful, thoughtful presentation while trying to juggle at least five different online ‘projects’ at once. Research this. Post about that. Oh, but first I must look this up! Oh man, I forgot to do that. Did I check this off my list? Oh, I’d better write this down before I forget it. Hey, that’s right, I need to do that too.
In the background of my random, disjointed ‘productivity’, Monsieur Foucachon was talking about the blessing of food and a dedicated meal time for family and friends to gather for an unrushed time to savor food and fellowship.
I paused the DVD and sat silent for a moment. That’s…..that’s honestly beautiful. I thought. I want to live like that. I never wanted to run from one activity to another. As a child I was a member of a slow-paced family (by American standards), but we still did our fair share of rushing to activities a few times a week. Staying at home every day would garner very little protest from me. I love home and building a home-culture— Someday I want to create a warm, welcoming sanctuary for my family to grow and for us to practice quiet, relationally warm hospitality.
And yet, even in my quiet introvertedness, I feel torn and rushed. I see the unending list of things I would like to learn and accomplish and study and pursue, and I feel as if I am being caught up in a whirlwind and I must sink to the floor and cover my head to hide from it all.
How do I balance it to have the productive life I believe is so important, and yet not be so rushed to be productive that I run past the beauty of life? Is savoring beauty, after all, a form of productivity? If I lay down a project I’ve set aside an hour to work on to stare in wonder at a sunset shining through the woodlands, setting weeds and vines aglow with a magical brilliance, is it a good use of my time? I think it is. So I then it would follow that…..
Spending hours on crafting a beautiful meal served on attractive dishes and taking the time to set the table tastefully, even going outside for fifteen minutes to pick leaves and twigs for a centerpiece;
Lying on my bed reading to a small child who interrupted my studies;
Drawing a little scene on an envelope which needs to be mailed that morning;
Organizing the washroom decor to be more symmetrical and tasteful;
Instead of mindlessly eating in front of the laptop while I work, sitting down at the table and appreciating my meal– the colors, aroma, flavor, and texture;
These are not ‘distractions’ from my ‘real life’, my ‘productivity’, but rather crucial elements to creating a life of thankful beauty instead of a life of chaos.
This is a seed-thought. It pleads to be pondered. The subject of beauty itself is something that calls for study. And I mean to study it.
[image: a piece of beauty I created for a friend this week]