I’m working on character development for a project….
Her name is Chastity.
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]
“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.” ― C.S. Lewis
It really is quite true, you know. Children’s literature is probably the hardest form of writing, for it is not the pursuit of simplifying life as much as possible– rather, it is the art of instilling deep truths into small minds without overwhelming them with flowery language and long philosophical expoundations. Einstein once remarked that if you cannot explain something to a six-year-old, you do not understand the thing yourself. That is the aim of study, I think: to have such a grasp of a concept that you can explain it succinctly.