Last night at the New Years Eve Party, I met a woman who talked deeply with me. She just got to the point and we discussed how people don’t listen to each other anymore. We stop listening when we find out if the other person is on our side or not. If they are on our side, well wonderful and magical and all walls come down, but if they are in the other camp, forget it. We waste our lives doing that . People in the other camp are just as valid and interesting as we are but we never find that out when put the brakes on immediately .
All you have to do is listen , ask how they got to that a point of view and listen to their story. They have different experiences than we do and why not find out more about that. Maybe they have something valuable to share and we are being idiots for not hearing a different perspective.
I think the news media puts us into camps and we fall into the trap of going along with it, a fight makes good copy, but it ruins the world. If we could be curious and listen to each other without camping out, it would be life changing.
It was a great conversation for a New Years Party and one I hope to practice.
When we first moved here to a town of about 8 thousand , we were thrilled with how different it was . All the concerns about being bored because of lack of culture etc. fell by the wayside. There were new things to learn to even driving around through the orchards was a feast for our souls. The lack of great restaurants and variety of kinds of food that is in larger cities , was replaced with cooking at home with friends. Friends become paramount in a small town. We need each other for stimulation way way more than you do in a large city.
But what I want to talk about here is what happens when to your body when you don’t have traffic, or noise, and crime is not a constant concern. You relax on a molecular level that directly affects your thinking. You also develop a taste for more of that. The trade off for living in a small town with few amenities is an extremely low price to pay. Thats why towns like Wilson Creek that has 300 people in it and no grocery store close or anything close by is full of people that adore it.
There is something human being need that you get in a small town that a big town kills.
You cannot know this unless you actually move to a small town. You can’t just vacation there to know.
Your roots can grow here planted directly in the earth instead of a pot. They can grow and grow and become strong.
There is a place in Ephrata that sells lots that are one or two acres for an RV or a tiny house. You’re pretty isolated from your neighbor. No electricity or water so you have to dig a well and do the off grid life. There is something appealing about living in the wild, at least for awhile. The quiet and isolation would be good for writing a book or reading a hard book . It would also be a good place to work on your marriage with zero possibility of distraction. The phone would not ring, no radio no netflix no news no
At first it would feel bad, I imagine I would panic facing the quiet.
But sometimes you can’t even hear the voice in your own head because of the chaos of other voices.
You have to build a fire to get warm . What does the sound of a crackling fire sound like in utter quiet?
This place that is only a few miles from here and its possible to go there and hole up for awhile but for me what would have to happen is to get dropped off and left there for a week . If there was a car, I know myself and I’d use it to get away, so my husband would have to drive the car away and with it all possibility of escape.
What a great thing to have and I bet I could rent it out to other creatives to be in a nature hermetically sealed world for awhile. I’d call it “The Big Quiet” and then it would make sense to own.
This is just an idea but everything starts with just an idea. The place is real and this could be real. Everything starts with just an idea.
Some people dread celebrating their milestone birthdays. I usually was one of those people. It’s like you don’t want to look in the mirror when you get older. You don’t want to see the progressing signs of age covering you like a blanket. Nobody wants the time to run out and birthdays are a huge reminder of that fact.
Instinctively our friends gather around us and verify that we are worth is and offer support as we look in the. mirror.
There were several aspects of a birthday party that I never noticed before. When I walked in and they all yelled surprise is just like when we die. It will be a surprise no matter how we go.
How interesting that we get wrapped presents. You don’t know what is in the box till you open it, It could be a joke or it could be something you can really use just like our days, you just don’t now what is in the box.
Cake is sweet and we all cut into it and share it with everyone. You are the cake and I hope what you have to share is sweet.
Candles blaze like a funeral pyre and the older you get ( well, you know where that is going!)
My darling friends stayed at the party till midnight so they could sing Happy Birthday on the real birthday date. It might seem silly to do that as we had been there since 4 , but it was profound too to go through that bother , but they did because each life is indeed important and worth noting
We went out to the car in the pristine clear night where the stars were blazing and Jupiter and Mars were glowing. We gazed at the sky and marveled at the heavens that we get to live under together . Candles in the sky for all our birthdays. Birthdays and Deathdays and all the days between.
A few years ago, I hired a French Pastry Chef to come to my house to teach a group of friends how to bake in the French way. She had studied in France and had quite the resume so it was a real treat that she agreed to make a house call. How she imparted her wisdom and magic to us was to hand us recipes and told us to start working. I thought she would take us by the hand and show us slowly step by step what to do but not that was not the case.
Basically she threw us in the water and observed our attempts. It was like when you learned to drive a stick shift.
You have to drive and jerk the car ound until you feel what it needs. You have to absorb the knowledge.
She talked us through the four hours we worked. It was so great to have her there to correct us along the way. Each step needed plenty of correction too.
I have a brother who is a chef and he told me to immediately do all the baking again the very next day so it would ingrain . Good advice. Sort of a get back on the horse thing.
Poem to French Pastry
flour , grams , butter, stir, folding , kneeding, sucre,
You become magical floating mystical miracles in the oven
transforming mere ingredients into joy.