“Once I committed a couple of hours to being in the kitchen, I found my usual impatience fade and could give myself over to the afternoon’s unhurried project. After a week in front of the screen, the opportunity to work with my hands–with all my senses, in fact–is always a welcome change of pace, whether in the kitchen or in the garden. There’s something about such work that seems to alter the experience of time, helps me to reoccupy the present tense. I don’t want you to get the idea it’s made a Buddhist of me, but in the kitchen, maybe a little bit. When stirring the pot, just stir the pot. I get it now. It seems to me that one of the great luxuries of life at this point is to be able to do one thing at a time, one thing to which you give yourself wholeheartedly.
This idea of being present in what we do is exactly what I’ve been thinking about in working on my slow sewing studio. Of course he is far more eloquent than I could ever be, but he’s captured the spirit and satisfaction of a similar type of project. Sewing (and cooking or whatever it might be) is a real activity, providing real value, and an actual product that we can see, feel, and use. The act of doing it can be this wonderful process if we just let ourselves enjoy it–especially in contrast to all of the other things that crave our attention on a daily basis.
Savor the simmer and savor the stitch.