"I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?"
- Mary Oliver -
Hello there! Welcome to our new blog's very first post.
Let me start by speaking for myself, and then my husband, M (with whom I am sharing this project) will likely chime in at some later time.
I'm going to start this blog with a little naval gazing:
Just as Mary Oliver's inquiries are wont to do to a reflection-inclined person, I have an ongoing dialogue in my mind (it borders on overthinking) that centers around this exact idea: How will I choose to spend the hours that define my "one wild and precious life?" Many days, my paid-work schedule dictates these choices. But, during free hours, waking up early, and weekends, I often ask myself this question. Zooming out too often doesn't feel balanced to me, it's helpful to just-do-it. Nevertheless, it's a valuable question to consider.
At least for the first few years of my career, I felt a sense of obligation to spend every-waking-free-hour studying something to have to do with psychotherapy or couples counseling. I had a stack of books and trainings on my cue, and not enough time to absorb them all. There were times that I would stress myself out by all I "needed" to do to such a degree that that I ultimately chose to do nothing, which...well...you can imagine how that would feed the whole cycle. But anyway - I will say - despite the perfectionism...there was always another voice there calling me to something other than my work. It's a pull - a longing. "Paint," it would say. "Cook," it would whisper. "Create," it would demand.
After a long day at work, my husband and I often eat what we call "tea dinner." More often than not, this looks like: a big salad, toasted bread or rice from the night before, cheese, olives, pickles, cookies, and dinner left-overs from early in the week. Basically, it's an enormous leftovers-and-veggie-clad cheese plate. And, on the side, coffee, tea, wine, beer, a cocktail - what-have-you.
Tea dinner is our space to share, pause, exhale, and hang out. It's our common ground to come back to after having spent the day in therapy, art, or whatever adulting things we might be up to. It's the place where I rest my socked feet on his lap, or he rests his head in mine, and we can simply sit back and be with one another.
This past Friday, over breakfast, I was making a grocery list for the weekend. We talked about making a bread pudding out of last weekend's now stale orange-blossom-water cake, and Marcio mentioned, "I'm going to make empinadas...(and)...lets eat through this bread so I can bake more this weekend..." We didn't get to the bread, but we meal prepped several foods for the week, as well as baking a blueberry and orange-scented bread pudding, so many mozzerella/parm/havarti empinadas, and chocolate chip cookies.
Every time we spend a Saturday or Sunday together in our sunlit kitchen, I am reminded that what I hope to do with my one wild and precious life - I hope to create and share meaningful, beautiful, and soulful things with family and friends-who-are-family.
"Tea Dinner" is an online journal where we hope to keep track of our (mostly weekend-made) creations as well as our thoughts, reflections, and inspirations upon doing so!