Sunday, January 25, 2009

Awakening the Senses ( a chapter draft)

Eyes rule. We naturally miss a lot of sounds and a lot of smells. As we get more and more sophisticated using more electronic tools and I am afraid we become less and less aware of our senses.
Walking through the market in Costa Rica I smell the fresh fruit and flowers. It is a very tactile experience and I seldom see anyone buying their
food that does not first feel it and smell it. Yes, first you must see it but that is only a part of the experience.
My friends agree we need this. We try to recreate it to some degree with our farmers markets. Ours is small and not such an intricate part of the society.
Here in Costa Rica this is the main food source, not something you might find time to go to. Cars are lined up and it is a social event as well as grocery buying. The senses are alive there. Fresh chicken, the best bacon I have ever tasted and fresh homemade cheese.
My friend and I stop and have a cheese pancake from a grill while we shop. I have seen nothing like this since Hawaii.
Why do our groceries have no smells and very little variation. There will be most likey only 2 or 3 types of potatoes. How did we let this part of our culture go? Did we get to busy to shop and enjoy our food?
Seeing, hearing touching smelling savoring this is how we begin to feel the world, to awaken our senses. When we waken our senses we awaken our creativity.
I had not worked in clay for a bit, between moves, and just the smell of the rain hitting the ground, stirs up the memory of clay. It makes me want to create.
I see Orion in the sky and I want to travel. He kept me company in Greece when I first married and was out of the country for the first time and he is in tonight’s sky in Costa Rica.
The smell of fresh brewed coffee takes me to my Grandmother’s house as a young child.
I have always felt, clay and cooking go hand in hand. Potters generally speaking are good cooks and we usually like a good glass of wine while we cook. We work hard. We are strong. We lift a lot. And we are strong.
Watching a fellow graduate student work, I saw Michael bite off the side of one of his pots look over and say, “Why did I do that?” and laugh.
The sensuousness of the clay keeps us excited. The tactile quality of creating goes into our souls. It is easy that way if you listen to your senses. But, it is probably not a good idea to bite it these days.

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