Usually when Chris and I have the time to go out on a date, I am not at a loss for words. The last time we went out for dinner, just the two of us, was before New Years and we were annoyed by the guests sitting next to us. Since then our dates have been over weekend brunch, which is often our weekly date. Either way we always have lots to talk about, and there is never a lull of communication between us. So when I read this idea in the book: “The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help” by Amanda Palmer I thought I wonder if I could pull this off?
“One night in a candlelit restaurant in San Francisco, shortly after we got married, I asked Neil if we could just write each other notes during the whole meal. In real time, like texting, but with pens and paper. The waiter thought we were slightly strange, but by the end of the meal we’d shared a degree of intimate information that we probably wouldn’t have if we’d just been sitting there chatting. And we could illustrate our points with pie charts and cartoons. And we really enjoyed our food, because we weren’t literally talking through it. The couple next to us asked what we were doing, and when we told them, they ordered a pad of paper and two pens from the waiter.” Page 39
Interesting isn’t it? What if we were quiet and poised, and did not go on and on in our verbal communication, but rather made the date a written experience? As someone who writes and documents the world, and tracks life moments in a calendar, I can see how interesting it would be to look back many months later and see what communication we had during our date. It also makes me think that there would possibly be less miscommunication since it is all done in written form. Maybe we need to communicate more often in writing? Like the lost art of letter writing.
I would like to try it. I am sure those that are dining nearby might think that there is something odd about our interaction. I can remember when we were on our honeymoon many years ago and most of the other couples that were on their honeymoon would sit together and not talk or interact (so very strange to me). Based on that I am always aware of watching other couples in a restaurant to find out if they talk, or if they just sit there and eat and stare at each other.
Chris will you try writing notes on a date with me?
Maybe it was all those years I was a Girl Scout, or all the times I played in the back of the room during my brother’s Boy Scout meetings, or maybe all the Boy Scout camping trips I had to tag along on, but I have a strong inclination to leave a place better than I found it. Growing up I thought about it in the way of cleaning up after yourself, but over time that evolved to the energy you leave behind. I have frequently shared excerpts from the “Daily Om” newsletter I receive, and this one particularly resonated with me in regards to your energy footprint. It is from the Daily Om titled: “Blessing Space: Leaving a Positive Footprint.”
“Physical space acts like a sponge, absorbing the radiant of all who pass through it. And, more likely than not, the spaces we move through each day have seen many people come and go. We have no way of knowing whether the energy footprints left behind by those who preceded us will invigorate us or drain us. Yet we can control the energy footprint we leave behind for others. In blessing each space we enter, we orchestrate a subtle energy shift that affects not only our own experiences in that space but also the experiences of the individuals who will enter the space after us. While we may never see the effects our blessing has had, we can take comfort in the fact that we have provided grace for those that follow after us.”
Whether or not we leave a blessing matters, but so does what we leave behind. Toxic is the word I often use for certain people who suck the life out of a room, or the atmosphere. Their energy footprint drags you down, takes the life out of a situation, and often zap your energy. How we approach a situation, and how we manage our energy matters in every situation. There are times when I have to adjust the energy I exude because my intuition tells me that calmness and poise is more needed in the moment then my spewing energy. As the Daily Om states, we often never know how our energy affects the space, but we can know if we go into each moment being conscious of how best to handle the situation we are usually on the right track to bless rather than damage the energy flow.
Are you aware of what energy you bring to the moments of your day?
Over the long holiday weekend, we watched “Words and Pictures.” It has been a while since I have seen a good movie (or one that I actually watched completely without multi-tasking). This one sucked me in. Maybe it was the subject matter. Words, writing, ideas and art, painting, pictures. Plus it had a bit of the indie film feel to it. It was a mellow movie, not too much drama, but just the right amount of depth.
Juliette Binoche and Clive Davis are the main characters and they do not disappoint. Owen is an alcoholic, yet endearing English professor at a college prep school, and Binoche an artist/painter who cannot do what she used to after rheumatoid arthritis effects her. They begin a personal and professional war that moves both their students and their own worlds. It was not an amazing movie, but enough to keep me engaged and make me think. I was enamored watching her paint. Who knows if Binoche had any idea what she was doing at the craft of painting, watching her awakened a dormant vein inside me. I have not painted for a while. She painted large pieces, a size I do not have a space for, yet it brought back a craving for me to continue to paint. It brought back the desire to dust off my brushes and get busy painting.
As far as the movie goes, I could speak to either side of the debate (words or pictures) as the movie debates. I am a word fanatic. I love writing, find that I process my world with words. Yet, I also love art. It calms me, is therapeutic, and truly allows me to be in the moment. Some of my paintings have no words to describe them, they are just something I feel. Sometimes my words still do not do justice to what I am feeling. The debate continues, but both are just as important to me.
In November we went to the 2014 Portland restaurant of the year (Ava Gene‘s in case you were wondering). It took us almost two months for a reservation due to our schedules, and the fact that we wanted to eat before 10 pm. One of the dishes was a chorizo with white sauce, which they called some fancy name that I cannot remember. It was good, but nothing too amazing. We both decided it was something we could easily make at home, and after I finished reading: “The Cooking Counter Cooking School” I found the below recipe for an easy homemade Alfredo sauce.
We have made this recipe twice now. The first time we tried it with a chorizo that after Chris cooked it he said it was nasty, so instead of chorizo he added chicken. It was so much better than Alfredo sauce from the jar, and so much better for you. Lighter, tastier, and all with three ingredients + salt/pepper. Oh, and so much better for you.
This week we tried it again with a different kind of chorizo.
8 ounces cooked pasta
2 cups heavy cream (2 Tablespoons reserved)
1 teaspoon salt
1/c cup grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 garlic clove minced (optional)
Freshly ground pepper
Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Carefully reserve one cup of the pasta water to use in the sauce. Over medium-high heat, add all but 2 tablespoons of the cream to a saute pan or skillet. When it bubbles, add the salt. Small bubbles will erupt into larger bubbles. Stir. When the sauce thickens enough to cover the back of a spoon or leaves a clean line in the bottom of the pan when you pull a spatula across it, add the pasta water. Cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, until it bubbles again and the sauce thickens. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons of cream, heat through, and then add the cheese, garlic (if using), and a few cranks of pepper. Taste, and add more salt if needed. Add the cooked pasta and any additional ingredients and stir well to coat. (page 142)
Add any items, leftovers to sauce and pasta. Such as: chicken, broccoli, asparagus, shrimp, sausage, the list is endless.
We all do it. We dance in front of the mirror, in the closet, in our kitchen, and probably more often in our car while listening to the radio. I guarantee you will enjoy this video. I cannot get over this guy. A Dover, Delaware police officer is caught on video inside his squad car dancing to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”
I love when he sees someone he knows he stops and does not dance, and then when he passes them he goes right back to dancing. Even better is his specific dance moves throughout the song. It sure makes me want visibility to other police officer squad car videos. Bring it. Dance. If you are sitting on your ass in a car driving around, why not dance it off during your shift? As someone who has a “Dance Naked” print framed, I am all for dancing, loving life, and getting in the groove. ENJOY!