I want to wish everyone a hopeful and prosperous year. I am not quite finished with last year's projects, so I will be doing one more altered box and a few paper ideas. After that I will move on with some simple demonstrations with fabric. My kitchen is still being "altered" and the kind of daily life that it causes reminds me of the slow life many decades ago when so much was done at home by hand. We heat water in a pan and then pour it into a dish pan to wash the dishes. Another pan of steaming hot water provides a clear rinse so that soap does not remain on the dishes, giving food a bad taste. The whole operation is spread out on the dining table, which is covered in a heavy clear plastic. It makes me think a lot more carefully about the dishes and pans that I use, because I know they will be in the pile to wash. The cooking has the same kind of plan: the less containers I use, the less I will have to wash. One-pan meals are common around here right now. Our kitchen does not exist except for a stove. It was all taken apart with a sledge hammer and thrown out, due to the rotten condition. It will be nice to get something fresh and sanitary in here, but it happened on the wrong weekend for any kind of delivery. The warehouse where the cabinets and sink are shipped from, is closed until Monday.
The slow life reminds me that I actually lived before the ball-point pen was common. We dipped our pen in a little bottle of ink, which sometimes spilled and made a terrible mess. The school desks had a hole to put the bottle in, making it a little less of a problem. At home, dipping the pen and writing a few words gave us more time to think about what we were writing. There was rarely a hastily scribbled note or anything written in anger, because it was such a laborious task. It was hard work to write even a nice note and even in diaries, one would have to make the words be worthwhile. When we ran out of ink we used anything else that would make a mark: chocolate powder in water, paint mixed with water, any possible food product we had on hand. There was even an invisible ink that could be made with flour and water. When heated over a stove top, the letters would become visible.
The slow life is one reason that I enjoy making something with my hands. I can feel my breathing and heartbeat become more steady and my mind becomes more clear. I feel sorry for the young people who are raised on instant things, because they barely have time to think about what they are doing. I see some young girls who have so much instant communication that they do not reserve any thoughts or words for themselves or even know how to talk to God. If they constantly text their friends every little thought, what is left for quiet moments and heartfelt talks with the Lord? Friends eventually forsake them, and they suffer terrible withdrawal from the communication addiction. Socialization is far over rated in this country, and it does not help people think, invent, innovate, create, or prosper. It is better to return to the old paths, where things are thought out and pondered before a hasty decision is made. If a friend is worthwhile, these young people need to take the time to write letters that require carefully chosen or carefully created letter papers and envelopes and well formed expressions with a special pen.
Phone calls required some thought, too, in the slower days. You had to make sure no one else was on the party line, and when you did call, you were always aware that someone could be lifting up their phone to make a call. I am certainly glad it is a lot more private today but think it should be for adults and that it shouldn't replace the social life of young people, who need to have real conversations with their parents and brothers and sisters.
The slow life mean that almost everything was done with several more steps and motions than it is today, and I hope this new year will be slower for those who feel too much pressure and faster for those who need plumbing and electric repairs.