I feel like this keeps me mentally balanced–not to mention, for a person who writes at work, starting your day with the best writing around helps me begin the day on the right foot. Er...left hand. I get to focus on the occasional stirring of a sticky pot of steel cut oats, sprinkling cranberries in before it's done, slathering a messy pat of butter on toast–and then not worrying about my greasy fingers while I turn pages printed on the same pulp we've been holding for centuries.
Tonight, we unplugged a bit, and had a rare family dinner with my brothers, all of whom now live in the city for the first time in 10 years. My older brother had brined a chicken, and we sat around the table eating it and homemade pasta, root vegetables and red table wine, licking fingers and passing the decanter, with the TV off and phones (mostly) to the side.
The chicken-skin, salt-soaked and crackly, shone on top of the bird. Brining takes time, preparation, and two basic elements of the earth, a past art that no one should have an excuse not to know about; I suspect it'll be around long after us & our scourge of smartphones have passed to some other part of the cosmos. And yet, I had neither brined, nor tasted a brined bird. Which I now recognize was 28-plus years of foolishness.
Table dinners were a staple of my youth, but now I feel as though they're a special occasion. I'd like to carve more time out like my mornings–I've thought of declaring one night a week a "writing night", where I can hole up somewhere with a blanket, or beer, and get some words down without being buzzed by a monitor, phone, screen...
Three unplugging goals:
- Weekday mornings.
- One night a week–writing.
- Table dinner–once a week.