Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place



typing blur
A couple of days ago, at about 5 in the morning,  I made this announcement on Facebook.

Facebook is a time sucking vortex. It is addictive and therefore detrimental to one’s life.  I would much rather interact with people in real ways, by, —oh I don’t know–having a conversation? Or receiving well-crafted and substantial letters? The only communication that I dislike more than Facebook is Twitter and texting. Oh, I’ll still sign on and check for news and coupons but if you really want to communicate, write me an email with more than 150 character or give me a ring.

I got two supportive responses and a few likes, but as I suspect, most of my “friends” don’t follow me, and this post was largely unread.  I would add then that Facebook is an exercise in futility as well.

The deeper issue for me with using social media is not its cyber-crack nature or time-wasting factor.  More accurately, it is the shallowness and lack of authenticity in the interactions between people in these venues.  That statement should not take anyone by surprise.  My guess is that we all instinctively know that in most cases (though not all, I will concede) we don’t usually have true and natural relationships with people on-line.  For example, a person you might know and care deeply about in real life will sometimes come off as a real putz online.  You cannot hear tone and inflection in a 12-word tweet.  You cannot see in their eyes and discern emotion.  A post intended to mean one thing, may seem like it means something entirely else.  Feelings get hurt.  Real friendships are strained.

I would rather receive a real hug than a ((((hug)))).

So I stand by what I posted so early in the morning — maybe that is the time when my true and authentic self manifests- – I will be curtailing the time I spend in the cyber-realm to make more time to be true to others and myself.

And I actually might have time to begin writing again.



The Haiku of Intentional Living

Today’s Daily Post prompt:  “Tell us about a book you can read again and again without getting bored — what is it that speaks to you?”

I have not blogged for about a month because I have been caught up with living life.  Most of this “living life” has been dealing with work issues, annoying car problems, family obligations, practices to bolster my inner life and spirituality, reading, and cooking.   It is this latter activity that dovetails with today’s prompt.

You might expect me to tell you about a novel that has changed my life or a book of poetry that inspires me.  No, I am going to answer today’s question with telling you about a single essay, the introduction of a 40-year-old cookbook.

I cannot find the essay online or I would share it with you.  And, unfortunately, the revised edition of this book does not have this particular essay.  But if you are a vegetarian cook of a certain age you will know this book.

Laurel’s Kitchen: A Handbook of Vegetarian Cookery and Nutrition

by  Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Bronwen Godfrey.  (This is not to be confused with The NEW Laurel’s Kitchen which has a different introduction. )

l kitchen

The essay to which I refer is the introduction to the book.  Its author, Carol Flinders, describes her shift from being a person who subsisted on the standard American diet (at least in the 1970’s) of meat, over-refined grains, over-cooked vegetables and junk food (AKA “S.A.D.”) to a person of deep spirituality, committed to cooking vegetarian, and focusing her life to caring for her family.

I am not a vegetarian and 40 years later, I find the recipes in this book too labor-intensive and time-consuming.  What appeals to me is not her views on vegetarianism or even her particular spirituality.  No, it is that one essay at the beginning of this book that has made me see that it is the ordinary things in life — like cooking and caring for one’s family– that should be done intentionally, with great mindfulness and deliberateness.

vermeerThe author of the introduction describes this mindful living in lovely, vibrant detail.  Images of  haiku quality abound:  a dusting of bread flour on a black cat, the color a wool coat likened to a San Francisco sunset, egg salad spiked with red and green peppers, and the visual image of Laurel cooking akin to a Vermeer painting.  She describes the intentional acts of the simple life with such grace and luminosity that I feel drawn to want to live that life too.    When I feel like I am racing through life and not giving heed to the simpler things, I find myself drawn back to this book.  It is like being drawn into a haiku or a Vermeer painting.   So often have I read this essay that my 1970’s paperback copy of this book has disintegrated.  It is being held together with clear packing tape.

This original issue of Laurel’s Kitchen is out of print, but if you have it on your shelves, I encourage you to read the introduction.


ljg (c) 2016