Engaging Our Senses

I recently read Julia Child’s My Life in France and I was struck by how sensual and tangible everything in her life seemed to be. Yes the the food was part of it, but there was more. It was the level of hands on engagement that struck me. It was a different time.

You can see, smell, taste, and feel everything in Julia’s life. You can feel their cold Paris apartment with its grungy wallpaper and high ceilings. You can taste the buttery warm fillet of sole stuffed with fennel. You can hear the laughter and clinking of wine glasses at one of the raucous gatherings of the “Gourmettes,” the all woman eating group she was a part of.

We are insulated from so much of life in our modern homes and office buildings with our modern neat and clean lifestyles. This book made me hungry to have my senses awakened. Pulsing.  Being used every day to their fullest.

I get this fix by slow cooking over the stove, by lying next to my little girl when I read to her at night, by my morning walks in the cool fresh coastal air, and getting my feet in the ocean. But I want more of it. More touching life directly. I think this is one of the keys to a good life.

What about you? How do you bring your senses to life on a daily basis? Do you engage in your life in a hands-on way?

When you think about some of the real pleasures in life, be they small or large, do they usually seem to involve your senses?

*** This post is dedicated to my Uncle Harold who before his stroke was a member of the “Romeos” an acronym standing for Retired Old Men Eating Out Occasionally.
If that’s not a great name I don’t know what is!

*** Happy 4th of July everyone!

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9 Responses to Engaging Our Senses

  1. I read “My Life in France” last summer and just loved it. I agree that there was much about Julia’s life that was tactile. I think part of the impression that the books leaves is because of the way she lived – highly engaged with her physical surroundings – but it’s also a function of good writing; taking the reader to the place and time of the story. I think we can engage with our modern world in the same way: the conference call taking place in the office next to mine, the parched heat of my hot car after a day in a parking lot, the sound of my dogs feet slipping on our hardwood floors, and so on. Naturally, France in the 50s and 60s offers more allure and charm, but I think we can find the same tangibility in our own lives if we want to.

    So happy to have found you here. I look forward to reading more!

    • Kathryn says:

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment Gale. I have to tell you I am so excited in particular because I just love reading your blog and have been following it for about a year now. I completely agree there are still so many ways to engage our senses, and we may have to be more mindful of it in a low-touch modern world but summer offers more opportunities then ever…popsicles dripping down the chin, feet in the wet sand, and ohh yes the hot car.

    • Shirl says:

      I was rlelay confused, and this answered all my questions.

    • Dina says:

      Wow, your post makes mine look feelbe. More power to you!

  2. Micheal says:

    I raelly wish there were more articles like this on the web.

  3. Kiana says:

    This artlcie went ahead and made my day.

    • Kathryn says:

      Thanks Kiana for the kind words and I’m sorry it took so long to get your comment up here. It got stuck in the spam filter. I promise I’ll be checking that diligently from now on!

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