the sacred everyday

sensory overload.

11 Nov 2013

i did a few posts in the past where i reflected on my week/weekend through my six senses… what did i see, touch, feel, hear, taste, smell over the past few days? i really think that this is a good exercise, one that helps me to practice being present and appreciating what is around me. however, i’ve not been very faithful to it. it’s a bit like keeping a gratitude journal, you know, where you write down every day a few things that you are thankful for, teaching you the power of being grateful and recognizing the good, even in the middle of the bad. a very good practice, i believe.

the gratitude journal thing seems to be a pretty popular thing to during during the month of november, if you’re an american, because the season lends itself to giving thanks, what with thanksgiving being the 4th thursday of the month. it’s a great contrast to the commercialized, materialistic, super-charged season that begins the minute that the turkey is eaten up on thanksgiving.

you know, i’ve seen this year that you may not even be able to enjoy your turkey in peace, because the stores and shopping frenzy now begins on thanksgiving day. traditionally, black friday, the day after thanksgiving, is an insane day of deals & steals. but, this year, brown thursday is set to kick off the holiday shopping insanity. pure ridiculous greed and capitalism has now turned the one holiday that has been simple and real (at least in my lifetime & in my family) into a hyped up day of extra stress. now you’ve gotta cook that turkey for 3 hours, sit down with family, eat quickly, clean, up, and head out the door to be the first one in line at the stores.

if you’re that kind of person. but, guess what… i. am. not.

nope. i’ll still be spending my morning helping my mom prepare the meal, while simultaneously watching the macy’s thanksgiving day parade on tv. we’ll eat as slowly as possible, and then stretch out all afternoon, watching cheesy movies or the james bond/indiana jones marathon. then, we’ll pick at the leftovers for the rest of the day while we drink beer and wine. it’ll be cozy and relaxing and quiet. and i am totally going to soak all of it up, since i’ve been in sweden for the past three thanksgivings.

(though, i must admit, i am going to miss like crazy the cozy thanksgiving dinners lina and i have hosted for different people each year.)

but, i digress. like big time. oops. the whole gratitude thing got me off on the world’s biggest tangent.

but, about that, i will not be making daily Facebook status updates with the things for which i am grateful, throughout november, though i support those who do. instead, i am going to be thankful in a different way – through my photos and memories. and i’m going to see if i can do it for a whole year. gaaahh. i suck at these disciplined resolutions.

still, starting right now, right here, i am going to share the moments that have piqued my senses for the past few days… all in an effort to live in the present and to give thanks for this amazing, beautiful, sensory-filled world. there are days, moments, places, people that sometimes make me feel like i am about to explode – in a good way. it’s like it is so beautiful around me, or something so amazing is occurring, that i feel as if i might cry, giggle, or scream from how much it hurts. i think i use the word “hurt” to indicate the overwhelming awe that i experience; something so unbelievable, mysterious, and sacred that i cannot describe what i see, feel, hear, taste, or smell. usually, when those moments happen, i take a photo – in an insane effort to capture that moment. it’s nearly impossibly to express to someone else what that photo represents, but maybe, just maybe, someone will see that photo and feel something. as for me, when i revisit my photos, a memory is re-lived and an emotion is evoked.

so, welcome to me expressing myself and sharing the beauty of this world through my senses… here’s what i experienced over the weekend:

seeing: most of the leaves are now gone from the trees, and yet, everything is still so beautiful. have i never truly noticed the simple beauty of bare, silhouetted, winter trees? i also saw a volkswagen bug in weaverville (a little town just 10 minutes north of asheville) when i was there on friday working on one of my fika stories. the vw bug was for sale. i think i neeeeed it.

touch: after a very successful road trip to IKEA with my love & my bro, it was time to organize and put everything together. being a professional swedish person, my love built the IKEA furniture and i tore down the boxes. that’s fair, isn’t it?

taste: three words – chinese take-out!!

feel: when i made my little trip to weaverville, i decided something. it felt so amazing there: the people, the community, the close proximity to nature, the small-town charm, and the open-minded neighbors. i decided that, if and when, we move into a house, i want it to be here. it’s only 10 minutes to asheville, but it feels a world away – in the best possible sense. i felt at home here. it also feels freaking amazing these days to sit in the sunshine in short sleeves on my balcony in the middle of november. soaking up the rays, feeling calm & peace.

hear: friday night lina and i had dinner with a girl friend of ours and my brother. we ate in west asheville, a little bit of a funky and out-of-your-comfort-zone kinda place for our friend. but, she survived and you could hear us laughing all night long. the sounds of clinking glasses, giggles, conversations, and music filled my ears with happiness.

smell: as it is many days, my nose is blessed with a chance to smell some amazing coffee. but, on friday, it was extra special since i went to weaverville to finish up a story for the paper. i ordered a hazelnut mocha, which tasted amazing, but the whole time i was in the coffeehouse, the smell is what captured me. fresh, roasted, warm coffee brewing. mmm…

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stay tuned for next monday’s sensory overload post. i promise i will do my best to try to keep my discipline in check. pinky swear. how can i not? this world is too freaking amazing. and so are each one of you.

love & peace.

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No Comments

  • Reply southernhon 12 Nov 2013 at 07:00

    Awesome pictures and thoughts. I agree with you about Thanksgiving. I won’t be shopping. The only thing positive I can say about the stores being open is that maybe some people who are alone on Thanksgiving can get their shopping done. Maybe the workers who are being forced to work will get time and a half. I don’t know – I always try to see something positive in a stinky situation.
    A good friend of ours lives in Weaverville and she loves it as well. I visited her last year and it is quite charming.
    Have a great Tuesday!

  • Reply Laura4NYC 17 Nov 2013 at 19:18

    Brown Thursday is so ridiculous. Not to mention Cyber Monday. When did it all overblow and became too much too stand? I will be most likely avoiding Midtown Manhattan during that time. And the Macy’s parade is a lot more fulfilling to watch on TV than live, at least that’s my opinion.

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