Saturday, June 02, 2012

On, In, and Around Mondays: No Books, No Bread


Stop reading. (Just for a week.)

That's Julia Cameron's advice in chapter 4, for The Artist's Way journey.

I didn't do that, but I did something similar.

For the third week in a row, I stopped grocery shopping. This began accidentally. Things just didn't work out to go to the store.

Of course, we soon had no bread.

Then we had no milk.

Then no apples, no bananas, no broccoli, no lettuce or hummus or chips or cereal or... a lot of things that serve us as staple foods. I decided not to shop again, and again.

This sent me to the freezer, the basement cupboard, the back of the produce drawers. It sent me to the woods and the yard, to wild mustard and ramps, currants and dried figs. We baked bread. My youngest made homemade tortilla chips. Cashews suddenly seemed like an excellent breakfast when accompanied by frozen raspberries. Last night we had quesadillas with hot peppers.

My fridge is cleaner than it usually is, even spacious. My cooking creativity is heightened. What *do* you do when your staples are not available anymore?

I've done the "don't read" thing before with Julia. Reading is a staple in my house. She was right, of course. The absence of word-bread turned me towards play, hand-made things, even times of complete motionless silent daydreaming.

What's a staple you could veer around, just for a week? Going bookless or breadless, might you find yourself fig-happy and currant-creative?


On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.

If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)

On In Around button

This post is also shared with Laura Boggess, for...

ts book club no border

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Anonymous Amy Nabors said...

Love your thoughts here. I've read the Artist's Way. So good. I don't think I fasted from books for a week when I read it though. Maybe I did. It's been awhile. Maybe I should read it again soon. I could go without reading for a week before I could go without grocery shopping. I don't enjoy cooking so not having staples doesn't boost my creativity.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Christina said...

I think I would truly starve without reading for a week. But I could go without FB. I have gone stretches without going to the store though and it does make you creative. However, my kids grow weary of that pretty quickly:)

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good to know, I am not the only one who likes to purge his pantry and fridge to creatively clear out the cupboards filled with dried goods, canned food, and stuff. Nice to have that excess money I spent on food, just in case my kids show up unexpected (Not!), find it's way back into my bank account.
Not sure what I would do if I ran out of my steel-cut oats, flax, cinnamon, and honey! I'm not much for Cream of Wheat and Wheat Germ anymore, but I might have to use that up along with the rolled oats.

12:36 PM  
Blogger lynnmosher said...

I, too, love this. I've been *forced* on occasion to wordless for a while due to one circumstance or another. I've also been *forced* to do pantry dinners when finances were extremely slim and we had three kiddos in their teens. This was so difficult but I learned to come up with some tasty dishes with whatever I could scrounge up. In fact, the kids thought I was such a genius that they wanted to get me a t-shirt with "Closet Dinner Queen" on it! But we couldn't afford that either! These circumstances do make us creative and to think out of our normal realm. Great post!

12:56 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

My fridge looks like that all the time!

And being wordless,I'd feel right at home too.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Monica Sharman said...

Go without garlic? I don't know...

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...

Stop reading? I'm not there yet, but does that mean I couldn't read what people are saying about Julia this week? No blogs? No poetry? No cereal boxes?

7:59 PM  
Blogger HeARTworks said...

Great post! I have The Artist's Way but have not finished it because I am unable to do what she suggests! Not going to the grocery would be a disaster! There are no places near here where we can hunt or gather food! Hmmmm...I guess we can always go over to my sister's house next door. :^)Patsy from

9:30 PM  
Blogger Lisa notes... said...

Last year we went without electricity for a week (a result of severe tornado damage), which meant we went without MANY other things for a week (refrigerated food, cooking inside, TV, lights, A/C. It was hard in many ways, but in other ways, we loved it. We spent more time talking with our neighbors, going to be earlier, and realizing how spoiled we've become.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

I've never thought of giving up "word bread" for a week. I think I'd feel lost- but I like the idea of moving toward playfulness. I actually LOVE the idea of not grocery shopping all week. With all five kids home for summer, I feel like I live in the aisles of the grocery store. Smiling at the thought of "fasting" from that this week!

7:46 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

You always make me see in new ways. Missing you today. Glad to visit you here.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Dianna Kennedy said...

Thank you for the gentle reminder to take a look at our lives, and prune the dead branches.

Happy to have found this link up!

8:31 AM  
Anonymous bluecottonmemory said...

Because of a new job - I really understand the no grocery shopping. Lately, I have stopped the reading, stopped the shopping and have absorbed so much more!

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

translucent fresh colour

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Dolly@Soulstops said...

this gave me pause...I don't know if I could stop reading, for a week, but I loved how your fridge was more spacious, so I may try that...thanks, Laura for making me ponder, again :)

2:36 PM  
Blogger Laurie Collett said...

There are so many sources of clutter in my house -- or even my desk, for that matter! Uncluttering would give me a new found sense of space in my work area and in my mind. Thanks for the great post!
God bless,

2:41 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I've come to the place, at long last, where I could turn my computer off for a week. Just think of what I would get done - creatively speaking.
I am "all astonishment" at how well you did without grocery shopping. We'd probably just sit around and slowly starve.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Joe Pote said...

What an interesting idea.

Sounds like the shopping boycott resulted in some very interesting meals at your house!

I must admit, it is easy for me to feel quite self-righteous about my reading. Reading is so easily justified as being a much better use of time than watching television.

However, even a good thing must be put aside for better things.

Thanks for sharing!

6:48 AM  

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