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Staying connected: an act of rebellion

In a world of fast-paced living, technological reliance, dizzying screen time and Thermomixes - how do we stay connected to our human nature and the real world? It's time to get tactile and embrace what matters most.

Photo by Sarah Lynch

I think many of us feel disconnected to this modern world.

It’s as if we're increasingly being funnelled towards disconnecting from our true human nature. We're being separated from this 3D tactile world - from real textures, shapes and sounds - from a fully realised earthly experience.

I feel an existential rebellion growing inside of me. Rising up in resistance to the status quo of screen time, technological advancement, quick fixes, fast living, ready meals, efficiency and excess. Nowadays, many technologies that claim to make life and business faster (and therefore ‘better’) are on my block list.

I continue to twitch with irritation when I hear the utterance of 'Thermomix’ and its 'cook faster not smarter' sales hook. Damn it, I want to knead dough with my bare hands, chop the veggies with a knife, and stir the sauces with a wooden spoon. Sometimes it's the only exercise I get. All jokes aside (sort of) I yearn to participate in the things I love, feeling the reward of precious time well spent, instead of giving the opportunity to a machine to do it all for me. Even if it's 'better' and faster.

Photo by Sarah Lynch

Some days I will stand at the kitchen bench, without listening to music or a podcast and simply roll little pieces of pasta with my finger tips. I enjoy the feeling of soft pudgy dough against my skin, flicking away the handmade shapes as each piece curves to my touch.

Instead of grabbing a tea bag, sometimes I'll select a beautiful tea pot from the shelf and find a vintage cup and saucer from my collection - whichever colour and pattern draws me to it on that particular day. I sprinkle loose leaf tea or dried flowers into the pot and enjoy watching the boiled water rushing in to meet it. I let it bathe. I breathe in the fragrance.

Sometimes I spend several days not leaving the house, except for evening walks with my dog. Is it reclusive to enjoy living slowly and quietly, away from the rushing world?

Further from home, I travel gently. Ignoring insistent voices that say ‘you must see this!’ and ‘you must go there!’ I settle into a place, a village, a city. A corner. I soak up the surroundings and see less…yet more. And it feels good. Sometimes freedom is missing out on something. Like JOMI. Joy Of Missing Out.

When my ambition or ego is screaming for validation or trying to trick me into believing that I need to be MORE, I have to get tough. I send this ego to the naughty corner. It isn't allowed to share on social media - no glossy photo, no sharply edited reel. It doesn’t get to be showy or take centre stage. There’s no audience.

Instead I’ll open a journal, find a blank page and write a poem, let my mind roam free, find the perfect words without the aid of technology. I’ll rewrite it until it fits. I close the journal. And there it stays. Other times I will bake a whole cake for no occasion. Just for me. Or I’ll sit in the garden and watch the butterflies and bees dance upon the wildflowers, untouched by the unmowed lawn. In life’s moments and experiences - the rebellion is about keeping it just for you.

We do have a choice in this ever-shifting world. We can become disconnected to the innate parts of who we are and the natural environment that we inhabit. We can continue to get sucked into the vortex.

Or we can rebel. Swim against the current. Go slowly. Go gently. Go deliberately.

So now - bake a cake, write a poem in a journal, send a letter, build a cubby house, draw a picture onto paper, roll pasta, preserve beautiful produce the old fashioned way. Do it to stay connected to that wonderful human part of who you are.

Share with us: how do you stay connected to the real world?

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I love your recipes and up until now have only sought out these, but today your post about la cucina povera drew me into your blog posts and I really relate to your ideas on appreciating what we have and living more slowly, with more connection to our world and ourselves and taking time to appreciate the joy of making those ‘simple’ dishes and eating them … sharing them is even more enjoyable for me when I can.

So thank you for your delicious recipes and thoughtful blog.

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