Bertold Brecht —
Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.
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photos by gluttonforlife

12.6.16 Take Root

Big changes can unseat us, make us feel wobbly and uncertain, as though the ground beneath our feet has shifted uncomfortably. Though we can't see the future, we often operate under the delusion that we know what's coming and that brings some measure of comfort. But, inevitably, our roots are disturbed and we must find a way to regain our equilibrium.

 

A few months ago, my life unexpectedly changed shaped and fear and anxiety threatened to overtake me. It required a lot of strength (and support from people in my life) not to react from a place of despair. Instead, I have chosen to remain calm, to give myself space and to simply exist in the in-between moment—a limbo I have historically found untenable. The eternal temptation is to take action to fix a problem.

 

This is where a regular meditation practice can be very helpful. It turns "Don't just sit there, do something!" into "Don't just do something, sit there!" The very act of sitting calmly allows you to feel grounded—in yourself. Your root chakra, located at the base of the spine, the pelvic floor and the first three vertebrae, creates a solid foundation that provides a sense of safety and security from within, regardless of your circumstance. Bit by bit, I am starting to feel more connected to myself, to my true nature.


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Babatunde Olatunji —
Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present.
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"scrooge" by ronald searle (1970)

11.29.16 Give & Take

Thanksgiving is like the proverbial line in the sand. Once we've crossed it, we're suddenly assaulted by the ferocious business that is The Holidays. If we're not donning false eyelashes, embroidered boots and a megawatt smile, we must not be in the spirit, right? Don't look at me—I'll just be over here, hunched in front of the fire, block-printing my own wrapping paper and listening to Joan Baez sing Ave Maria. Hey, to each her own. Whatever your approach, we all wrestle with the gifts. How much is too much? How little can I get away with? Never did such a lovely and selfless act become as corrupted as holiday giving. Ever dream of taking a year off? The specter of Ebenezer Scrooge instantly rises up to banish such a perverse thought. With nothing but common sense and the sobering state of the world as my guide, I've come up with a few suggestions for how to successfully run the season's gauntlet. 


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Monty Python —
Make tea, not war.
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photos by gluttonforlife

11.11.16 Tea & Sympathy

What a difference a day makes. This week had many of us reaching for comfort in the form of booze, sugar, sleep, denial. But the sun continues to shine on this new world and we must remake ourselves in its light. There is a way forward and we will find it together by keeping our heads up and our hearts strong. In trying times, and as winter closes in, few things are more fortifying than tea. And few teas are more fragrant and expressive than those blended by Nini Ordoubadi of Tay Tea.

 

Born in Iran and descended from three generations of tea blenders, Nini recently relocated from her home in New York City to live upstate full-time. She shuttered her lovely boutique in Andes last year and opened an atelier in nearby Delhi that was intended as a studio for her tea blending and other creative projects. Since she is the world's most charming hostess, it has turned into more of a gathering place, especially on weekends, when people drop in to drink tea and bask in Nini's warmth. (To learn more about her, read this piece I wrote for DV8 magazine.)


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John Quincy Adams —
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
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photos by gluttonforlife

11.8.16 Top of the Morning

Not everybody has time to make a special breakfast every single day. Some of us are running for President. Others are trying to get the kids off to school. Still others don't have access to things like coconut flour and eggs fresh from the farm. I'm aware that I'm writing from a place of privilege, but this is where I am right now. If it's all you can do to rip open a package of instant oatmeal, you'll get no judgment from me. Let's just stand together for breakfast in general, for doing the best we can and for a country in which we are free to make choices. Are you with me? Good. Because I'm with her. 


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Lao Tzu —
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.
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photos by gluttonforlife (except this one by bette blau)

11.1.16 Legends of the Fall

 

We saw leaves go to glory,

Then almost migratory

Go part way down the lane,

And then to end the story

Get beaten down and pasted

In one wild day of rain.

 

So wrote Robert Frost, in his poem "November." And to be sure, we've had those days here. On the heels of a killing frost last week came a smattering of snow that turned into icy rain before ushering in warmer days. A little green still clings on in the garden, as you can see above. I just harvested lots of mint and sage, both of which are drying now and will be used in my big batch of garden tea: lemongrass, lemon verbena, lemon balm, mint, anise hyssop, scented geranium, lavender, sage, chamomile, calendula and rose petals.

 

Dear friends and supporters, if you have not yet heard, I have relinquished my role in Fish &  Bicycle. The official language is this: 

 

Laura Silverman is leaving Fish & Bicycle to pursue other projects. She is proud to have helped create the vision and fully endorses Juliette Hermant as she brings this much-needed Catskills venture to life.

 

It's all true and yet says nothing of my heartache. I fear disappointing you, but I trust you to extend your kindness and compassion when I need it most. I hope whatever other projects I pursue allow me to do the things I love and share them with you.


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