Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Date Night: Art and Guacamole

Date night is my attempt to create a joyful habit, to make an effort to spend a night with my wife with the sole purpose of seeking the simple pleasures of life.  Habits have a great deal of power over our lives.  Once we meet our needs for the day (food, sleep, money for the bills) it is our habits that often take control.  So I do my best to try and establish healthy habits, like taking walks along our beach, asking my wife about her highs and lows each day, and flossing my teeth.  Date night is my latest attempt at a new healthy habit.

There are a few rules I try to follow for our date nights:

1- No Movies:  There's nothing wrong with movies.  But date night isn't about entertainment, it's about pleasure.  On date night, I don't want to sit quietly for a few hours while my mind is transported to another world.  I want to be as present as I can be in this one.  I want to taste decadent foods, make something with my hands or find new adventure.

2- Food should somehow be involved:  Sharing a meal with someone creates such opportunities for closeness and sharing.  I think a lot of problems could be solved if people spent more time eating together and  listening to each others lives.  And food is one of my most basic joys, so having a date night without food just seems silly.

3- We should try at least one new thing:  Maybe this is as simple as trying a new dish at our favorite restaurant.  Maybe we visit a town we've never been to before.  Date night must have an element of exploration to keep life fresh, to help us appreciate the moment and not let it become a predictable event that doesn't require our full focus.

For our first date night we decided to make some art!  There's a wonderful shop (called 'A Time to Kiln' how cute is that?) in a nearby town that has dozens of clay and/or ceramic objects to decorate.  After looking over all the possibilities, my wife and I both decided to paint tea cups.  Since we love to drink tea our art will have both form and function.

copyright Jeff Howick 2011

After carefully picking out six colors each from the wall of colors and browsing joyfully through their selection of stencils and stamps, we got down to the business of imprinting our personalities onto our our new tea cups and saucers.

copyright Jeff Howick 2011

I love the way my cup came out.  Every time I go for a drink, I'm reminded that the goal of all my actions should be to help me find my bliss.  Also, I love to guess how many sips it will take me to go from 3/4 a cup to 1/2 a cup.  Oh yes, and the saucer says, 'Howick's Drink' in Japanese because of course I love Japan and felt I had to have a connection to it somehow in my creation.

copyright Jeff Howick 2011

After finishing our creations, which left us both excited and a little tired, we tried out a local Mexican food joint.  We both went to college in southern Arizona and have been sincerely missing the Mexican food that can be found with such ease and high quality there.  The atmosphere was lively and the guacamole was fantastic, although I don't believe I've ever had bad guacamole.

copyright Jeff Howick 2011
copyright Jeff Howick 2011

I think our first date night was a wonderful success. Many pleasurable moments were had and I'll have a fantastic tea cup to remind me of that night for many years to come.

1 comment:

  1. have to keep me jealousy in check reading this! Many good points made, thank you for sharing.


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