Wow! I’m not the only one! What a great surprise! What is it about the kitchen that inspires dancing? What kind of music are you listening to? Or is it something else?
Is it the monotony of the chores that inspires it? Do you tend to lose yourself in the repetition of the day’s events? It is hard to have a lot of satisfaction in the everyday cooking process. Daily chores are not easy to make that creative, despite all the Martha Stewartsteins, etc, out there, ever encroaching on the Jewish scene. Not that it’s bad, mind you, but as creative as you are in cooking, the food just gets eaten and then forgotten. Pretty much. My husband, who at the same time is very very picky due to stomach sensitivities and allergies, is also very easy to please (and I am tremendously grateful for that) and he is happy if there is something to eat, so I don’t cook every day. And if he wants something that isn’t in the fridge, he will take care of finding/cooking it for himself, with no expectations or comments. I forget what it was like to have to cook for a family. Funny, I remember very well what it was like before cooking for a family; I remember eating left-overs from Shabbat cooking until late into the week, and then I am aware that I do that now. That’s the problem with busy-ness; you’re so whelmed that you can’t pay attention to yourself. There is no time for self-reflection.
So how do you keep the creative juices flowing? Kitchen dancing works, to an extent. I wonder if you who are kitchen dancers do it more than once in a while. For me, KD is “Oh, I’ve had enough cuttingslicingmixingcleaningand more cleaning and I want to break out and dance!!!” And I have to dance with someone, not by myself. Maybe it’s a way of saying, “I’ve had enough and I need you to help me break away from myself” without further expectations.
How do you make sure that you are indeed re-creating, expanding, and not just falling into comfort zones? Or, are we convinced by the world that creativity is overindulged and overrated, and so we keep our thoughts and juices to ourselves? You get the picture that I’m saying we better embrace it and not leave it to those creative types. Have you ever met someone who is old, but years-wise younger than you? Stiff, no flexibility of spirit, can’t make room for anyone else. One of the saddest things around.
My father won’t watch a movie on TV at home, but loves going to the theAter (how he calls it) because he loves the big screen performance. He loves big things, exciting things. He chases fire engines, or he used to, because he wants to see the action. His synagogue is very lucky because he has served as a greeter for many years, welcoming people from out of town, using his finely-honed people skills, better for him that he doesn’t have to sit still. Once he patiently helped an old man cross the street. Upon reaching the curb, the man said to my father, “You should be grateful you don’t know what it’s like to be old.” I think he probably said it differently, like that it’s really hard to be old and I hope you don’t suffer as much when you get to be my age. And of course, further words showed that he was, in fact, about 5 years younger than my father. So if we’re lucky and we really work on it, maybe we will also be so grateful.
I am convinced that play is a good creative force; maybe that’s what I did while I was in the classroom that helped me hold onto my powers. Although, as a mom, it is hard to play. My oldest daughter, who was very precocious, who started talking at 8 months, etc., very early on said to me, “Let’s play. You be the mom, I be the girl.” Hmmm, where’s the play in that? But yes, let’s!
I can do a better job now as a savta, thank G-d. Let’s play and dance and sing together. Your kitchen or mine?