Savor & Serve with Patti Digh
I met Patti looking for a blog I could care about. I was deeply fatigued by the shallowness of what I was coming across, so I went a searching…. and I struck gold in them there interwebs.
I wrote Patti, “Gal, you write like a perfect raspberry. You are amazing.” We struck up a friendship that lead us to offer a writing workshop together with the equally amazing raspberry writer/mediation teacher Susan Piver last year where people wrote many wonderful raspberries of writing, and most importantly, continue to write them. (Can you tell I bought some very lovely raspberries today?)
Photo by Jeremy Madea.
Patti Digh on Savoring & Serving
How do you savor?
Such a delicious word, savor.
I am in love with touch and with sight and with sound. I love dirt, the way it heats up. I savor the feel of fabric on my skin, of hot sand, of the smell of lavender. I love stationery, fountain pens, and clouds.
I love people. I love listening to them. I love when we are quiet together.
We have a new dog, Perry. I am savoring his deep chocolate eyes and centrifugal tail.
I am a lover of hugs, those points of connection we allow ourselves—or don’t.
I am slowing down, clearing space, shedding. That is my savoring practice now—clearing ground. I’m buying simple clothing in solid colors, I’m drinking peppermint tea, I’m clearing ground not just for new projects, but for resting. I’m decluttering and allowing for my love of the color that is called robin’s egg blue. I am painting things white. I am napping when the occasion arises.
I savor my daughters, their beautiful hair, one curly, one straight. I remember watching them sleep. I love cooking with them, laughing with them.
Savoring is a mindful act. For me, to savor is to pay attention, deeply. To listen, deeply. To live, deeply. To allow for the fact that you are in deep, ecstatic love with the world. All of it, the beautiful blue, the darkest gray.
It requires slowing way down.
Has loss helped you?
Loss freed me and saved my life.
It gave me my real voice, not just my “professional” voice, the one I used to write and speak in. It tore all that down. It revealed the architecture of life to me, the one we decorate and hide and clutter up. Took all that down, down to the bones of it, the rebar and concrete. It gave me a measure, a tone, a note. Like a rondo, it let me see a life in which the note “a” is repeated over and over again, but sounds different each time because it is the counterbalance to a different note (a different circumstance). So life goes like this: A, AB, AC, AD in which “A” is constant but sounds different when juxtaposed against different people, different circumstances.
Loss opened me up.
How do you serve these days?
I serve by speaking up against injustice.
I serve by writing my stories and leaving space in them for others to see themselves in them.
I serve by opening up space for other people to write, to make art, to speak.
I serve by asking more questions than I make judgments.
I serve by creating tiny masterpieces in my daughter’s school lunch, filling her Bento box with blueberries and love and cheese cut in the shape of flowers and stars.
I serve by telling and showing and sharing and loving and connecting.
I serve by my very enthusiasm for living, for life. For the good and the bad of it, the up and the down, the energy of the joy and the pain.
If you could serve in any way possible—no restraints, limitations, or boundaries, what would you do? What would that look like?
I wouldn’t change a thing. Not one thing.
How does savoring help you serve? Or does it?
It allows me to see. And say. It allows me to pay attention and to know that it matters if I speak and if I speak up.
|Photo by Jeremy Madea.|
Patti Digh is the author of Life is a Verb and several others books about living more mindfully. She writes a blog called 37days. You can write with Patti, Susan Piver and Jenny Bee Louden in September in Boston.
Delight in earlier posts in this series: