I’ve always been a bit of a hedonist, loving the feeling of simple pleasure without purpose, of the senses filling up with "happy". Sight, sound, touch, smell, taste. I guess we’re all hedonists in some way. "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens" … The feeling of sand between the toes, the touch of my mom’s incredibly soft cheek against mine, the sound of the ocean at night, the waves sighing evenly and rhythmically, the smell of the beach bonfires on a warm summer night …
Right now, I’m reveling in how clean and uncluttered my home is. I love the way the glass on the coffee table shines, with the liquidamber tree out front reflected in it, the glass like a cool, still pond of clear water. I glanced at the rearranged accessories on a side table last night, and realized that I love the way it’s arranged right now – photos of my daughter, her daughters, myself and my daughter, a figurine of a mother holding a child, another Diego Rivera-ish figurine of a dark-haired women seated with a flower in the lap of her purple dress. It’s just so pretty, a delight for the eyes. Pretty things light a spark of joy in my spirit.
I visit a couple of blogs (http://deardaisycottage.typepad.com/ and http://www.brittarnhildshouseinthewoods.typepad.com/) whose writers use beautiful photographs to accompany their writing. The photos are close-up and often a snippet of the full scene: a corner of a slice of cake, a bit of a pretty cloth, the edge of a plate of pasta with a glass of red wine sparkling. Pleasure – these photos give me a pure shot of hedonistic pleasure. There’s no purpose for my life in these, just the simple feeling of pleasure. I think of the care the writer took to arrange things just so, to find the most satisfying arrangement, the most beautiful framing of the shot.
I often light candles throughout each room in my home simply to enjoy the bit of twinkling light they give off. Incense is almost a nightly ritual, too. I have one type that starts out with a light, sweet smell. As it burns, the scent changes, becoming deeper, richer. As it changes, it calls me back to take notice of it again. It’s pure hedonism for me – absolute, total pleasure! – to sit in my living room, candles aglow, incense perfuming the air, sipping a hot cup of sweet & spicy tea, thanking God for my blessings and the simple pleasures of my life.