Meraki [may-rah-kee] This is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be.
- Share a picture that represents doing something with meraki to you
- List 5 things you always do with meraki
- Consider, develop, or discuss the benefits of accomplishing tasks with meraki
- Write a poem about putting a bit of yourself into the things you do
- Share a story about doing something new, with meraki
- … or make up your own prompt related to the theme!
It is my fortune to be able these days to do nothing unless it is something that I want to put myself into wholeheartedly. If I do not want to put heart and soul into it, I am not going to be doing it. If it does not involve an element of creativity, I am not going to be doing it.
- Cooking with Meraki
You won’t find me cooking with haste – I love to make things that repay hours of careful tending, like bread and this French Onion Soup. You can’t make food like this unless you give it your heart and your soul.
I have been known to spend three days in making a dish to be consumed in under twenty minutes. There are those who hate to cook because of this instant demolishment of the fruits of their labour. I disagree: cooking is the most complete expression of love that I can give to friends and family. It is also a wonderful outlet for creativity, in several ways. I rarely use a recipe and I love to invent.
For six years, I worked as the cook in a private home. It was a big house – a real Upstairs Downstairs country mansion. I had the opportunity to create multi course meals for three dozen diners at a time, using ingredients I could never hope to use at home. That was kind of fun, and dinner parties were rather like Performance Art – but it was all creativity and little love, so was not as rewarding as you might have thought. It’s more fun to cook a curry for one’s beloved and eat à deux, than to produce a birthday roast lunch for 80 people and not sit down to share it with them. No matter what the level of achievement (all done on a 2 ring AGA, I have to tell you!)
- Spinning with Meraki
There is a little piece of me in every skein that I have ever spun. When I spin, I am at one with my wheel. It is very Zen.
- Knitting with Meraki
I knit because I have to. I cannot not knit. It is what my hands do when otherwise idle. It was my first creative outlet other than cooking. I develop a relationship with my projects and knit a piece of me into every stitch. It is the best feeling – to wrap all those bits of me around a loved one’s neck and send them out snugly into the biting teeth of the wind. I go with them, keep them safe.
- Weaving with Meraki
Weaving with yarn that I have spun myself? Very Meraki!
- Photography with MerakiI may never make a decent photographer; it is too late now to go to college, and I may never have the kit to reach the level that I otherwise might, but I love to spend time with my camera – preferably out in the wild and shoot and shoot until my card is full, then come home and tweak images until they meet my imagination…
I am fulfilling the lifelong dream that began in the attic darkroom when I was but four years old, almost – but I am afraid I shall never be Bill Brandt!