We toured our host's farm, admiring fragrant fields of anise, learning about age old methods of cultivating and harvesting--and wondering at the heaps of lively jewelry worn by the women while they work the land. (This has caused some of us to consider upgrading the mulching wardrobe--and I thought Katharine White was out there, in her Ferragamo shoes while she gardened...)
Our host stopped a moment to describe how most people he knew learned to cook. He talked about how you would watch your mother or grandmother mix things, add things, taste things. There is no recipe, he said. No measurement. Salt to taste. You decide.
He said, You watch the cook, and then you do it yourself. If you cannot do it, you were not watching--because you were shown what to do.
That reminds me very much of the nature of slow love. There is no recipe. There is no secret trick that one stumbles upon. This is not a top-down technique. There is no lecture that imparts an answer. Quite the opposite. Slow love involves watching, absorbing, listening; sitting quietly and taking things in--whether the shape of a flower or the shape of a person’s response to a question. Salt to taste.