Tomatoes and mayonnaise.
I’ll eat that for weeks on end when tomatoes are in season. I’ll even make my own mayo from scratch, with a bit of garlic and hot peppers. It’s so simple, I know – I’ve been asked more than a few times: “Is that all you’re having?”
The answer is always Yes.
A simple thing done very, very well is sublime. To not be overwhelmed by competing sensory experiences, to focus completely on one thing and experience it fully, truly, and let everything that made it what it is echo through what it is. The savory, salty, slightly spicy mayonnaise giving way to the tang of the earth and sun and rain and warmth of spring and summer coming through the tomatoes. If you let it, it will have you closing your eyes just to sink deeper into the experience.
Maybe tomatoes and mayonnaise aren’t your thing – maybe you have your own version of this. But if you understand, you know exactly what that thing is. There’s that smile on your face thinking of it. The memory, the sensory memory, is one you can call up at will, no matter how long it’s been. You know.
I’m not a minimalist for what it’s worth – I enjoy art and Art Nouveau and walls filled with photos and frames and bookshelves entirely too much for that – but there is an unparalleled level of satisfaction in having the opportunity to appreciate the nuance of simple things, the joy in discovering their hidden complexity when given your full awareness.
(And yes, this is a metaphor about much more than just tomatoes and mayonnaise. But it’s also about tomatoes and mayonnaise, which I am having for dinner tonight.)