Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A place of my own

Michael Pollan wanted a space to work - a place to be alone in the woods with his thoughts. And he wanted to build it himself - to move away from the abstraction of words and writing, to the reality of building something with one's own hands. "A place of my own" chronicles his quest.

While the subject of his book is building a room from scratch, it reminded me of my daily cooking. I think of cooking as something that I do to get away from thoughts, and into the physical world. The food I make exists in real life, in a way that my research does not. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.

And like Michael Pollan, I too found it difficult to get away from the world of words. The cooking hobby leads to reading cooking blogs, tips, stories. And to forming communities of people sharing grocery shopping, menu plans, and success recipes.

Pollan finishes the roof, walls, windows, but eventually concludes that a thing you build is never complete. Reality changes you just like you changed the dream into literal existence. The journey, destination, and meaning of existence get intertwined along the way, until you are defined by the thing you were trying to define.

A thought-provoking read. (Thanks Wolf for a neat gift.)


  1. thanks for the shoutout :-) really happy you enjoyed it!

  2. Very interesting. I need to read this book as well.