Feeding your soul or stuffing it?

Exotic food. Food for the soul? A creative’s daily bread? Exotic foods might be hard to find in this global food market. Is anything rare, unusual, fresh? What are the things that are hard to find for creatives that they need and would seem exotic or strange to others? A lot of Americans don’t like exotic foods. They find comfort in the predictable. My father still eats the same crappy white bread he did when I was a kid, as stale as it is.

My wife keeps a stash of ‘exotic/special’ Japanese foods in the closet for when she gets the craving. My daughter’s favorite snack is dried salted small fish which makes most people gag just thinking about it. Is it an exotic food? Not in Japan. It’s a matter of perspective. To the people near us they may not be exotic but to those far off whether in geographical distance or world view they may be. What are the cravings of creatives? What ‘exotic foods’ could we or do we keep on hand or go and buy when we need a design fix? For me it is thrift store finds and lately tobacco barn viewings.

In our culture of culture vultures we have a bad habit of consuming art, culture and design so fast it creates an environment where we tend not to enjoy it. Our consumerism has spilled over into the things we love. Instead of adopting a Slow Food Movement attitude we just want more. The Romans loved eating so much they would eat for hours, then purge themselves and continue eating while reclining in the triclinium. Are we much different? Do we binge and purge on exotic food for creatives instead of simply partaking?

I feel like I am constantly being sucked in by the current of culture around me. I have this urge to consume and gorge myself. When I feel that way I try to slow it down and partake of one of my ‘exotic foods’. This is why I like building things. It’s different than flipping through a magazine, surfing TV channels or websites. Building is in your face. It’s deliberate. There are no rabbit holes or webs of distraction. It involves all the senses. Digital media has taken on many of the characteristics of the fast food industry. Craft is in and it is one of my exotic foods.

‘Small Iced Mocha Biancha!’ The appeal of ‘exotic food’ should not be in the freshness or just to be unique or contrary. On the contrary it should be about the lasting inherent qualities they possess. What are your ‘exotic foods’, the foods that stir you from stagnation? I believe it is our duty to find those real and savory morsels that enrich our lives, enjoy them and share them as a genuine extension of ourselves. In this way they become active and change our world with meaning. Meaning? There’s an exotic food.