I just came back from a trip to the forest which I helped to organize. My initial idea was to use this trip as a small test project for my MA research (and I also encouraged my other classmates to do so) – but I forgot about something very important: TIMING and TIME OFF. I realize that I start to see my whole life as “a project”. Work and life merge into one and it feels great because I can do what I love to do in the very moment.
But it is also important to remain aware of the difference between the both – the forest trip for instance was for life and not for work. After working on our research portfolios and after a long semester, no one of us felt like driving our projects forward. Instead we wanted to have some quality time together, share food, laughter and space. However, I’m sure that ideas are often born in life and then translated to work, thus life and work remain interrelated. A useful tool for this “translation” is documentation – taking pictures, writing diary, drawing etc. This is what I always enjoyed doing (and still do) and who knows what will grow out of it…
Something that Mads and me tried on our forest trip, was, to make a dinner with ingredients from the forest. In a global world we tend to lose sight of the local and a lot of local knowledge disappears. If we can have bananas and strawberries all year long, who cares about the edible plants from the forest next door? Don’t misunderstand me – I embrace global food and I’m happy that I can make sticky rice or pasta in Oslo and don’t have to eat only potatoes all year long. But I think we should combine this with local sourced food.
It was a challenge to gather the plants – Mads and me both don’t know a lot about them and were afraid of accidently poisoning everyone. (I realized that we always suspect nature trying to kill us, isn’t that weird?). We also wondered how our classmates would react to that kind of food – and were surprised by the positive feedback. Mads and Qi even made chopsticks by themselves and in the end our self-made fishing rod got two fish at the same time – but our “forest-food” couldn’t compete with the chocolate cake xue ting made for dessert. But as I said: it’s all about the right combination :-)