Work itself is an easement, or rather the completion of work, the proof of one’s capacity for it. Submitting articles that might as well equal their weight in tears of gold. The first, a possibly intimate one about the way tableware affects the experience of flavor, the other a zealous inquiry into olive oil. The writing, agonizing until it wasn’t (an easement as clear as Helvetica on a Retina display). Then, following up with countertop photos to accompany the writing: more proof, more relief, more easement. The weightlessness of momentum.

Tending to flowers is another kind of easement. Selecting or receiving them, arranging them, changing the water. Culling the bouquet until one stem survives, shorter now by increments, still fragrant and more beautiful than when it first arrived, one of seven, one week earlier.

Sleeping, breathing, a walk, a bath. These are, of course, the fundamental easements, but they are elusive or outright unappealing. The stressed body yearns to stay tense, the frustrated mind doesn’t like to relax. Hence the substitute easements: controlling objects into submission to create illusions of wonder. Cleaning things, arranging things, creating things worth admiring. Amid the projected emerges the real: exquisite tea in a favorite cup, honey by the spoonful, a child’s seventh birthday, the leafy zing of a fine olive oil, and then its nutty sweetness.

Life finds ways to assert itself after a father’s death. Obligations lead the way and the senses follow, until even pleasure returns from wherever it was it had to go to survive.

All photos by the author, taken in daylight using the Leica X1 (because the Fujifilm X-T20 is still not available) and edited in Lightroom. The articles referenced will appear in upcoming issues of Magazyn Wino and Ferment.