Life Saving Philosophy

How mental vigor and newfound clarity can change how we view the world and our place in it

Treats for 2013: Indulging in Food, Poetry, Film, Friends...

Try this dinner party to salute a new year.

Here’s one tried, tasted, and true way for cooking up a memorable night to welcome 2013. Take time for the arts and for friendship. Ah. Slow down just long enough.

First, the preliminaries: Enjoy exploring recipes. Bounce from master chefs Yotam Ottolenghi to Julia Child, go back and forth between Ina Garten and Jamie Oliver. Appreciate the artistry of food prepared with care. Decide on your menu with everyone contributing, whether a daring new dish or a trusty standby. The host will ready the table. My choice: Jamie Oliver’s Salsa Verde.

Next, bring a poem to read during dinner. Keep it tucked beside your plate. My choice: “How Would You Live Then?” by Mary Oliver.

Now, thoroughly delight in each other’s company, listening and laughing, and all the while appreciate the joys of good conversation and the communal table.

Finally, pass the dessert and queue the movie. Choose a film that’s not too long and that no one has seen. My choice: “Le Havre” directed by Finland’s Aki Kaurismaki.

Or maybe the poetry featured one night and save the movie for the next time your group gathers? Who knows?

What do you think about making a New Year’s resolve to soak up the arts and come together with family and friends? It's all-too-easy to forget how much this matters.

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Marietta McCarty is the author of Little Big Minds: Sharing Philosophy With Kids and How Philosophy Can Save Your Life: 10 Ideas That Matter Most.

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