I put quite some time into creating pleasures for myself. I love little delightful surprises and it pleases me quite disproportionately to see beauty, quirkyness, unusual combinations – all manner of things that might give me a burst of pleasure. I’m not quite a hedonist because I don’t believe that pleasure is the greatest good; I am however quite far down the road of believing it to be a very good good. And to this end, I know that pleasures can be increased considerably when they derive from several sources and delight both eye and heart.
When I walk from my kitchen through to my sitting-room, I am very pleased by this little view. In itself it pleases my eye. I like the dark wood of the table against the white floor and wall, and I like the pops of pink in dado rail and the things on the table. But let me tell you how much my pleasure is amplified by the association of heart with these particular objects. The table was given as a wedding present to my grandmother and I can remember as a little girl sitting at this very same table (both halves together, and not separate as I now have them) eating maltabella porridge. The fresh flowers are scrounged from my great aunts’ garden and are in an old Indian Tree gravy bowl, that belonged to my grandmother. The pink pineapple bookends are a present from my daughter and I love them for themselves and because my daughter “gets me” in these kind of gifts. I found the little red box in a charity shop and the books are a mixture of gifts, and ones that I have bought new or second-hand.
I love the mixture of old and new, fresh and inanimate, sober and quirky, history and present, bought and found and of course all the associations of family connection through the generations. And even though I don’t see all these things at a glance, my heart sees and feels all this and more. And when my eye is pleased by this little view, my heart sings and adds to the pleasure.
What are your ways of amplifying pleasure?