Follow Up Friday- Darkness Sparks Insight
Updated: Aug 18, 2019
My ONE Thing challenge for myself this week was to try something new. So I said I was going to go to the Dark Table Restaurant, which is a restaurant where you dine in complete darkness. Even entering the restaurant was a new experience. The ultraviolet lighting in the entrance and bar area was novel, as was having to lock my coat and purse in the metal lockers flanking the entrance. Then, our party of 4 made a modified Congo line, placing hands on each other's shoulders, as we were led to our table behind the black curtain. I was a little apprehensive as we were completely engulfed by the darkness. The fact that a patron seated just before us quickly escaped back to the front door, announcing she had to leave, made me a little concerned. I wondered if the darkness would make me feel claustrophobic as well. But as we carefully shuffled along in the dark, following our gentle-voiced server who was blind, I felt a sense of trust.
Sitting down at our table was funny. I felt like a child, being placed in my chair. When we were all seated, we reached for each other's hands to know where everyone was. We found our cutlery and made a note of it's location so we wouldn't knock it off the table. I was certain I would not be making any large hand gestures during our meal. We quickly received our drinks that were placed on the table and our server ensured we had them in hand before she let go of them. It was a challenge guiding the glass to my mouth the first time. The experience was hilarious and humbling.
Even on the journey to the table, I noticed the smell of garlic and loud conversations going on. I had anticipated that my other senses might be heightened due to my loss of sight, but I'm not sure if it was that, or if the food was really full of garlic and the restaurant was extra noisy. When our salads came, it was comical taking the first few bites. It was hard to find my mouth with my fork. I wondered if I would lose weight if I ate like this all the time. A good portion of my salad ended up on the table. The meal really was a culinary adventure. I never knew what to expect when I took a bite. Some of the surprises were good, like the rich chocolate cake for dessert, and some were a shock, like feeling a slippery pepper in my mouth, when I was expecting a piece of steak.
Overall, I would say that I enjoyed the novelty of the experience. It actually was a lot like being a traveller. I didn't know what to expect, I felt awkward and foolish at times, but I also enjoyed the sense of venturing into the unknown. Another great by-product of this experience, was the lack of distractions. No one could look at their phone or zone in on a TV. We were all tuned into each others voices. It forced us to be present to each other, our food, and our every movement. It also allowed us to connect with each other by having this shared, novel experience.
In her book, The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron recommends her readers to go on an "Artist's Date" once a week. That is a weekly excursion for yourself, by yourself, to have a new experience. It is to get out of your comfort zone, out of your bubble of familiar people and places, and to experience something new. This Weekly ONE Thing experiment reminded me of that. I see value in it, especially for practicing 'being in the moment' and for fostering creativity. Plus, it's fun! I am going to keep challenging myself to have an "Artist's Date" or find a way to bring something new into my life each week. It makes life more vibrant and interesting.
I would love to hear any experiences you had with this week's challenge, whether it was a success, or you learned something about yourself, or whatever you would like to share. Remember, you can also share your experiences in our Weekly ONE Thing Facebook Group. I like to posting videos or quotes or anything that inspires me there, and would love it if you shared anything that has been valuable to you.