Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Dulce Far Niente

It's an Italian expression. It means "the sweetness of doing nothing." Elizabeth Gilbert writes about it in her wonderful memoir, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia If you haven't read it yet, you're woefully behind the times. At least see the movie. They talk about it there too.

I am trying to learn this.

Thus, not much of a blog post today.

Have you done nothing lately, simply for the pleasure of it? I'm not talking about the kind of nothing that happens in a burned out stupor at the tail end of overwork. And I'm not talking about the serious, purposeful kind of nothing that happens in a meditation practive. I mean the sweet kind of nothing, bolstered by atmosphere, comfort, and an inner smile.

I think true health requires at least a little of it every few days. Or at least for an hour or two on Sunday morning.

When I am done with cancer treatment, I plan on indulging in a great big slice of dulce far niente. Ideally, there will be a hammock and a warm breeze, a ripe peach, and something equally juicy to read. There will be copious napping, and the ultimate cliche: long walks on the beach.


motherof5boys1girl said...

i sit out on my porch in the evening, just to listen to the wind, tree frogs, birds, whatever and enjoy just "being", if that makes sense.

Grammie said...

Beautifully written post today...certainly something for us all to think about.

I am looking forward to your having many delightful moments like that in the near future.


Anonymous said...

Oh, every day! Today I just listened to the sounds around me. Two clocks ticking in the kitchen. Is that doing something? Out in the street again, just the soundscape. Listening is something we don't do much of, I think it's because there is so much jarring noise we intentionally filter out. So really listening is doing something we don't "normally" have to do. By age forty there are certain frequencies we can't hear anymore.
Is that a blessing or a loss?