I have read two things recently that have me thinking about what it is that makes Italy so compelling.
The first was an article in a Sydney, Australia newspaper brought to me by my daughter, who is visiting from her nursing studies there. The author, Mia Freedman, said that we no longer get bored because we always have a cell phone, iPad, computer or other electronic device that we can use anywhere, anytime. She interviewed Genevieve Bell, director of interaction and experience research at Intel. Bell said she has concerns about always being connected because she believes we need to be bored, that it is a way to create “space for creative thought.” Though technology is Bell’s business, she worries “we won’t do enough thinking and we don’t get to spend enough time reflecting.” Her advice is to periodically turn off your devices.
The second bit I read was Mark Nepo, who I have referenced here before. “Living in modern times has turned us into watchers, placing a sliver of distance between us and everything we meet.” Isn’t that what our electronic devices do? He goes on to say about listening to our deeper selves, ” . . . we each must be nourished from what lives below, if we are to survive.”
And this is why I love Italy so much: It is so compelling you put down your
devices, revel in living, and have time to hear and be nourished from what lives below. It is such a welcome change from always being connected.
I believe, in this day and age of constant electronic connection, this more human connection is something we are all longing for. We may not know it because the second we get bored we connect electronically. So we never give ourselves time to reflect. In Italy we do. It is lovely.