The other night I took “The Power of Myth” off our bookshelf. I haven’t read the book in years – don’t know why it called to me, but it did. It is a record of Bill Moyers’ interviews of Joseph Campbell. It doesn’t take long to get very interesting!
Here are two quotes from the first few pages.
- People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, . . .
- We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget that the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it’s all about.
I think feeling alive is why Italy resonates with so many people. There are a variety of ways it accomplishes this. In Italy your senses are engaged – all of them. The fact that it is different means you need all your senses to be able to understand those differences. It is also due to the fact that there is so much to engage your senses. Life is art in Italy and so much is given an artful touch, even the simplest thing. A pizza is beautiful, just as their
piazzas are. Italian cities, at least the older sections are built on a human scale, and this engages your senses.
So your senses are alive in Italy. And when that happens we are in touch with our deeper selves. The seemingly important work to achieve purposes fades as we explore that inner part of us we rarely look at when we are doing. The exploration of the inner is a gift Italy gives us. The thing I love about our art trips is that the art serves as a conduit for these deeper experiences. It provides the medium by which we see with all our senses and truly are alive. It really is wonderful!