A few days ago, an interesting article in the health section of the Los Angeles Times talked about America's tendency towards workaholism, with workers using their rare vacation days to stay home when the children are sick or when the cable repair man is expected.
My whole childhood, my family would pack the car and drive to the south of France for an entire month every year. It was a major production, but that month was so filled with sushine and small pleasures that it made the rest of the year, the long hours in school, the constant rain, and the indignities of living in a big city, worth putting up with. It wasn't just us, every family would either spend the month of August or July on a holiday. As a matter of fact, most of my favorite French blogs are all on repos which means rest, or hiatus, for the summer.
Rest? What rest? I'm an American woman now. I must be productive, I must achieve, I must get things done...
Or do I?
How come the Italians have the expression arte de vivere, the French have art de vivre, and in Unites States, one could put the words together to come up with 'art of living', but what would it mean? Fast car and designer clothes? In France for example, it only refers to the quality of a life well lived, a life spent relishing each of your senses, with or without money. Art de vivre, for example, could mean the ability to engage in the act of doing nothing.
Here are a few pergolas under which nothing could be done:
Here in southern California, it’s hot! (5 degrees today and dry, my oh my is it dry. I’ve been lusting after an iron pergola from Unopiu.
But what to do? the Italian manufacturer has stores in Italy, France, Austria, Germany and Spain. But what about us? I think it is time someone import one of those wonderful structures.