Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bel Far Niente

One of the best parts of our trip to Italy was learning the art of bel far niente. I think if I was there another week I could have mastered it like a true Italian. Bel far niente, the beauty of doing nothing, is not only an art form, it's one of the fundamentals of life in Italy. Italians take great pride in the ability to 'do nothing'. To 'do nothing' the Italian way is actually quite difficult for an American that is used to being plugged into work, computers, cell phones and generally moving at the speed of light.

'Doing nothing' the Italian way doesn't mean to sit around and literally do's the ability to enjoy doing nothing imparticular. It's mastering the passeggiata (evening stroll in the piazza), people watching with a gelato in hand, sipping a glass of chianti classico watching the sunset...and so on. Italians will do this for hours...much longer than is comfortable for an antsy American. More importantly, doing these things is expected in Italy. It's unnatural not to take significant time out of your day to 'do nothing'.

I love the entire concept of bel far niente and I'm trying to find beauty in doing a little 'nothing' each day. So far, I'm finding it's a lot easier to do in Italy...sipping wine watching the sun set over the vineyards & olive groves with the scent of rosemary wafting in the breeze. Lucky for me, all I have to do is look at this photo, close my eyes and just like that...I'm back in Italy practicing the fine art of 'bel far niente' like a true Italian.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Back to the Races

Back from Italy and back to the same ol' grind. I'll write more about Italy in future posts. It was a great trip and while it's great to be back with the dogs, I do miss 'la dolce vita'. We've been back 3 weeks now and not only are we back to work, home life, midwest living...we're 'back to the races'.

Cyclocross season has started and I've already had a decent dose. Two races under my belt and I think I get it. It's definitely a different scene than mountain biking - new crew of racers & bystanders, pumping music (although I think I got an overdose of Paula Abdul on Sunday's race), play-by-play announcers and clanging cowbells. It was reassuring to see the return of the BIG ORANGE GORILLA that ended the mountain bike season. Good to see some things are the same as mountain biking!