Like all things, my idyllic summer spent in Europe came to an end last week. Yes,reality has reared its ugly head and I’m not happy about it. Traffic, high rise buildings blocking out the sun, people wandering around in flip flops whose feet haven’t seen a nail clipper since 1999, architecture that combines Italian, French, Spanish, England with a sprinkle of Saudi Arabia that makes me want to weep.
Los Angeles has many qualities to commend it. And many things that make me want to shut my eyes and ears.
What’s my take away from three months away from the United States? It’s that Americans are missing the best things in life. Most of us (according to a poll on the subject) don’t use all of their vacation time because they’re afraid when they come back they won’t have a job to return to! How can a person recharge if he/she doesn’t have time and space to clear out the cobwebs? Where do you find inspiration to do anything when you’re focused on trying to balance the 100 balls you have in the air? Impossible!
Every day for three months, I was surrounded by beauty. I’m enormously grateful and extremely fortunate. Now that its over, I’m determined to not to let it dissipate in the fog of memory. I intend to harness the art, architecture, gardens, sea, mountains, panoramas, etc. that I had the pleasure to experience and channel it into creativity. Sadly most days are not spent walking along the Seine or hiking in the Pyrenees. Most days of our lives are spent in traffic, arguing with creditors or insurance companies, laundry, work and all the other bullshit that accompanies modern life.
Every day is a struggle to find something beautiful in life, but I’m determined to do it. It can be as simple as the oldest cliche in the book – stop and smell the roses or to spend an hour in a museum. Or going online not to answer email, but to look at art or recipes (I like to cook). We can assume some control over our own lives or allow society to take control of it. I know I can’t give myself over to the demands constantly placed on me. I want to define myself by the things that give me joy not the chores on my never ending list!
I’m eager to post the work I did while I was in Europe and even more eager to get back to my classes where I have a fabulous who pushes me in directions I would never, on my own, think of going. I guess all of us need a push now and then or we stay in our comfort zone.