Thursday, May 24, 2007
It's ironic to me that as a designer and artist my taste in art, food, products, clothes, holidays, etc - as far as what's most appealing to me - are usually very simple and yet my life is quite complex. I love Brancusi. I love a nice plate of cheese with a crusty baguette. I love a young Oregon Pinot Noir. I love the flowing lines of a 1970 Volvo P1800. I love the look of a classic Saville Row suit. I love to fly to a new destination with no plans and just wander the streets taking it all in. I am happy to sit at a bench by the sea reading, writing or thinking.
Why is it that in today's world we feel the need to overprocess and overpackage everything to try to make it bigger, better or faster? Most parts of the world that are considered progressive or have strong economies, usually do so at the expense of their qualities of life and by trivializing simplcity and "express"-ing your joy. Conversely, countries that value life, family and a slower pace are often deemed lazy or unproductive. Try to explain the concept of a 10 minute power nap or a drive-thru Starbucks to a Greek and they might crack in pieces like a statue of Apollo.
I guess the most pervasive and influential countries and economies are what dominate cultures and dictate lifestyles. Certainly there are conveniences that come as a result of the making of a maniacal "work first, rest when you're dead" culture. I'm quick to order things online and love the feel of a new pair of shoes, but I often think of selling all my stuff and moving to a remote part of the world where life moves a bit slower but with more humility and grace.