Keeping rhythm with the music that we have always known and simply forgotten 

It is said that people often confuse what they do with who they are yet to become. In Italian culture there is something called dolce far neinte known as the sweetness of doing nothing… a way of thinking that appreciates the present moment and enjoys it without any worries or obligations.

In Italy, the Italian countryside is called “la campagna.” To the left is a picture of what may have been the small village of my ancestors in central Italy. From a large family many migrated to America in the early nineteen hundreds. My father was five years old making me a first generation American. My Italian grandparents settled in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts and were truck farmers. They were gardeners… They shared a love of nature like me. They lived and did what came naturally to them. 

Reshaping our perception of the concept of work, it seems, is one way to channel dolce far niente. Where work – deliberate, steady, and relaxed – is worlds away from today’s pervasive fast-moving philosophy. It is as though we are speaking to the universe with our thoughts and voice – to speak through our memories with actions simply vibrations tied to nature and what is yet to come.

Meditation going to our garden stilling our mind and just letting it be.

Always to be ready for the transformations of our lives. 

Clearing out the space of what is unwanted as weeds or unnecessary plants and creating a vacuum to be filled as a doorway… even a portal.

What I often refer to as a place that welcomes the universe to enter, creating the capacity to love what we find in nature and ourselves… with annual cleome, cosmos, and zinnias.

Even perennials with daises, pink coneflowers, and butterfly bushes. As we let nature be our teacher. 

Like what the ancient Chinese called wu wei. The practice advocated by Taoism of letting one’s action follow the simple and spontaneous course of nature rather than interfering with the harmonious working of universal law by imposing arbitrary and artificial forms: doing or making nothing except in conformity to the Tao.

To create and live within this conformity. There is no better example of a place I have visited many times. When I was teaching English at a university in China many of my students were to be tour guides. Some were to go to Suzhou… I was so jealous. Their connection to wu wei over the centuries represented a lifestyle once perfectly suited and demonstrated living under the auspices of “the art of doing nothing”. I saw this in their villages in the countryside when I visited. As tour guides, they were to express this. They were well-suited to do so.

It is as if we have two families. The one we know in the present, and the one aligning with spirit and memories from the past. With lives made up of choices not content with one thing if we need to choose another. Aligning and listening to eternal algorithms, we soon learn we cannot sustain two things at once.

We learn to leverage the rhythm and melody of the way we speak naturally to imbue characteristics into these algorithms that define who we are and how we live. We often find the music we listen to helps to take us there, tying us to universal connections we have always known.

Often turning the corner of someplace new and sensing we have been here before with memories that are eternal that speak to and for us. These universal algorithms connect us to places and things we have seen and known before. They serve as guideposts, and some would say as portals taking us to steps of transformation that simply awaits us. 

Just what is it that takes us there… It is for some music. For instance, Bebel Gilberto and the song Somba da Bencao from the movie Eat, Pray, Love and Julia Roberts quest and her guru in Bali not knowing how old he is… as though he is ageless an inherent force of nature.

To be brave enough to leave behind who we thought we were as we set out on truth seeking journeys. Regarding everything that happens along the way as a teacher prepared to face and forgive realities and these truths will not be withheld from us. As we just listen to the music and let it and our memories take us there. 

By 1dandecarlo

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