Independence Daze

Dolce Far Niente


Luca Spaghetti: “Americans. You work too hard, you get burned out. You come home and spend the whole weekend in your pajamas in front of the T.V.”
Liz: “That’s not far off, actually.”
Luca Spaghetti: “But you don’t know pleasure. You have to be told you’ve earned it. You see a commercial that says: ‘It’s Miller Time!’ And you say, That’s right, now I’m going to buy a six pack. And then drink the whole thing and wake up the next morning and you feel terrible. But an Italian doesn’t need to be told. He walks by a sign that says: You deserve a break today. And he says, Yes, I know. That’s why I’m planning on taking a break at noon to go over to your house and sleep…with your wife!”
Giovanni: “We call it “dolce far niente”, the sweetness of doing nothing.”

Not that I think you should do nothing…

Sit down for a brunch tomorrow. Set it with fresh greens in an omelet with local cheeses. Have a slice of toast or a homemade bagel alongside, perhaps a parfait. When you eat, discover the act of eating. And by all means, eat good food. The kind of “good” that speaks deep from your happy belly. Where the top of your pants bulge, and contentment lays across your shoulders. Your hands spread flat on a surface without a fidget or twiddling thumbs. You draw a breath through your nose. You are not waiting. You are appreciating. You might burp. You might close your eyes and exhale a heavy sigh, because you ate the kind of “good food” that people thank gods for.

When I feed my chickens, I enjoy the sun on my sleepy face, notice the touch of silly feathers around my ankles.

There is a sense that your are wrong, that you are ill because you cannot cope. You cannot cope with the long grocery list, the pressures of balancing time and energy and resources in a state where they are practically nonexistent. You cannot cope with the lifeless furniture of which are your daily activities. The activities that fill the void like the furniture that serves no purpose, that takes up space, that doesn’t represent you or who you are. You reach for a tv remote, or a radio dial… hoping to tune into happier lives and days when it felt okay that things weren’t right.

The Rock Center on NBC talked last night about increasing diagnoses of adult ADD. Parents described these things. They searched for words to describe their feelings as a sufferer of attention-deficit disorder, like a frantic honor student searches for his or her car keys. They dug, they reached, they groped. A mother who couldn’t get her child to soccer practice on time. A man who couldn’t remember to buy toilet paper if his life depended on it. An actor who couldn’t remember she made an eye appointment. Frustrated. Inefficient. Inability. Failure. Humans who described everything but the point, that these bypassed actions defined their relationships and their self-worth every minute (every second). Without them, they couldn’t achieve balance.

 But whoever dared to ask them why it had to matter?

You have a purpose other than your paycheck, your GPA, your suitable salary and modern car.

I would be more concerned that the peace in someone’s own inner world depends on a perfectly organized external one.

It seems the only mental illness there is ignorance and a complete disrespect for the ebb & flow of human interest.

When I worked in medical for about three years, there was a pattern I noticed in all of my patients who made it to the late 90s and beyond… each one of them enjoyed gardening and the ritual of tasting real home-grown food.

ever truly your favorite prairie muffin,

Nellie V

Sorry for the quiet spells. I’m more of an explosive writer. I have to let things build up steam.

By the way, all quotes are drawn directly from the film, “Eat. Pray. Love.”


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