January 5, 2014
SUNDAY FROM MY DESK
When I started writing Sunday from my desk, it was exactly this kind of a Sunday I had in mind. While the past year has given me a great many things, it has not given me many calm and beautifully slow Sunday afternoons like this. So now , as things calm down, and while I have the time, I think it is again time to consider how important slowness is in life and in human relations. Listen first – always – to what is said.
Take time to think, reflect, and express yourself gently.
Do all things with love and peace throughout the new year.
Food was the first thing to “slow down” because ever since the 1950’s drive in restaurants in America, food had been getting faster and faster until finally, in the middle of the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, a McDonald’s tried to open in 1986.
An explosion of anger that such a thing could happen,and realization that our food and our lives were being taken over by speed. Carlo Petrini is credited with creating
the “Slow Food” movement that still grows even today.
With the concepts and activities of Slow Food everyone became fascinated with the idea of “slow”, as was I. When I opened 10 Corso Como, it seemed right to call it “Slow Shopping” because it was important for me to create a place to enjoy life – promenade through the galleria, sit, read a book, have a coffee, take time to explore all the things I had such pleasure sharing with my visitors and customers.
What better way to say it than, “slow shopping”?
This idea of slowing down with new ways to understand how to do it and what it meant brought in the early ‘90’s to the “ Slow movement” and to “The World institution of Slowness”. In 2004, a book “In Praise of Slowness” explored the “slow” philosophy and the revolution of thinking. It began to include the length of time it takes to make an object and how many hands went in to a presentation. How long would it take to grow the wool for a coat, or a tomato for pasta sauce.
All reminding us of the natural rhythms of life.
It is not so much to slow, but to move at the right speed for body, mind and heart to all move together. Speed is a state of mind, it is to enjoy the process of the journey that slows and opens the exploration – there is even a “Manifesto of Slow Travel “ in US now – to keep us engaged while we move, no matter what speed!
Nothing is really easier than talking about slow gardening. Any gardening and coming closer to nature calms the heart and opens the eyes to beauty. As cities begin to explore new ways to bring the things of the earth and the changes of the seasons into our lives, our gardens here are a marvel of 20 years of collaboration with nature – and they are beautiful even now as they lay sleeping through the winter.
The Slow movement supports design systems that support reflective living, allow thought, and help us achieve time to think. Much like looking at great art.
Haute couture has always been slow fashion in reality. There is the making of wonderful and complex fabrics ,the attention to the details of the cut and the sewing of the seams, all by hand. Today mass production has taken over; collections are conceived and produced in the span of weeks, consumption, overconsumption. Time has come to slow down the process, give time to creativity, and to consumers to enjoy and cherish their findings.
Sustainable design balancing both environment and style is the best approach to creation, for a better life. Back to crafts and natural materials, to hand made and durable products… all in praise of slowness. And, hopefully, happiness
Human beings can become addicted to anything, and these days it is media. With so much information it is easy to become anxious if one misses the smallest bit of gossip, instantly. But now people are going on “slow media diets”. If your source is accurate and honest, like slow food, then you need less to be healthy and satisfied.
Not stuffed with media junk that offers no thinking.