La Dolce Vita on my bead mat
La Dolce Vita is a 1960 film directed by Federico Fellini.
The title means “the sweet life” in Italian, and the film is a portrayal of Rome’s high society in the late 1950s. It is considered a classic of Italian cinema and one of Fellini’s greatest works. The film was a commercial and critical success and won the Palme d’Or at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival. While that time ‘La Dolce Vita’ stood for a decadent, hedonistic lifestyle of the elite, these days we use it in a different meaning: ‘La Dolce Vita’ is the ability to enjoy life’s sweet, small moments and occasions. Appreciating time to read a book, a tasty, healthy dinner, a glass of wine, a piece of chocolate, or something as simple as a lazy stroll through the park.
For me, ‘La Dolce Vita’ means slowing down, and keeping an open eye for the beauty of life that surrounds us if we give it a chance to catch up with us.
Taking the longer route to the bakery during my usual Saturday morning walk, just because it leads me along a canal. I see seagulls, herons, ducks, and even swans sometimes. I notice which boat got a new layer of paint, and which was submerged underwater after the last heavy rains.
Appreciating the crunchiness of the bread under my arm, still warm from the oven. The other bag I balance carefully, making sure that the cream stays intact on top of the sweet treat to go along our coffee in the afternoon.
Instead of aiming for 100%, letting myself be content with who I am. Laughing how I manage to speak 5 languages in one day, two of them with a very limited vocabulary, all of them with weird accents. Who cares, if they can still be tools to build better connections?
Surrounding myself with nice things. An old glass jar as our garlic holder in the kitchen, coffee mugs that remind me of the lively markets I visited. My favourite coming from a tiny shop that doesn’t exist anymore: run by a lady who dedicated her life to the art of painting and repairing porcelain, and spent the last years by opening up her private collection to people who didn’t shy away to explore the side streets, hiding a treasure trove like hers.
Accepting and returning everyday kindnesses. And making time to read books that are not ‘useful’ right away, however, they teach you much more than easy life-hacks.
And of course, beading! Giving myself the time to try something new with the risk of not succeeding right away, and still, staying calm when I need to start anew, with hours of work seemingly lost as I cut the thread. Getting lost in the shapes, playing with colours that don’t often appear together on my bead mat: refreshing citrus tones of oranges and lemons, the calming green of a sage leaf or olive branch, with the richness of burgundy and rose gold. All of them packed inside of ‘La Dolce Vita’ Theme Box.