Cheese "still life" via Dean and Deluca.

We went on an overnight trip this weekend to visit some friends a few hours outside of Dallas. I’m always amazed at how drastically a simple (and quick) change of scenery can change your perspective. When we got home yesterday afternoon, the city looked so different…even our house felt changed...

After I put the girls to bed last night, I flipped through another standby book, Terence Conran’s Easy Living, as I remembered that he touches on this phenomenon. In a section devoted to the importance of taking a vacation as a way of creating a different lens through which to view your everyday world, Conran mentions reading How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Botton.

He was intrigued by the way de Botton describes Proust encouraging a young man, “frustrated by his dreams of palatial luxury, to look at the still-life paintings of Chardin. By studying the everyday objects depicted – ‘bowls of fruit, jugs, coffee pots, loaves of bread, knives, glasses of wine, slabs of meat’ – Proust believed the young man would realize he was already surrounded by beauty…. Proust was demonstrating how happiness and contentment can come from learning a new way of looking at one’s surroundings.”

A simple concept, but it works…

No comments: