I took out an old essay (hard copy) this morning written by Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, former syndicated columnist for the Boston Globe. I wanted to jog my memory about her guiding philosophy: “live life deep versus wide,” a philosophy I subscribe to.
Ellen Goodman has written numerous essays about returning to her roots, Casco Bay, Maine every summer versus taking an exotic vacation (e.g., Vietnam, Galapagos). Her rationale? We have evolved into mobile citizens of the world. We equate our mobility with ambition, broad horizons, thus thrive on getting up and going. By visiting Casco Bay every summer, she prefers being a native of the land versus a citizen skating across the world. She enjoys sitting of the edge of her favorite tidal cove since childhood to observe the yearly changes, walking down the country road by her home to enjoy the wild flowers while stepping aside of the poison ivy, listening to songbirds tweeting and picking apples from the trees bearing fruit every other year. Her return to Casco Bay reminds her what it’s like to live deep instead of wide plus in her own words: “I have slowly added a new sense to those of touch, taste, sight, smell, sound; a sense of place.”
Later in the day while I was taking a walk by the Mediterranean, I reflected on her statement regarding senses. After basking in the winter sun and hearing the squawking/chatter of the seagulls, I concluded, day to day, we experience a medley of our senses. Right now, for me the four senses I experience the most are sight (the sun glistening on the water), sound (the gulls are a noisy crew), taste (great food), and the fourth, Goodman’s sense of place, a topic I addressed back in November on my second anniversary here in Cannes. As Goodman encourages, we all need to take timeout from our fast-paced world to live life deep versus wide. A good starting point is to invigorate and enjoy the medley of your senses.