Sunday, September 20, 2020

In search of Elegance ... cont.


I'm continuing my investigation into what elegance means for me. During July I read books that I thought would inspire me about french style in persuit of the key ingredients for elegance.  I'm coming up with a few insights that are meaningful. 

Emotional & delicate..... disciplined and yet free...

While Audrey Hepburn is not French, or Parisian, i was inspired to read about her style because she has always been associated with a French form of elegance in my mind. In 'Being like Audrey' by Victoria Loustalot, I found some bits of wisdom.
A willingness to be emotional and delicate can make it possible to achieve what we hope to be: true to ourselves. Audrey was true in her performances, and she was true in her life. She taught us to replace ruthless ambition with the more nuanced and interesting delicacy of emotional truth. When we do, we are likely to discover that we can go even further than we ever intended. (P142)
For me, emotional & delicate, are core characteristics of elegance.  I think its about being able to listen to yourself and others with delicacy... respectfully. And then to offer a response that is kind and compassionate, but also clear and, true to self.

In the book about Audrey, the author also noted discipline is balanced with a lighter side through Audreys life choices...  
Audrey’s hard work and discipline are well documented, but that doesn’t mean she was serious all the time. She didn’t shy away from joking around behind the camera with the rest of the cast and the crew. She knew that part of working hard means knowing how to collaborate and how to make it easier for the entire cast and crew to be successful. Making the work fun is part of the job.
I am reminded that i do like being arround my team at work. They're great people. We have some fun together.. even if we're all remote working this year, we have found ways to have fun together.

I was attracted to this next book because it is about the lighter side of life.. Flaneur, the art of wandering the streets of Paris... Frederico Castigliano. I also felt like there was something very elegant in the art of being a flaneur... 
I zigzag, because the greatest pleasure does not consist in experiencing new things, but in savoring the infinite variation of what I already know. This exercise reaches its peak, for me, in the tiny streets, passages and courtyards that lie along the southern boundary between the 9th and 10th arrondissements.
What distinguishes the flâneur, the element that elevates him above ordinary people, is indeed the particular relationship that he establishes with the space surrounding him.
So, abandon your maps and your GPS, leave your traditional guidebooks at home. The aim is to get lost. You must feel free to wander and roam............. When you walk in Paris you’re not obliged to go to a particular place, you don’t necessarily have to go shopping, you don’t have to take photographs. Feel yourselves free from commitments, feel yourselves under absolutely no obligation to see a famous monument or to visit a museum. 
What appeals to me in these quotes is the invitation to leave all conventional demands at the door, and to move into the world with an intentional abandon. To simple walk in the moment and discover your surrounds anew. 

This weeks reflection has drawn me to these words.....
Emotional & delicate..... disciplined and yet free... 

 Elegance is intentional and yet also a fragile balance... 


22 comments:

Jeanie said...

I adore Audrey Hepburn and everything she ever did. I've heard about the Flaneur book. I think I'd like this!

On a completely unrelated note, YAY RICHIE PORTE! He made it to the podium which he so wanted!

Divers and Sundry said...

"walk in the moment" is an appealing image for me :)

Brona said...

The thing that jumped out at me as I read this was being true to yourself. It's something I struggle with simply due to a deep-seated lack of confidence and insecurity. I would love to give all that up finally, because it's those people like Audrey, who are comfortable in their own skin and who can exude grace and elegance from a truly grounded place of knowing themselves, that I also find so admirable. I believe that Mr Books is someone like that and I can see how being instilled with a strong sense of confidence and security in your childhood is an invaluable asset.

Good luck with your own search for elegance.

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