Sunday, July 15, 2007

Made in Italy, with Joy

Occasionally on my way home from work, I stop in at the shop Tuesday Morning just to see if what they have matches something we’re needing at the time. If so, and if the price is right, I might buy something. Most often, I end up leaving empty-handed but enjoy just browsing.

Maybe I should explain that I don’t shop much. I avoid malls, dread the traffic in shopping areas, buy most of my clothes via catalogues or at a thrift shop near my house. Besides the grocery store, bookstores and Hallmark are about the only places I go with any frequency.

But for some reason, Tuesday Morning appeals to me. It’s such an odd assortment of stuff, and usually has that rummaged-through look that reminds me of the outdoor markets of Europe. It doesn’t overwhelm me. And sometimes it has just what I’m looking for.

So, I stop in now and then.

On one stop, I came across the soap you see pictured here. The picture appealed to me immediately, and I was dangerously pulled in when I saw that it was from bella Firenze, that is, beautiful Florence, where I lived for two years.

But I knew I was in love and about to make a commitment when I saw in tiny print on the box, Made in Italy, with Joy.

Made in Italy, with Joy. How could anyone not fall in love with something so sweet? Of course I realized it was a marketing idea. Perhaps the person who thought of it has nothing to do with the making of the soap and sits at a desk all day. Or, since it is “artigianale,” made by artisans, perhaps not.

In any case, it brings to mind a certain street I used to take en route to language school, where I could see and hear the artisans at work, making frames, working with leather….chatting or singing as they worked, sometimes looking up to wave at the blonde American walking or riding by on her bicycle….

Made in Italy, with Joy. I guess in some ways I was made in Italy with joy. Those years were critical ones for my life, forming my faith in important ways. They opened the doors that led to my marriage and the life I have now.

And although my two years in Italy were not idyllic or struggle-free, they were full of an incredible amount of joy that made up for the other. I’m so thankful for my time in Italy.

Well, you won’t be surprised that I bought the soap. Soap wasn’t on my need list that day, and it’s rare that a material purchase brings me joy. But that one did!

How I would love to say with everything I make or do that it was made with joy. Maybe that’ll be my goal for this coming week. Feel free to join me.


And in case you're interested, this soap and others from Florence are available via Amazon, which is where I found the photo.


thebeloved said...

Thanks for coming by my blog! I looked over your profile and even this last post and was amazed at our similarity. I once wrote an entire essay on why I dislike shopping in general. I hope your day is beautiful and that you are surprised by joy constantly.

Nat said...

I am also very thankful for your two years in Italy! :)

(why does it seem to me it was longer than that??)

Be joyful, and clean..


Sheila said...

Why does it seem to me also that it was longer than that?

I think it has to do with the combination of youth (therefore, the percentage of time was longer compared to the total of life to that point) and intensity....For both of us, a lot was happening in those years....

Gioietta said...

I know I will never throw away that box because of that! Thinking of Italy always brings me joy, but especially thinking of you!