December 16, 2006
More on Europeans....
In case you're thinking me "stereotypical" after my recent post, I may as well continue. All of this insight is based on thirty years of experience and observation. Using that as a basis, additional thoughts here:
1. They buy you a present when you visit and stay with them rather than the other way around.
2. They often give another gift, the kind you would never expect, like a song, a trip to visit “special” friends, because they thought about a valuable connection or more.
3. On the gift part, it often involves a “huge” sharing of a piece of literature or music.
4. They want to dance in a dive, in a palace, anywhere.
5. When you share a new purchase (whether it is a pair of boots, a necklace or a dress), they take great interest in the purchase. They will often go a step further and ask about the kind of material, the designer, etc.
6. It takes a little longer for trust to develop, but when it does, you have a sense that they'll be around, they're comitted and not just for a short term conversation, deal or conversation.
7. They have less "junk" and "stuff" around them, but what they do have is often of higher quality.
8. I love the fact that their places, while often much smaller than American flats, are full of bookcases, music and interesting art regardless of how much money they make or their social economic status. It is an integral part of their life and it shows in their everyday conversation, their clothes, their knowledge and interest in literature, art, history, politics, music. And on and on.
And on and on.
December 15, 2006
The Thing About European Men
The thing about European men...................have you ever felt something so strongly that you just have to share it regardless of the response it may provoke. This is one of those things. Will it offend? Perhaps. As I was walking, eating and drinking today, these thoughts came to me in such urgency.
European men LOVE WOMEN -- as most recently expressed by French and Italian men in Paris. They love their essence, their walk, their talk, their energy, their feminine allure, all of it. More importantly, they LOVE them because they either understand them or MAKE an effort to try to. It's part of their culture.
A quick note before I get screamed at by all American and non-European heterosexual men, I'm talking about a cultural nuance that is so prevalent, that we feel it in our bones. It becomes them and vice versa if they're open to it.
American men LIKE women a lot, there is a ton of respect (often mutual) and they know how to fall IN LOVE. Our culture doesn't train them to LOVE women in the same way, in the same way American culture does not train us to LOVE food, wine, and the arts in the same way that European culture does.
A female friend of mine added this comment when I emailed her this very blog post before I went live with the post....(she is roughly my age, was married to an eastern European, lived in Europe for years and now lives in the East Bay). She says, "it's like their passions are more intense and present because they are inundated with less stimulus so they have more to give." I'll add, "you also feel as a woman that they want to give."
An American male friend of mine a few years older than me who has lived in Europe and speaks French adds this comment as he talks about how he feels when he treats a woman in a way that heightens her feminine core, "it's poetic and magic and dances, which we as a culture are almost completely uninterested in."
Hmmm, strong: I am not sure that I would have used the word uninterested, yet he is absolutely right. I don't use it here because I'm almost afraid to.
This realization and understanding is more real than any personal emotion I have ever felt between the sexes. It lingers over decades, it lingers over conversation, it lingers after a gentle kiss, a walk on the beach, a toast at a cafe, a picnic on a river....and it lingers over and over again.......
I still love the American male raw energy and masculinity. When they turn it on without approval from any other entity, business associate or buddy, it has so much power. Then, it becomes truly masculine. Then, it becomes sexy. Then, it becomes real. Ahhhh, yes, there is so much power in our own masculinity and feminity when we completely and authenticially embrace it rather than resist it.
September 10, 2004
Chrichton on Travels
Chrichton nails it. I have often referred to this quote over the years when I've "lived on the road" for months at a time or during a transition like this one. May the current direct experience last for months and months. I had forgotten just how drab the "comfort zone" really is.
"Often I go to some distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am. There is no mystery about why this should be so. Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of your food, your closet full of your clothes- with all this taken away you are forced into the direct experience. Such direct experience inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That is not always comfortable but it is always invigorating." Michael Crichton - Travels