It has been a month since since my daughter, grandson and I returned from Italy. I still think about that wonderful experience every day. Tonight’s creative project, a piece I called a travel keepsake, was inspired by a phrase our tour director, Fabiola, shared with us on our last day together.
Cogli l’Attimo is the Italian equivalent of Seize the Day. I looked up the literal translation. The phrase translates as “catch the moment”. When she shared the words with us on the bus, Fabi gave the meaning of “pick up the moment”.
I like that. Catch the moment, or pick up the moment, implies a couple of things.
These moments that tick by, one by one, can be elusive if I am not aware of them. It is so easy for the mind to swing between the past, that is unchangeable, to the future, that is unknown. Dwelling in either wastes energy and prevents me from picking up the present moment and enjoying what is unfolding now. Catching the moment shifts my attention, bringing awareness to the present.
And the phrase suggests that I have a choice. Catch, and pick up, are actions words. I can choose to bring my awareness to the present moment and I can choose to keep it there. When I pick something up, I examine it more closely, looking at the details. Or I put the object away…put it where it belongs. I like that thought too. Moments tucked away become memories.
Tonight’s artistic project was about picking up a moment, and creating a keepsake, a visual memory. Using the vintage encyclopedias, I removed a map of Italy, to use as a template , and a page of text about the country. I traced the outline of the country on white paper, and after cutting out my templates, traced the map on the page of text.
After cutting around the second set of tracings, I glued my new map of Italy onto a cream colored background paper, trimmed to fit into a vintage metal frame. I hand lettered the words Cogli l’Attimo across the map, and colored them in with a black prismacolor pencil.
This was a simple project, with deep meaning for me. I displayed the framed artwork with a little color print from the tiny Cinque Terre village of Monterosso, and a cute bowl from San Gimignano that was a gift from our wise director, Fabiola.
The grouping captures a moment, reminding me of the Italy trip and reminding me of the importance of cogli l’attimo.
I also remember that as Fabi was talking about cogli l’attimo, I was in and out of paying attention. An email had come into my phone that I was responding to, distracting me from the wisdom being offered. That email could have waited. I am glad that my daughter Elissa was giving her full attention to Fabi and filled in the narrative for me later.
I am grateful for this phrase. Let go of the past, including the self reproach I feel that I almost missed the sharing of the Italian expression. And let the future unfold. It is my choice. Catch the moment…now.