10 January 2012

Arzigogolare: let your mind wander

My favorite olive tree at Florence's Giardino delle Rose (Rose Garden), the perfect place to 'arzigogolare'.

Welcome to the new 'Arzigogolare', a collection of writings that began three years ago as a followup to The Piazzas of Florence, a book inspired by my adopted city.

In the initial entry, I explained how I came to chose the word 'arzigogolare' for my blog:
"I am still trying to grasp the exact meaning of ‘arzigogolare’, a word I came across when I was first learning Italian. My textbook translated the verb as ‘to let one’s mind wander’, though it’s also linked to other, more negative meanings (to quibble, to build castles in the air). I was fascinated by the word’s zing, by the connotations of daydreaming, and while I have since discovered that not everyone considers ‘letting your mind wander’ to be a worthy pursuit, I do believe it’s essential for a creative life.
So enamored was I of the unusual verb that the opening chapter of the book that would later become The Piazza of Florence was originally entitled ‘Arzigogolare’. The name seemed to reflect the receptive state of mind needed for recording one’s travels, which had been the focus of the first chapter. As the book changed and evolved, however, the word no longer seemed to have a place; it retreated to the back of my mind, waiting for the right time."

The time seemed right when I chose 'Arzigogolare' as the place to collect 'everyday reflections inspired by the city of Florence'. In the years since The Piazzas of Florence was published, my focus has shifted back into the studio after a long period spent mainly writing, but the concept of 'arzigogolare' still very much applies to how I work and how I create. I have many exciting projects planned for 2012, and look forward to sharing them in this space. It may take some time to get my bearings in this new 'environment', but I am excited to see how Arzigogolare will evolve.

To see the original Arzigogolare entry, please click HERE.

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