Passo coume lou vent7:12 PM
I was flipping through some old photos from St. Paul de Vence, and I was drawn to this photo because of the inscription on the sun dial. I quickly realized that the words were not in French, and just had to know what language it was.
I learned that "Passo coume lou vent" is Provençal (the dialect of Province circa 17th century) for "pass like the wind" or "passe comme le vent" in French. In the past, it was quite popular for sun dials to display Greek or Latin mottos reflecting the thoughts of it's artisan, or words of wisdom that reflect the philosophy of the epoch. It's impossible to know what year this sun dial was made in, but it's message reminds me of the Baroque philosophy on life, which spanned the 16th and 17th century. This period was marked by a struggle between two ideologies; the lingering optimism of the renaissance (think of great French Kings and exuberance) and the self-denying, modest lifestyle of the religious and church (think a life of solitude and seclusion). In effect, the population was fixated on both the richness and the curtness of life.
I ask myself how this applies today. We're still fixated on measuring time and enjoying each day (Carpe Diem)! We don't necessarily focus on death, but our culture is fixated on youth and self-preservation (i.e. anti-aging creams, cosmetic surgery, and working hard so that we leave our legacy behind). But I wonder if our society is too fear-driven that we miss the bigger picture. I think we've warmed up to the idea of being dissatisfied with today, and instead, we heavily rely on the promise of brighter days ahead when that isn't necessarily guaranteed (i.e. looking forward to Friday on a Monday).
Before I ramble on for too long... let me end by leaving you with a couple of "Carpe Diem" inspired quotes as a reminder of how amazing and powerful living in the present can be:
"The trick is to enjoy life. Don't wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead" - Marjorie Pay Hinckley
"Dream as if you will live forever; Live as if you will die today" - James Dean
"When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love" - Marcus Aurelius