Ti va una tazza di te?

La vita e prena di opportunita...

Silvia handed me the book she had just written this in, ever so carefully above the first sentence on the first page.

I was touched that the memory of this book – a story that meant so much to her – came to mind after she had decided to meet with me. Touched even more that she would go out and buy me a copy of my own. The store had but a single English edition of the Italian novel, written by Italian journalist Tiziano Terzani - a chronicling of  his adventures throughout South East Asia in 1993, the year that a fortune teller in Hong Kong had marked him for death. A year that, in reality, left him feeling more alive than ever before.

The table wobbled beneath us as we spoke. Silvia was shorter than I was, 5'8'' maybe. Auburn hair that fell just below her ears. Her eyes had an orange glow to them when the light hit just right. And when it did, I saw an honest girl with an adventurous spirit searching for meaning in her own life, just as I am searching for meaning in mine.

Everything in life has become so easy, that we no longer take pleasure in anything. Tiziano Terzani wrote those words in 1995, and I think the truth in them rings even louder today. In our obsessive quest for speed and convenience, and the subsequent success in integrating those values – we have stripped life of the small details that make it worth living. The journey doesn't seem to matter like it used to. Convenience gives us control. And when we have control, life is no longer about seizing opportunities – it's about manufacturing them. If we slow down though – if we take a moment to think, we realize that this is only true if we wish it to be so. The details remain, as do the opportunities that life conjures up without our influence – whether you pay attention to them or not, is up to you.

Silvia took Tiziano's words to heart. I could see this in the way she lived her life – hear it in the stories she had told me. Keeping an ear to the ground, and an ever watchful eye on the world. Paying close attention to each and every opportunity that life has placed at her feet. Taking note of the little details that many of us tend to take for granted.

I'll say it once more... La vita e prena di opportunita. Life is full of opportunities. It's full of inspiring people, and intelligent conversation. It's full of details too. Don't forget to pay attention to them. For those very details – they give life a touch of poetry, don't they?

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