Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sardinia Journal III: The Life Force

the results of Sardinian tweeting (photograph by Hallie Cohen)

A sponsored article in The Guardian, "Does Sardinia hold the secret of a long life?"asks and goes on to point out that "According to records, the small Italian island of Sardinia has the highest percentage of people to live 100 years or beyond." The article tries to figure out reasons and concludes that it may be a glass a day of the local wine that's responsible for the longevity, but certainly it isn't the names of towns on the Western coast, tongue twisters like Magomadas and Tresnuraghes that add to life expectancy. Another thing that may account for Sardinian longevity may be the esprit of the populace. Sardinia is naturally still a part of Italy, but it exudes the kind of pride in place that you find amongst the Basques, though Sardinian "nationalism" appears to be harnessed to a more peaceful end. For instance, take the wine that's produced from Malvasian grapes and for which Sardinians are justly proud; its uniqueness is the result of the mistral and the salt sea, which prevents the kind of fungus that results from humid conditions in other places. Sardinian tourism is growing, but Sardinia itself is still far enough from the madding crowd to preserve its own integrity and the pleasures the island has to offer are enhanced by the ethos of moderation. It's not that the culture is lacking in its own aspiration. Rather the ambition is inward turning in such a way that cultivates a peaceful form of pride, a self-love that's manifested in the pleasure the inhabitants take in their way of life. The chorus of birds tweeting outside the church in Tresnuraghes gives Handel's Hallelujuh Chorus a run for the money, which may be another testament to the Shavian life force that seems to underlie the Sardinian sensibility. However, watch out if you are interested in the kind of tweets that come from the internet, hooking up to which can be a chancy prospect on this wind swept island.

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