This is more or less copied from my journal which I wrote on December 30th, while I was in France. For those of you reading this who don’t know, when I was in 7th and 8th grade, my family moved to a town just outside of Paris, and I went to a part French, part international school there.
Today I’m writing just to write. I’m in France, visiting the Bazins (former French teacher when I lived there) and other people who happen to be here (Krystyna and Tierney later on today) and I’m having a very nice time. It’s made me notice that the weather in Bad Kleinen is…not very good. Even though it’s grey and chilly here, there are still more hours of light than there are of darkness.
It’s sort of funny to be thrust back into this group of people, this culture. It’s so…cultivated. And interested in the continuation of cultivation. It seems to me that the people in Bad Kleinen (and surroundings) are more interested in living just to live, and are fairly happy with what they have, where as the people here are always looking for more. Not more materialistically necessarily, but more knowledge, more success on a global level rather than a local level. Almost everyone I talk to in Germany tells me how much they value their free time. Given, there’s not a WHOLE lot to do in a place the size of Bad Kleinen, but the contrast between Germany and France is interesting for me to see. Conversations here in France are about art, cooking, school, studying, etc. How to CULTIVATE yourself to become a well-rounded person who knows about a lot of different things, just for the sake of it. In Germany it’s a different story. Cultivation is important to a certain extent, but it seems to me that it comes second. Time with the family, time to yourself, and time to relax are all very important. Resting is a fairly new concept for me, so I’m glad to be forced to do it a bit, but I don’t think I can spend my whole life resting, either. A mix between cultivation and rest would be ideal. Cultivation without rest is no fun because you can’t enjoy the cultivation if you aren’t at least a little bit rested. And without cultivation, rest is, well…boring.