“There is no place on earth more exuberant than Venice on a breezy, hot, cloudless, day. The boats rock and swell in the Lagoon as if launching themselves, crewless, on adventure; the ornate facades brighten in the sunlight; the water smells fresh, for once. The whole city puffs up like a sail, a boat dancing unmoored, ready to float off. The waves at the edge of the Piazza di San Marco became raucous in the wake of the speedboats, producing a festive but vulgar music like the dash of cymbals. In Amsterdam, Venice of North, this jubilant weather would have made the city sparkle with renewed purpose. Here, it ended by showing the cracks in the perfection – . . .” The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova.
I do love exuberance. What atmosphere do you like best?
I was delighted last year to stumble over the work of Kay Jamieson who researches exuberance – mainly in scientists.
This piece in The Historian led me to reflect how inarticulate we are at describing the atmosphere that we prefer. We probably fumble toward what we like and when we have the chance, attempt to re-create what we enjoyed in the past. We probably recognize quite easily the surface features of what we enjoy. But do we understand the deep structure that allows these surface features to emerge?
Kay Jamieson studies exuberance in individuals. Saying it is OK to be exuberant is probably one of part of deep structure we need. What are others? To recreate an exuberant atmosphere – or the atmosphere we prefer.
And your preference is . . .:
Kay Jamieson on exuberance