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The life aesthetic

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I was recently reading a beautifully written piece about the aesthetes of Tangier. I don’t think I have the financial robustness to be an aesthete of Tangier. I also question whether my knowledge of 18th-century Venetian artifacts is up to snuff. I know little of embellished Moroccan chests, the mid-17th-century painting of Luca Giordano, or Rococo-style gilded plastic sconces. As a potential aesthete of Tangier, I’m at something of a disadvantage.

Having said this, I do admire they way they have dropped out, removed themselves from dominant western culture. They appear to have snuggled themselves away, in a enclave, rich in the appreciation of beauty, craft and thought. Students of menswearism, such as ourselves, would surely be compensated intellectually a thousandfold from an extended stay in such a place. Nourished by a habitat in thrall to the life aesthetic.

The nearest I have come to this idyl involved a recent trip I took to Jersey. For all the protestations of the residents, the island remains, in the eyes of this visitor at least, impossibly radiant, inspiring and boasts a relaxed, introspective identity that celebrates familiarity and cosiness.

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In no small way, my perspective was informed by the bewitching generosity and warmth I was shown by my boo’s family, who reside on the island.  But more even than that, the diminutive size of Jersey, synthesizes a dependance on and an appreciation for others. A life lived side by side, in clemency. And while pockets of the mainland exhibit such characteristics, there is a spirit of cordiality, hospitality and intimacy in abundance in Jersey.

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My trip certainly provided me with restored sense of inspiration, a refreshed perspective on what’s important in life and an appreciation for what I’ve got, what I love and how to best to live.  If I was to drop out, I’d want to do it there. I think Jersey is my Tangier.

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