italy

I mentioned Michaelangelo’s Jeremiah and David in the current (January 2021) Sanctuary page, and realized that I have not written about a trip to Italy many years ago (except to tell about my fear of heights!) or about the statue of David as a young man.

Michaelangelo’s statue of David in Florence is mesmerizing. First: it’s big and stands high. Then there’s the color, the eyes, the right hand, the sling, the left foot as it presses on the ground, the sinews. The more I looked at the details, the more I wanted to stay there and see nothing else in the vast museum, which is what I did. I presume there are millions of people who feel the same. Something like it happened in a small chapel in St. Mark’s Basilica and at the church of St. Anne in Jerusalem. I was beyond fortunate and blessed in the opportunities I had with work and of the ones I took wherever I went.

. David + Goliath + me in Jerusalem .

i had been to italy for work

but in 1999, I spent ten days on vacation: exploring, eating drawn-out meals, which I ❤️, trying foods I couldn’t pronounce let alone know what they were, crossing myself before crossing streets (frenzied drivers!), eating chestnuts throughout the day, every day. Buildings, art, fashion, statues, and history I expected — and soaked it all up — but the extracurriculars were just as tantalizing. Like the mime barely moving while a violin, somewhere, played The Godfather’s Theme. Gloves at Sermoneta near the Spanish Steps. Perfect tea and apple pie at Babington’s tea room. The acqua alta and snow in Venice, the subdued crowds and no traffic.

every second spent there was alive, moving, piercing

A place that’s alive is magnificent, homes and people too. Living doesn’t necessarily mean one is alive. Breathing does. It is that extra breath, the deeper kind that connects, that ushers in life. Yes, I chant.

“As exotic as destinations are, they are common. The children in silk coats were on their way to school just as a neighbor could be on my side of the world. How we see our surroundings, and our destiny within it, could alter our paths. We see what we want to see, and find no excitement at ten in the morning unless we want it and look for it with fervor.” The covers rode smoothly over her hips. Looking for comfort, she pressed her head on the pillow, and in a mix of sighs and whispers, continued, “We try to attain happiness when it is not attainable. It is elusive, like spores, and grows on its own.”

LIKE A BLUE THREAD — CAPRICIOUS AIR

The trip was a bit magical, although I must admit most of my work trips were. Many were once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. I also think that we experience what we are if/when we allow it. And I allowed and gave my soul free rein. In my private + convoluted world, cloudy and painful as it has been at times, the breath inside of me always saw the glass half full, the window open. Though I didn’t pick up the glass, or look out the window, often enough.

digression warning

I went searching for a Glass Half Full scribble of mine but did not find it. Instead, I found a boatload of answered writing prompts from who knows when, they are not dated.


april 15 — these are the things that women don’t know about love (A Writer’s Book of Days, by Judy Reeves)

I drew my head back. Something’s wrong with that prompt. Uh, women know everything there is to know about love. How absurd to think that women know everything there is to know about love. I am shocked at myself.

  1. Where it comes from
  2. How it gets there
  3. How it works
  4. How it changes
  5. Why it changes
  6. How many different ways it exists … like shoes
  7. How to end it, stop it
  8. How to take it out of the head, heart, skin
  9. How to give it to someone

I could write all night =>


It took reading it a few times to realize that I did not answer the prompt correctly, but answered it without the word don’t. Good grief. After the rant, I still couldn’t wrap my head around it — must be because if I don’t know, I would be unable to write about it, right? Although, as I re-read the answers, I see that, nevertheless, they apply because I don’t really know. I just know. How could I have ever thought I did?