Saturday, June 16, 2007

Falling in Love

As you know, I've been hither and yon for a month now...a whole month! And, I've mostly enjoyed my adventures. I'm learning much about myself, as long distance travel does to anyone paying attention. I know I like people, but not hordes of them at once...smoking, ignoring your personal space and speaking a mile a minute in twelve languages, none of which I can understand. I enjoy meeting other travelers, hearing about their journeys and picking up travel tips. I do like seeing how people relate to one another, their sweethearts, their children, their elders. I enjoy the anonymity of solo travel, being a fly on the wall, yet I admit there are times I do feel lonely and realize there are moments where having a companion would make the experience even better. I love the open countrysides dotted with little villages, selling their local goods and sending out mysterious odors of delicacies to be tasted.

But until a couple of days ago, I haven't found a lover. Now I'm beginning to think I'm falling in love with an Italian beauty, full of life and warmth and grace. Although she's quite mature, she hasn't lost her youthful charm. She is lyrical in her movements, both day and night, with a rhythm all her own. She has a river running through her and a golden bridge that spans the centuries. Her children take after her, living life to the fullest, with a gracious appreciation for diversity and an acceptance of those who come hoping to share in her magic. She is mother to the greatest masterpieces of all time, yet she remains humble in offering the world her treasures. Her name is Firenze, Florence to us Westerners. You mustn't leave this world without coming to meet my new love, my Firenze.

My day at the Uffizi Museum was spectacular. I didn't know how I'd react to all the very Catholic artwork, but I viewed it in an historical sense. Looking at a painting that was created in the 2nd century or the 12th century requires more than a brief nod to Mary, Joseph and Jesus. It asks the mind to time travel back, to ask what life was like for the artist, for the wealthy Medicis, for the common people. It requires the mind to ask about oil and pigment and canvas and brushes and ladders or scaffolding for the massive size of some of them. It asks the mind to think how a cold piece of marble can resemble flesh and drapery and hair and expression. My mind and thoughts are overflowing, full to the brim.

And, oh, now on to more mundane, but oh so heavenly a topic....L*E*A*T*H*E*R.
Oh yeah, oh yeah, Italian leather. Florence knows how to woo me, yes she does.

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