Dear hearts, today's entry promises to be much shorter as whatever this experience is becoming has slowly shifted today and taken me into unchartered waters of spirit, time and heart. Part of this journey for me has been to sift and sort through the last few years of my life and the other journeys that have happened. Difficult terrain that when times were critical, I simply set aside to examine later. And I've done this work in Chicago, in the safe spaces of long talks with friends and within my own inner landscapes. But I also knew before leaving that there were areas that still needed to be uncovered, roots to pull up and decide whether they belonged and replanted or needed to go in the compost bin.
When I awoke today it was not in the best of spaces. A restless night and little sleep meant only 5 hours in bed and much of that interrupted with strange dreams of NYC and other places and spaces that hold me. Awake at 6am, I sip coffee on the patio and try to sort through my feelings. Remembering some lovely advice from a friend who reminds me to be curious and not judgmental...to just be with them. Around 9am, I realize that I need to fall back into bed and try to grab a little more sleep. Another thunderstorm rolls through and lulls me back into a more restful dreamworld and I awake at 11. Still feeling off, I decide to wander and hope that a walk will clear the cobwebs and murkiness that lingers. Is this the real jet lag?
I decide to walk away from the Duomo and the crowds that are gathering there. It's cooler outside today and I feel the need to find a neighborhood that doesn't have the energy of crowds. It takes me about ten minutes to find the quiet and shadows of back streets that aren't filled with the smell of leather. In fact, when I venture over what feels like the major road here, I found an amazing little walking bridge, actually several span a small waterway and I stop and just breathe in what it is to be here.
Heading home I stumble upon the Accademia and holy shit the crowds! And the hawkers of posters who are aggressive and shoving their wares at the tourist. Ooops, off to another side street. There's a small shop that has pottery tools in the window and small bits of hardware that I immediately fall in love with, but it's crowded so I'll go back another day.
Arriving home, I'm famished and nosh on some bread, cheese and salumi [see a pattern here?]. Since it is so cool I decide to go out for another walk and stumble upon the Botanic Gardens which proclaims to be the oldest botanic gardens in the world. I'm going to go back to tomorrow, maybe with sketchbook in hand. The building that surrounds it is painted this beautiful yellow ochre and when I touch it it comes off on my fingertips. Yes, I had to paint my skin with this!
Heading home I want to cook my meal and prepare a lovely salad with some fresh pasta stuffed with cheese and pinenuts [that I slather with fresh pesto from Conad]. So delicious!
It becomes a soulful time to contemplate and so much is bubbling to the surface, like little pops of memories and times stuffed away that need to be present. I just need a little quiet time to reflect and sort through these feelings and thoughts.
After a while I decided something sweet is in order because I've had some more limoncello with prosecco and well, the pistachio pastry is on my mind. But the shop is closed, which means I need to seek out something else. I'm not in the mood for gelato, so I end up wandering down a little street and sit down for a plate of tiramisu and red wine. Omigod the tiramisu! The restaurant is Masticabrodo Osteria on Via Borgo Allegri, 58r - go there, go there now.
Walking towards home I find an artist who has his studio open, correction, he's closing the studio but invites me in anyways. Once I tell him that I'm an artist the conversation opens and it's really quite beautiful. He invites me to come back in the morning and have coffee with him and discuss art. Yeah, so I'll be doing that in the morning. Now what am I supposed to bring him, if anything?