Ah the car attack from last year reared it's ugly head yesterday and sent my shoulder and arm into achy, numbing, tingling sensations again. Finding a pharmacy [farmacia] and getting a reusable icepack combined with Aleve have helped as it is better today. Typing is a bit of a struggle though.
I got up and wandered over to my new friend's art studio for a cup of coffee [Vlatko Vojnovic at Via Dell Oriuolo 17]. Making room for me in his little studio, I perched on a little stool as he went out for coffee. When he returns he shares his life story; artist at heart but engineered-trained, a tale of war, being shot, operation without anesthetic, concentration camp imprisonment for being a Christian, creating a business employing 600 women, moving to America, buying a home after first arriving with only $100 in his pocket, raising children in a foreign land, buying an ark of pets to help his children make friends, having not just one but two strokes, focusing on his art, his friend in Italy with whom he shares the studio, fixing it up and selling his work, life in Florence as a Serbian, being married for 41 years and how he now spends his time traveling and making his beautiful paintings.
I reciprocate with my own life stories and the hours seem to fly by [like 5 hours fly by]. In talking about his strokes, he mentions a spa where the treatment helped in tremendously. He could barely walk when he entered the place but after nearly 2 months of therapy and treatments, he broke his cane and walked out. I want to know where this place is located so I ask if he'll send me an email and hand him my artist card which includes a photo of my work on the back. This opened into a nice dialogue on my art which he liked. "It looks old, like something from Greece.", he says of the photo of my skull, "You could sell these here easily."
No, I'm not quite ready to pack up and move here....yet.
We discuss being self taught or formally trained and how so often art students have their creativity knocked out of them by the formal training. He says that Italian professors can be stingy with their knowledge on making art. He also shares something one of his professors said to him and I'll have to paraphrase here, but it was along the lines of that in life, we have these feathers stuck into us [ouch] but at a certain point it is our time to fly. For me, it touched upon the raw emotions I was experiencing yesterday and provided a metaphoric visual that was salve upon my heart.
He now insists on buying me empanadas for breakfast, mind you it's 2pm. So off he goes to get them, again insisting on being the host and taking care of me. The empanadas are quite tasty but way more than I think I can eat but afraid of seeming ungrateful, I eat them both.
Before I leave, I buy one painting and a look comes over him that shows me the young boy still inside, innocent and pleased, charming and appreciative.
The kindness I continue to find here is such a tender gift to receive. [thank you Universe]
I decide to do a late afternoon stroll before heading home and see what else I might discover before making dinner.