Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

When do you dream?

The Philadelphia traffic finally behind, I head west on a modern-day wagon trail.  The forests are dressed in a variety of tawny colors, a few daring souls flaunting scarlet or gold.  I imagine the pioneers making their ways along narrow paths with nothing but trees in all directions, perhaps some farms here and there, the dirt hard-won in battle with the rocks that in defeat form the stone fences.  Through the magic of the modern, I insert another disc and fall back into the world of the Indians that consumed me on my outward trip.  “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” batters my soul with familiar names and stories, tales of deceit and murder and promises broken and re-broken, of people hunted to their deaths, women and children slaughtered.  Two life styles and value systems on a collision course that doesn’t end well, that highlights greed and a conspicuous lack of honor, themes that echo yet today.  One of the men who tries to help is related to an online friend.  When I hear his name, I scribble it down on the pad I always have for notes and ideas so that I remember to mention it to her.  I wish I knew more about him and those few who dealt in good faith and honor.

Where do you dream?

Thirteen long hours to be filled with…what?  I drive, seeing, alert for traffic and possible situations, yet at the same time traveling through the late 1800’s mostly in the western half of the United States, knowing how it will end yet compelled to keep going.  By the time I surface, I’m back in Indiana, darkness falling literally as well as metaphorically.  Above, in the dark clouds and night ahead, there’s a slender riff, through which a bit of yellow gold shines dimly.  I feel as though I’ve been in two places at one time, emotionally wrung out, as if I’d been, if not a participant, at very least an observer.  I’ve fallen through that slit into another dimension.  Now I need to find how to return.  I need another dream; less nightmare, more joyful.

What fuels your dreams?

A short space of no emotion.  I need something soul-restoring.  I reach for “In Tuscany”, the not-exactly-a-sequel to “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “Bella Tuscany.”  The rift now opens to that mixture of old and new that is Italy.  Stories of olive-picking, of choosing cheeses and wines, of shared, hours-long dinners with friends, of restored homes and restored lives, of laughter and love and family.  Dreams of someone else that call me back.  Heal me. Pull me through the darkness towards home.  Make me want to find my own dreams once again.

Arriving tired, somewhat disoriented from my awake-dreaming, happy from time spent with a daughter and from being home with my husband, I fall in bed after eating and awaken to dreary, sullen skies and pouring rain, to bills and laundry and applesauce-making.

Time for new dreams for a new day.

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Italian Lessons

Lake Como languishes under summer sun,
        streets so narrow side mirrors risk their lives 
        and buses stop traffic
        lurching back and forth while rounding corners.

Cool gelato slides down grateful throats.
Ferries crisscross quiescent waters
	past stately, hidden villas	
	with magazine-ready gardens.

We brave torturous cobbles
	up steep slopes
	past tiny shops
	with sometimes dusty windows,
Relax with espressos at metal tables in the shade.

Bright jersey-ed cyclists with muscled calves fly by
	as juice runs down my fingers
	from sweet, prosciutto-wrapped melon.

You lick the juice,
	your smile promising more sweetness
	yet to come in our fan-cooled, shuttered room.

My chair, my woman cave, is surrounded by books, my full teacup, iPad, Kindle and other necessities such as my cell phone, in case someone actually calls.  I’m re-reading “Bella Tuscany” by Francis Mayes for the umpteenth time.  Yes, I’m one of those people who re-read books.  Most of the books I buy are books I’ve already read, books that I plan to keep, cherish and re-read many more times, whether in real book form (my favorite), Kindle (especially lovely for travel) or both.

This is the story of two books: one, part of a small series that I love; the other, part of a series I loved, then left. (more…)