Tuesday, April 24, 2007

once again

"I am happy here: when I or other have bruised my life, I close my eyes against the hurt and think of Rome; as possibility, and hope. And I feel more related to my environment and to my circumstances in Rome than I do anywhere else on earth; I am blessed, intensely delighted, satisfied, and reconciled. The world is lovable when the world is Rome. Everything good in my nature is nourished here. My body feels safe here. When I love the space around my body, I love my body. For the rest of my life I will love Rome and think better of my life for having known Rome. Rome, rooted and ethereal, stretching from earth to heaven, casts aside so little and embraces so much--there's room for me. It is everything; it is elegant, robust, common, spectacular, vulgar, exquisite, and above all rare...

Rome is all things high and low. It is like God, it accommodates so much."

-barbara grizzuti harrison, italian days

a slew of emails in my inbox from my rome classmates, among other things, brought me back into the reverie today. some days it's like treading water in memories.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


april 21: inaugural bikeride of the spring. woo woo! it's not even 1 PM on saturday and already this weekend is shaping up to be excellent.

I rode my bike to Target to make prints of our Rome photos, and on the way I saw my favorite bird for the first time this spring. inaugural favorite bird sighting! it's some kind of heron that lives in a pond near our house. i honestly have a crush on this bird, when I see it I feel all fluttery inside.

last night mike and I had buffalo wild wings for dinner and had excellent conversation. and tonight I'm going to visit valerie in the city and eat indian food. plus, it's so warm that maybe I will get to plant some seeds and stick my hands in the dirt this weekend.

seriously, YAY.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

wants and needs

things i have had cravings for recently:
+ v-8
+ perrier*
+ laura veirs "bright glittering gifts" played on repeat ad nauseam**
+ a real simple-style home with either no clutter, or rather-- gorgeous, art-directed clutter.
+ a sunny weekend morning to buy seeds and stick my hands into the earth

obviously some of those are easier to achieve than others. but there's a theme of sorts. i am craving a little sparkling, wholesome, pretty austerity. rome and working a lot put my schedule out of whack and life without a routine makes me a little antsy. hence the need for simple clean things.

* i'm now addicted to sparkling water. it's true. i have a "con gas" problem. and I love it.

** speaking of laura veirs. the new one, it's so good. the lyrics are perfect, the music has that laura veirsyness. i can't put my finger on it. it's like being alone on an ocean liner in the the middle of the night, the middle of the pacific, every star visible in the sky. it has that celestial coolness. so it comes highly recommended from me to you.

laura veirs and saltbreakers

plus, i feel really connected to her since I read something where she said she dreams a lot about whales. swoon!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Rome O Morte

people keep asking me what was my favorite part of the trip to Rome. what a loaded question. my favorite thing? just BEing there. walking around. the street signs and cobblestones and graffiti, just the physical geography of the place itself, tiny streets and the hills with their poetic singing names, janiculum, esquiline, capitoline.

despite the fact that I have not been there in more than five years, i barely needed to consult a map. i remember those streets, feel like I remember them somewhere deep inside me, as if my arteries had rearranged themselves into a map of the tiber, via del corso, the lungotevere. . .

anyway, it was a good trip. our apartment was perfectly located in the dead center of anywhere we wanted to go. i discovered the most perfect gelato combination (caffe and bacio, coffee and hazelnut/chocolate). bought pretty paper at the lovely Fabriano store. visited the caravaggios at San Luigi dei Francesi and Santa Maria del Popolo.

we rented bikes at villa borghese and raced around with my mom and little brother. we ate some of the best sandwiches, seriously, the sandwiches: breathtaking! stood in line for hours at the vatican museums talking to a pleasant retired couple from canada. i bought red shoes, and the ruffliest blouse you've ever seen, and a watercolor from a street vendor in piazza navona.

my italian improved daily. we learned to navigate the idiosyncratic roman ways of life, the giving of correct change, the proper way to cross a street. i was disappointed at how crowded it was, but the people-watching was phenomenal. i had the chance to spend some good time by myself, drawing at my favorite fountain, shopping, taking pictures in the early evening post-nap.

the last day I woke up early to photograph the ponte sant'angelo, and it was just me and a streetsweeper and the misty sunrise tiber. so maybe that's my favorite part of the trip. just me and the city.

I honestly feel as if I'm wading and dreaming through all of this. it was so charged with emotion before during and after that the actual experience feels cloudy. returning home was a rude awakening and I was surprised at how hard I cried. and it hasn't helped that I've been working 12 hour days this week, and we woke up to two inches of wet snow this mid-april morning. just feels like everything is floating around me. I'll get over it, I know, and part of me appreciates the feeling. but it's hard to reconcile the two worlds.

it was great though. having been back gives me a peace I haven't felt in a while.