Florence, Day 16: Can I Get Any Sympathy? Anyone?

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But really, I’m not seeking sympathy at all. The truth is, none is needed. Though I’m full to the brim with information and tired in the bones, I am as happy as a clam here.

Today was my first day with my new teacher, Francesca, and she could not be more lovely. I’m so happy and filled with all the things I love, it’s as if I’m levitating. Still, it’s only 6:20 p.m. as I type this, and, without question, I’m in for the night. One has to pace all this wonderful with plenty of rest and a good book. (Currently reading the second book in the “Outlander” series and loving it!)

Francesca is more relaxed than some in Florence about all of the art “rules.” She is, after all, a painter. Also, she is Florentine and her work is beautiful like a photo. But she does not want to make me her, she says; you have to honor you, do what you like, in the way you like. So here I am, coming up against myself. Art and the making of great art is, after all, like life: Get out of your own way and let it happen. It’s about letting go of fear and trusting the process.

If I am here to learn — and I am — I must try new things. But (said using my hands like any good Italian), I long for my comfort zone. It’s like running with good shoes and shorts and a tank top on a hot summer day versus running with weights on your wrists and ankles in heavy sweats. One is more comfortable; the other might train you better. So here I am with the weights on and sweats, um, sweating it out so to speak.

I like Francesca and she has ideas to challenge me more, so I anticipate more sweat. Stay tuned “As the World Turns” or, OK, I really don’t have anything that dramatic, just some personal growth here. That is, after all, what I came for!

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