Tag Archives: husband

Florence, Day 18-19: Travel, the Great Teacher

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Working in “my office” today

It’s not just the sheer joy of it; it’s the expansion inside you. The growth of knowing something different. Simply put, I have never met a seeker who sets out on a journey and ends up regretting that choice.

My sweetie arrived yesterday. I was so genuinely giddy to see him. Not that I minded my time alone; in fact, it’s something I have come to understand about myself, that I need and completely enjoy time by myself, but with someone fantastic, the sharing is oh-so-sweet as well. Catching up, sharing “my city” and what I’ve learned with my partner — what a gift. As I poured through my sketchbook with him, he commented, “It’s got to affect you — I mean, your work.” Yes, indeed, it has, and it will.

Today was also my last day of class. I guess I’m feeling reflective. Three weeks and three fantastic teachers later, I’m affected. And with little time to think of it, it’s now as I type that I ponder. Tonight is a great and simple example. We were both tired, my love and I. A city can wear you out. So I offered to go to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for dinner in. Walking the route to my grocery store was wonderfully simple and familiar. I’ve come to form an intimacy with this city. A slight peeling beyond the surface.

The sun was shining low in the sky and the shutters, tabernacles, frescos and architecture I passed along the way were fondly familiar. It occurred to me that it’s this becoming acquainted with the new, this change in culture and routine and way of working — that, that, is the best bit of going away. To be able to see your passion, your life and work in that new context is a gift. The gift of shaking it all up so you can rearrange things back in place on your terms with the backdrop of the new, the knowledge. Each journey in life both near and far is a teacher; it’s only our job to be good students. I hope I have been that.

I’ve certainly had great teachers. To Enrico, Bennedetta and Francesca, a deep bow of gratitude: You’re all wonderfully talented, and I have big respect for each of you. thank you!

To the city of Florence, you also are a teacher of all who seek to know you. I’m not leaving the city for several more days; I’m not done here. And I’m not yet ready to come home (no matter how much I miss my sweet pup). It’s off to clear my head in the mountains and the sea, reflect and watch where these new seeds will take me, with my partner by my side. The seeking and learning is not over, but to all the teachers who so generously give of their knowledge — in particular, my teachers on this particular journey — a deep, deep bow of appreciation!

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The grand old king of cities, Florence

Florence, Day 17: Awaiting My Sweetie

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Art, food, wine, coffee, museums, history … fKeep it coming, Florence! I’m loving it!

I’m a bit baffled that it has already been 17 days. Time does indeed fly. My husband is en route to join me as I type this, and I am truly excited about that.

Being in the moment is the only cure for time flying. You really only have right now. Right now, I’m sitting in my freshly cleaned (if a bit wilted) apartment, with a pleasant warm breeze floating in as day turns to night. I can see a magnificent sky as the sun contemplates setting. I’m enjoying a glass of Chianti and dark chocolate, thinking about making that Caprese salad I’m going to enjoy in a bit, with basil I’ve been growing on my windowsill. I had hopes of cooking while I was here, but why? The food out there is too good and easy to come by, so rarely do I eat at home.

Tomorrow night I will take my love to either the Piazza Michelangelo or Fiesole to watch this grand display and let someone else prepare the food. Tonight, however, I will rest up; before you know it, I will be a “tour guide” sharing “my” city with my sweetie.

But it is not my city. I’m just an admirer here, a passerby, like so many who come here to Florence to study, to visit and to let the extreme grandeur of its past wash over our present in hopes of making a better tomorrow. That is why we come, to brush elbows with a truly epic time in history when some of the world’s all0time greatest minds were here in this, not-so-big Tuscan town. In the span of just over 200 years, this city, truly — without putting them on this pedestal I warn of — was home to genius. Dante, Galileo, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Giotto, Donatello and Botticelli to name just a few. Poets, writers, painters, sculptors and all artists have been drawn here ever since. So does the city rub off on you? Of course. But still, it is a pilgrimage. You have to remember, everywhere you go, there you are.

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To the far left, that tiny figure sitting along the wall — that’s me, working!

So today, there I was. I’m still more a studio painter than a plein air one. There is nothing like being outside, but it is more difficult — to get comfortable, to have what you need, to work with ease. Francesca is a great teacher and she pushes me.

Today we went to the Arno to paint the river and the Ponte Vecchio. We alternated between the view along the edge of the river and the comfort of the park nearby.

I don’t, I feel, do my best work in plein air. It’s ideas, feelings; I’m planting the seeds of that will sprout later in my studio. But it was lovely, a “romanticized” thing to do, to sit along the River Arno and create.

I’m working differently here; the architecture of a city and the smaller sizes require more detail, more study. It is, after all, the Florentine way. Francesca, though, is all about the feeling and less concerned about detail, a perfect way to wrap up my Florence study.

Tomorrow I am off from “school” to pick up my hubby at the airport and settle him in. I will take a few more breaks from blogging as well. For everything there is a season.

As I sit here reflecting, I wonder, what were the trips that changed or most influenced you? I know there are many stories out there because places are like people — they affect you!

The sky tonight from my apartment!

The sky tonight from my apartment!