Thursday, October 31, 2019

Pictures, You Need Pictures: Part 2: Rome

I'm sorry, ya'll. I'm sorry that I haven't kept up here. I haven't kept up really anywhere, and that's because I'm involved in a very ugly, very upsetting and very stressful post post divorce thing. That's all I can say about it, and I would appreciate all your good thoughts and wishes and metta for all those involved. I am bewildered and upset and disbelieving and depleted and very, very sad.

Onward to Rome.

Henry and I had an amazing time in Rome and Florence. We stayed in a friend's apartment near the Vatican. The building was about five stories and had one of those incredible cage elevators and the winding marble floored staircases.

Please take my picture in this elevator, I asked Henry.

Every room in the apartment looked out on the great dome of St. Peter's. I'm not kidding. As the kids say, "Ridic."

Those are my legs, profoundly weary from tromping about 20,000 steps a day in boots and sneakers that somehow didn't cushion the 56 year old caregiver body like they did 35 years ago.

Everything is so damn beautiful and big and ancient and filled with centuries of longing and strife and reaching toward beauty and the divine. And suffering.

Our own struggles aren't lessened by witnessing ruins of the past, but they are integrated into something much larger than ourselves.

Henry and I made some remarks in poor taste about St. Peter's Square and the Vatican. Mea Culpa.

We walked about a million miles a day, and I was usually trailing Henry, as evidenced by the photo below.

I bought a pink ring, and it perfectly matched the pillows on the purple sofa at our friend's apartment.

We ate pizza, pasta and gelato every day.

Shortly after the above photo, after we'd thrown our coins in the Trevi Fountain, we both had nervous breakdowns because of the crowds. Honestly, Reader, Rome is insanely crowded.

If you look closely, you get an idea of the hordes of people streaming down that central street toward the Spanish Steps. We are standing at the top of them, here, marveling at the view.

We got the heck out of Dodge, bypassing the crowds and roaming past the above door.

The skies were Felliniesque, big white clouds and blue.


I was there two weeks ago.

There WILL be a Part 3, I promise.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Pictures, You Need Pictures: Part 1: London and Just Outside of London

First of all, when I was planning this trip, my friend Sarah who hosted me asked me what I wanted to see. I told her that I wasn't interested in the royals or jewels, but I wanted to see Blake's drawings and watercolors at the Tate. THERE WAS A BLAKE RETROSPECTIVE AT THE TATE MODERN.

What are the chances?

 I might have geeked out seeing so much Blake in one place.

And the people in London were exceptionally London-like.

The show was so overwhelming that we went out into the country the next day. The country estate we visited was EXACTLY what I imagined the country to be like.  The house itself was old and shabby inside, and to be honest, I don't care much for fancy houses except the downstairs. I'm a downstairs kind of person, I declared. Sarah said that she would feel quite at home in charge. I imagined myself as Jane Eyre. Truly.

Did anyone else pretend that you were Jane Eyre, a poor orphan put upon by wicked relatives?

When we went to the "walled garden," I was Mary in "The Secret Garden." I realized how much these places lived in my imagination, put there by books and poems in a lifetime of reading. The apple orchard smelled like apples, something I bet you haven't really smelled in America unless you've been to one.

 Friends for more than 35 years, Sarah took complete and total care of me. Honestly, I was in a bit of a jet-lagged daze, and I vaguely remember having a bit of a mini, silent tantrum walking in the rain (Sarah agreed that I was quite a weather wimp), but she and her beautiful family.restored me. I am so very grateful for these dear and beautiful women friends I made so long ago.

Those are apples on the ground, and they smelled like apples.

Have you had enough?

Because there were sheep, too.

To top it all off, we went to a pub afterward and had beer with STEVE REED, my blogger friend that I've "known" for nearly ten years.

Honestly, it felt like Steve was someone I'd known for real for many years. We talked about books and Brexit (I still don't what the hell Brexit is and why it even happened in the first place, but then again, who the hell knows why we have Trump, either, and how the hell that happened) and movies and laughed and had such a good time.

Stay tuned for Part 2: London and then Part 3: Rome


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