Travel: Italy (Day Two)

The day began with the sun glorifying the gold cross on top of the Duomo.

It was a wonderfully cool morning, so we walked up the street to Artigianale’s for a croissant and cappuccino. From there we made our way through the early morning bustle of the office workers and arrived at the Uffizi Gallery Florence precisely on schedule.

The Uffizi is like walking through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It just never stops. You will either suffer from Stendhal Syndrome (being overwhelmed by such wondrous works of art) or Florence Disease (simply by being overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of art.) And there is much to see.

And don’t forget to look up, because the ceilings are just as beautiful…

As we finished we stopped for some fizzy water then made our way to the Santa Croce Basilica. So much beauty…

We sat with this view and spent some time in prayer before walking the inside perimeter and seeing the side chapels. I had no idea. This is the place where some of the greatest minds in history have been buried. When I say greatest, I mean…

And many more. The floor is a maze of grave makers so worn that you can no longer read the names and for me, I found myself walking around them or between them so as not to “step” on anyone. From there we made our way into the church museum and again, just so much to see…

It was then that I simply decided to focus on one small detail of the works we were seeing. It allowed the opportunity to truly absorb a small piece of what was being offered.

All this could only be followed up by some tasty food, so we made our way over to Oinos Ristorante / Pizzeria where I had lots of water, Penne al Chianti, and a nice glass of Chianti. We went on from there just wandering the city where we encountered the boar at the Boar Market and found a nice glass of wine in Signorvino along the Arno River.

Of all that I’ve been amazed with outside of the city, art, and food, it is the mass of people. So many here to take pictures of what they see but it does not seem that they take it in. They are moving so fast that it is not possible to form any real attachment to the art or to understand it. That’s not a judgment, I just find myself standing in front one piece that “speaks” to me and not really worrying about the rest. Lectio Divina is the method of reading until the text elicits a response from you. Seems art should do the same. You don’t go until you’ve seen everything there is to offer, you go until something speaks and then you let it write its message on your heart. I’m going to remember this as I make my way through the next two weeks.

The day ended with the sun setting behind the duomo.

Buoyant note, amici!

Journal: November 4, 2021

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

Picture it: approximately 4:00 a.m. Sleeping peacefully in a queen size bed… all by your lonesome. Things are going well. Not too hot… not too cold. You’ve had the bed to yourself for several years, so you’re accustomed to roaming from one side to the other. This side is too hot… roll over to the to her… Ahhh…. nice and cool. Then tragedy strikes: at some point in the night, you’ve forgotten that you’ve rolled over to the other side and then there is the cat. The cat is hot. So, throughout the night you subconsciously move away from that precious little ball of fur (a.k.a. Her Royal Highness, the Queen of All that has Ever Been Created) and unbeknownst to you–Yes, Charlie, you’re on the very precipice of a 30 inch drop. What do you do? You roll over and…. “Shi……!” The first “whack” is to the head, right on the eyebrow and the second is to the shoulder. I do not recall the last time I fell off the bed (IF EVER!), but a few nights ago, I did just that. Even The Queen was embarrassed, although I did catch her laughing hysterically a few moments afterwards…. little bitc….. and now, here we are. I hope to go another fifty-six years without doing it again. By then, my bones will be so brittle that my skull will pop like a melon and I won’t have to endure a ridiculing cat!

The sabbatical, the great adventure on the Camino de Santiago… yeah. Probably not going to happen next year. Sigh. Still planning the trip to Rome and maybe even to Lisbon… definitely Rome. That one is already booked.

There has also been another project that I’ve been working on since December 20th last year with my friend (yes, I have one), The Rev. Sean Ekberg. Code word: COKO and I hope to be sharing with you soon as we’ve just about completed round one. We feel confident that this will be something for the entire Episcopal Church and pray that it will bring a bit of hope to us all… trust me: it’s good. It is very good! You’ll know it when it arrives and probably ask me to please stop promoting it. Enough! However, with that on its way, Fr. Anthony will have a bit more time to solve another murder. The Marble Finger must have its story told!

And I’ve picked up a new hobby… watercolors. This one is a challenge, but I find that I can do a bit of painting between other projects. Let’s the creative side have a walkabout without… I don’t know. It seems to go faster than writing, but I do need to be a bit more patient. Before putting a second color on top of another, there must be time for drying. Also, I’ve got to give the paints more time to do their thing as opposed to dabbing at it and spreading them. Leave them alone. They’ll spread on their on at their own time and make a much better picture. This is attempt #4 after watching a video. I actually kind of like it, but see the areas for improvement. I’ll keep practicing. Doesn’t really matter if you’re any good at this sort of thing. It really is about just enjoying the process and seeing what happens. Oh, and The Queen (she’s showing quite a bit in this post), she likes to drink the water that I wash the brush in. Weirdo. (Don’t tell her I said that.)

Thinking about going to NYC for a few days. Will take photos.

What I’ve learned: At some point, you have to start living. You can wait a lifetime to begin, but then that life will be over and you will be standing by the side of the desert road with your thumb stuck out while waiting for the ride that will never come. Start walking. Start walking and they’ll eventually find you and if your journey should take you into the desert where the cactus grow and the scorpions hunt… then watch your step and all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.

Thought for the day: Modo liceat vivere, est spes. While there’s life, there’s hope. — Terentius. Preaching on this Sunday. It is the one thing that didn’t escape out of the box, but it is what Jesus brings.

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