Here’s a bit from my journal while on vacation:
I’m thinking of the writers who had months long holidays to write and work and immerse themselves in the culture. Who took large ships to arrive in Italy, because planes did not exist. I’ve been thinking of those writers who called the many months they spent on these shores their ‘European tour’.
I wonder about the mosquitos along the Arno river in the spring, did they bother the writers? Did the same writers get colds and bat at the stinging blood suckers in the humid heat of the early evenings as they sat outside, enjoying Aperitivo time on their terrace? Did they stay up late, writing into the night, only to miss breakfast? Did they attempt to walk the streets during siesta and feel left out? Did they look at the line-up of tourist wrapped around the Duomo, waiting to get in, and feel average? Did they feel underwhelmed at how – even all these miles away – in a country without their language, they still found they were sheep and too many signs were written in English and the McDonald’s across the street from the Santa Maria Novella Train Stations is a slap in the face?
But did they go to the countryside, and feel the slight Italian breeze, wafting across grape vines, through the olive trees…did it wrap its arms around their anxieties and settle them? Did the moment, surrounded by rolling hills with Italian music floating nearby soothe them? Did the sip of local wine bring the dreamy, villa spotted countryside into view?
One of the things I love the most about seeing peoples pictures of their vacations, whether it’s to a different country or a few miles up the road, is the way they see the world.
Here are a few of the details of what I saw.