A Stone's Throw

practice your aim. you never know when you'll spy 2 birds at once.

Friday, November 18, 2005

a gem in the streets of the world

November 18 - Florence, Italy

Had I known that Forence is not called Florence in Italy it would have gone smoother trying to book a train to a place that doesn't exist in the computer. Rome was Rome. Napels was Napels. Milan was Milan. Florence was Firenze. Who knew? Someone who took the time to buy a guide book probably.

I arrived in mid-afternoon to what I think is nearly the most charming city I've ever been in. Oh, there is the grand stature of Rome, the welcoming plazzas of Barcelona, the old history of London, but there is something about Florence. Something that almost has art stenciled on it. I've read that many great artists over time have traveled and upon visiting Florence have decided thier journey was over. It doesn't get much more inspirational than this.

I wonder perhaps if it is Italy itself? A place of calm weather, good wine, heaps of food, and since the body is fed so well, the spirit takes upon itself to just let loose with the artistic outpouring. I fear the Italians have heard this sentiment before, so I don't think I'm original in that vein.

I don't quite feel like writing about the details of Florence yet. I've only had a few hours before it came to be night, but the feeling I recieve as I wander the streets, view the river Arno, and marvel at the mighty Duomo is just incredible.

Strange though. Or better yet, intoxicatingly interesting. On the road that I am staying, a block away I met a mastercraftsman who works in making masks. The sort you see at carnivals, masquerades, movies like Eyes Wide Shut. I wandered down this small alley-like road and just found myself in his workshop. It was like waking up and finding yourself on the set of some strange esoteric film or the backstage of a European theatre. I was absolutely stunned. I've been thinking on this artform and searching for this exact person for the last year and here he was simply sitting at a workbench painting a new mask. We talked for a time and agreed to meet tomorrow, but I find it constantly amazing how life spins. And how questions are answered.

The most wonderful part is that tomorrow is yet another day.

- a c-note


  • At 1:03 PM , Blogger Patchalito said...

    Wow, it is amazing how people set footprints in your life that may cause you to take a different path, or, just modify your own. What a great experience? Where are you sleeping throughout this journey? Hostels? Are the people in Italy as beautiful as a stary eyed admiring american would expect?

  • At 2:48 PM , Blogger Caleb said...

    hey man, you happened to catch me when I found a free internet site. a very rare day to be sure. my sleep is found somewhere between when the last straglers from the clubs hit the room to when the early risers get up and begin their hour-long journey through their backpacks.

    I have stayed at hostels largely, some hotels, slept in some dodgy airports, bunked on on a beach. Im alive and kicking, so it's all been good. Got some now aches and pains though. Whew.

    As for the people in Italy, the women are quite stunning. Thin, great posture, absolutely enormous sunglasses that are right out of the 80's. The guys dress strange. Tan leather shoes with blue suits, lots of vibrant scarves, quite effeminate really. It could make you wonder about their dedication to thier women.

  • At 10:19 AM , Blogger Cor said...

    I think I should start saving now for my own Italy trip. Glad you're doing well. Niall will be joining you on the European continent today (after I take him to O'Hare, that is). The little woman and I are heading for MN tomorrow for the traditional Thanksgiving gorging. Hope you enjoy your very untraditional holiday.

  • At 6:35 PM , Anonymous Birdie said...

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We are in a rreal Dakota blizzard...50 mpr wind and lots of snow! I am working on the mask question for your consideration. Watching and awaiting your arrival.

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