April 12, 2017
The sun through my eyelids, closed against the glare of light, but such a warm kiss on my cheeks; an old friend. While I might see the glow of my own blood through closed lids, when I open them I see the delicate veins of the leaves with sun at their back, shifting restlessly in the morning breeze off the water. I am not home, but I am at home with this sun on my face and this Venetian breeze playing through my hair.
The accordion-playing busker, who never fails to say buongiorno and then juts his chin towards his sparsely-coined case, smiles when I say good morning in passable Italian, but cares more about the coin I haven't given than my returned salutation. Another troop of school children moves through the neighborhood unseen, yet their shrieks and the cajoling of their dutiful teachers follows me as I wander down the calle to the sea.
A Christ in Stone serenely watches the tourists trundle by, his thorn-crowned gaze seeing all their befuddlement and questioning gazes without actually ever catching their eye. The puzzled workman, renovating the Christ's church, shakes his head at my slightly, hoists his lumber onto his orange clad shoulder, and moves off about his business, surely forgetting the American with paper and pen as soon as he's turned the corner.
The undulating waves of the canal draw me closer, mesmerizing with their heaving and calling to me with briny breezes and small stinging flecks of spray from a passing tug. The maze of seaweed holds lost little crabs, trapped in the labyrinth of stubbled leaves, riding the waves and looking for a way out of the moving forest.
Venice moves with tides, following her mistress the moon in a never ending dance of push and pull. "Come to me", she siren sings, "and go from me so you can return again, fresh and new with eyes wide open." This is what the moments in Venice whisper to me: that I will return again and again to her water-woven streets and her stones covered in moss. Nature persists in even the hardest of places, and Venice calls to me like no other place. I feel the ebb and flow more clearly here, where water meets earth, where fire meets air; the cycles of of recharging and expending energy ever present in my life. I feel pulled to rest, and then pulled out of rest. I feel soothed and stimulated and both are needed to bring to birth the stories in my head.