Oh Venice, Italy, magic, mystery, city of dreams.
I remember you now, looking at these pictures, was it 2007 or 2008?
My daughter and me, traveling through Italy and Switzerland and France.
Did it really happen, or was it a dream?
Do these photos prove that it happened once upon a time?
I loved Venice, oh, yes, I did.
Some folks sneer their noses at memories of Venice whispering, “It stinks, it sinks, it’s disappearing into the sea, it’s awful!” but no, Kiah and I arrived in springtime, in May, and it rose above the Adriatic Sea, a jewel, a shining port, a masked beauty.
It didn’t stink in springtime with fetid water.
It bloomed with beauty, ancient beauty, heart-filling beauty.
No. It thrived, it danced, waiters flirted with my daughter freshly graduated from college, and I wandered in early morning deserted streets and despaired finding a “real” cup of coffee. They only offered tiny little cups, hardly coffee really, certainly not American coffee. You sipped and the espresso disappeared and you wept into your empty cup: WHERE IS MY REAL COFFEE? and then you pretended to be cool, like the Italians, and sighed, and ordered a another brew while you surveyed the pigeons in the streets and thought, “Hey, Michigan, where are you now, do you really exist?”
Today I am so busy. It’s 2012 and I have been A) at work and B) joining a blogging friend at the local coffee shop–maybe more about that later–if a photo turns out and C) heading to a school board meeting after a leftover dinner of curried lentils and cauliflower over rice.
Oh, and tending a sleepy knee replacement patient, exactly one week after surgery.
But the Universe has nudged me back to memories of Venice, yes, Venice, over the sea, an ancient island, a gondola-ride back into Medieval times, paddle lapping against the canal waters, memories going, going, almost gone.
Isn’t it funny how you can pause among long-ago photos and suddenly you’re there, almost there, in that green water, in that gondola, wondering how in the world you’re going to afford 80 euro (was it really 80 euro, Kiah where are you when I need facts?) for a gondola ride because you’ll remember it forever, forever, at least until 2012?
I wish my knee patient could someday wander in Venice with me, oh yes, please.
Have any of you visited Venice? Did you love it or were you there on a stinky day when the city fell even deeper into the lagoon, tilting toward disappearance beneath your gondola and your nose wrinkled because–pee-you!–the water is swallowing the buildings, eating them whole, devouring them, dining on ancient brick for dessert?
Memories disappear so quickly, don’t they?
Going, going, gone…
with only photos to prove we actually visited, actually trudged the cobblestone, actually snapped photos, actually dodged pigeons in the square.
P.S. If you like these photos, thank Kiah. I didn’t know how to use a camera back in these medieval days…