Sunday, January 20, 2008

It's Sunday afternoon. Where were you two weeks ago right now?

One of the ways in which I keep my journeys on my mind is by reliving them. For a month or so after each trip, I find myself stopping at some point during each day, taking a look at my watch, and wondering to myself, "What was I doing four days ago/a week ago/a month ago at this time? Where was I? What was I eating for dinner two or three Sunday nights ago?" Another way I keep the journey alive is by looking at the photos and rereading the journal entries. I am never more than a few thoughts or images away from anyplace I have ever been in my life. (Another question that comes up often is this: How can anyone go through life, especially at times when one is traveling, without keeping a journal??? But that's a-whole-nother topic of conversation.)

Here are a few images I have turned to recently and a few of the things I remember about when the photos were taken.

This is a detail of the turtle fountain I set out to find for my daughter. Beautifully detailed. Look at those fingers fully extended. The tiny turtle legs and shells balanced precariously on the edge of the pool of water. Exquisite. Even in the rain. I would like to think that the turtles are happiest when it is raining.

This one is of my 3euro20cent cup of cinnamon and ginger ice cream from the Gelateria San Crispino - the same gelateria that Elizabeth Gilbert frequented in her four-month eating binge through Italy as described in Eat, Pray, Love. Ate my $5+ worth of ice cream while standing at the Trevi Fountain. Smiling all the while. Trying not to look totally insane - because, really, how happy can ice cream make somebody? Well, I'm here to tell you that that ice cream on a cold day in Rome is the perfect anecdote to whatever may be ailing you! Oh happy day, indeed!

Someday, way far in the distant future, when I either hit the lottery or find and sell a flawless 75 carat diamond buried in my backyard, I will own this furniture. I will place it in an apartment overlooking a quiet plaza on a quiet street in Madrid. First, I will have to have it delivered from the furniture store on the Via Tomacelli in Roma where I found it. Isn't that a gorgeous purple chair? Can't you picture me in it, journal in my lap, pen in hand, tea on a nearby table, wrapped in a lusciously thick equally purple chenille throw? Being that I neither play the lottery nor venture out into the dirt in my backyard with a shovel or pickax in hand, I can only conclude that the chances of such a dream becoming a reality are slim indeed. That'll be the day...

This is a shot taken of the Fendi store on my last night in Roma. On my final stroll up the Via Condotti. On my way to my hotel. Giving thanks for every step, every meal, every moment. Paying close attention to as many details as my hyper-alert senses took in. Bright lights. Big city. Crowds pressing in all around.

I looked behind me, and there was that great big belt wrapped around the building. It was the perfect metaphor for how I felt: that somehow a great big belt of safety, security, grace, peace, and joy had been buckled around me. Around the gift that is my life. Thanks be to God!

And if the belt weren't enough, just a few doors away was this shop with this bow. Perfect.

Oh what a night.
Oh what a journey.
I will never forget it... certainly not with all these photos and journal pages to remind me.


jmgb said...

i am coveting that chair! did you know that you would cause me to stumble. shame on you:)

covet, i do.

Laurie said...

Two weeks ago today I was still recovering from oral surgery. Pain medication, little sleep. Swollen face, crooked smile.Sort of chillin' all day and trying to gather courage to head off to work the next day.

GailNHB said...

It was not my intention to cause you to stumble, jmbg, or to bring up painful memories, Laurie. Sorry on both counts. I know the pain of lust for that which I cannot have as well as the severe discomfort of the aftermath of oral surgery. Neither of those memories brings a smile to my face. Again - sorry. I will say this: gelato has the power to ease both of those types of pain.