Teenie and Meenie Do Europe.

Simple Abundances

Today, after about a week and a half of rain and grey skies and wind that ruins even the best of hair days (I am perpetually a lion), the sun is shining in Firenze and the birds are chirping and it’s lovely.

I saw a woman at the bus stop who was clearly sharing my sentiments. She moved out of the shade to stand in the sun and she turned so that she was facing the sun; she tilted her head just slightly up and the fainest little wisp of a smile appeared on her face as the sun warmed her. I loved this action of taking such pleasure in such a small, brief little moment of warmth and happiness. Perhaps it is the little things that count.

My phone got an operating system update recently, which brought with it a more sensitive autocorrect that is slowly ruining my life.

But the thing about this update that strikes me is the fact that on the lock screen, there are 2 clocks: one that states the time in my current location, and one that states the time in the EST zone. The latter is marked as “home”—some of the time. The rest of the time, there’s only one time displayed, and it’s the time zone I currently reside in. It’s like my phone can’t decide where home is either.


Alice is one of the coolest and weirdest people I’ve ever met. And Alice, I mean that in the nicest way possible. It’s one of the highest compliments I can pay. I am lucky to call her my good friend. And I just read something on her blog, something perfect and fitting and striking and wonderful: “Leaving is good. Returning is better.”

Something to Say

For a lot of reasons, this experience in Italy is very different for me. That much is very true and by now, I think, quite obvious. I don’t have time to write a lot of the time, and the rest of the time, I don’t have anything to say. But today I do. Have something to say. I don’t have the time to say it, but we all make choices.

I’ve actually been wanting to say part of this for awhile. But the whole lack of time thing got in the way.

I was listening to music on my flight into Florence from Madrid. Another thing that I think is obvious by now: music affects me quite profoundly. Anyway, I don’t remember anymore what I was listening to, but what I do remember is this: the music swelled just as the plane tilted slightly to the left as we headed towards Florence-Peretola Airport and I could see the rolling Tuscan hills and the cyprus trees and the red-brown villas that have come to mean “home” to me and God, I swear, my heart grew three sizes in that very instant.

I’ve been having a hard time lately with making up my mind about what comes next. People keep asking me what I’m doing next year, and the truth is, I don’t have a damn clue. I used to think I wouldn’t be able to go back the United States because I would leave one half of myself here. It’s true that Italy is half of my soul (it just is. Trust me here). But I think I recognize a little better now that I take that with me, wherever I go. 

Today I’m sitting the computer lab at school, trying to read a book about critical literary theory. It’s going really well, obviously. I opened youtube to play some music and one of the recommendations for my location was the following: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihVkimQMM4M

I know it’s in Italian, but listen to it. And watch it. It’s filmed in Rome. And I love it. It actually took my breath away. I froze with my chest expanded just staring and waiting and watching and loving. I love it so much. Rome, I mean. It makes me feel alive like nothing else—not that I feel dead otherwise, but even just the memories that these images trigger for me…there’s nothing like it. 

 I know that I am not losing half of myself. I know you play the hand you’re dealt. I know that I can’t stay. But damn, I wish that I could. I wish there were a way to have both. I’m afraid that I won’t come back to this place that has so wholly entangled me for 35 years. That terrifies me. Terrifies me. I can’t imagine a life like that and I don’t want that. But for so many reasons I can’t stay.

I think.