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.