Sunday, September 27, 2015

Imagine Vividly

Gondola traffic in a narrow canal.
For many years now, when I awake from sleep I do not remember dreams. There was a time when I remembered and wrote prolifically in a dream journal. These days, perhaps my entire life is a journal and is not separated by boundaries—what happens in sleep is simply rolled into waking consciousness and woven into creativity. In conscious thought I imagine vividly.

Now, living in Venice, Italy, the waking hours are even more remarkably like fantasy. A huge window is in my kitchen and the first thing in the morning, I look out upon a small bridge that crosses over a canal below, which is often traveled by gondolas, the way it has been for centuries. Further on is a 1000 yer old stone paved campo lined with little shops and honored with an ancient church that sounds wonderful bell chimes.

When I first arrived in Venice, I bought a vaporetto (water-bus)  pass, but have hardly used it since I walk and explore. It is remarkable how little changed the city is from the last time I visited in 2008. Elegant instrumental groups continue holding court in the evenings at cafes on St. Marks Square, the Doges Palace gleams with gold mosaics, tourists from everywhere pour through the streets and empty starry-eyed onto the campos, and the air feels the same with a slightly pungent smell of sea and canals. One thing has changed and that is that many people are addicted to “selfies,” and walk around with smartphones attached to long rods taking videos of themselves as they go from place to place. They can't take their eyes off of themselves and I wonder how they see anything else!
Tourists, completely tuned into cameras.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Being Italian

"Saluto a Venezia" oil on linen, 16 x 12inches

It is wonderful to hear church bells chiming and the sounds of children laughing and shouting gleefully, with an occasional scream as an exclamation point. These pronouncements of life waft in my open window each day as I live beside the square with its ancient church in Venice, Italy. The area is called Campo San Giacomo 'Dall Orio. The sestieri (neighborhood) is called Santa Croce, and is in one of the oldest parts of Venice—the church goes back to 1200 AD.

I have been here a week and the days seem to race by too quickly—I feel my time is limited and want to slow them. I wake up, make breakfast, begin painting or go for a walk, and photograph. I shop for food, or meet my friend Cristiana. Always something to do and in fact, I have projects on hold. All this, and sometimes I just stop to absorb and assimilate into “being Italian.”

My first painting is complete, and I have good photos; with more to come.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Start Fresh

It is time to cross the water. I am willing to start fresh, be as nothing and merge with everything. To be surprised and live in a floating world. To hear my heart sing and join a strange chorus. To walk the path less traveled until shoes wear thin. To let light pour into my eyes until they overflow with gladness.

My journey from Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA to Venice, Italy, started last night when my beloved daughter Sarah drove me to my hotel at the airport. Today I board three flights: to Dallas, Texas, on to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and then to Venice. About 18 hours total travel time. Venice is 9 hours ahead of New Mexico, so if it is 1:00 in US it is 10:00 in Italy. My friend Terese has counseled me to do nothing for a few days when I arrive—just sink in to the newness. I know my tendency is to jump into the excitement of photography, writing and painting, but her words echo in my mind, and I will most likely listen to them.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Winds Of Change

The winds of change continually blow over the ocean of my being. A wave has formed and is carrying me to a distant shore. I see that it has gathered force and is sweeping everything in its path: soon I will no longer be living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, but instead, Venice, Italy . . . and from there probably Asia and South America.

The time this happened before, I wrote some blogs in advance that are worthy of review:

Depend On Love

Traveling Around The Sun


Grand Confusion