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.

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