I am on a train heading toward Corniglia, a little village in the region of Cinqueterra, a group of tiny towns that hug the steep cliffs of northeastern Italy and look out to the Mediterranean Sea. I just spent a month in Venice and it cast its spell as usual with plenty to sway the senses, and for an artist like me, inspire with subject matter worthy of my paintings and photography. Venice—the aristocratic and storied European city with deep history that is unique for its absence of cars or street traffic. To go anywhere requires walking or a boat ride, and this way everything is seen leisurely, not just a blur. In the end, I found myself particularly captivated by the ephemeral flickering and trembling reflections of the city that were cast upon the water in the canals. It is like an emblem of the dream that Venice represents.
A week ago a friend from America visited and we went to a concert together. She was ill, and I paid no heed since I have always had the attitude that I don't get sick under any circumstances. I got sick. For a week now, I have had a cough with upper respiratory discomfort. Last night I barely slept for all the coughing. I had to wake early to catch an early train. My alarm did not go off but I woke at the last minute and managed to get my considerable luggage to the train station on time. And here is the kick: I dozed off and at Florence missed getting off to switch trains for La Spezia, so had to travel all the way to Rome. I am now heading back north to Pisa, La Spezia and then Corniglia. All while sick and at more cost. I managed to notify the people who are expecting me.