Sunday, January 7, 2018

Colours of Italy

My daughter got home late Friday night, and it's been pretty cute to see Little Girl's response, so happy to have her Mama back home. And requiring that all care and carrying, feeding and fetching, come from her Mama, Papa's services grudgingly accepted in a pinch, and Nana standing waaaay back.  Still, I've been able to enjoy watching the three of them together, and we had a couple of good outings, dinner at a local sushi place (not what most visitors to Italy are going to be eating, but these guys are so glad to see some decent ethnic food coming on the scene. . . ). I baked up a batch of cinnamon buns, my daughter made some fabulous tomato soup, and, finally a few hours ago, I packed up my suitcase, double-checked my tickets, and started readying myself for tomorrow's departure.
I'm not expecting tears, but I may be ambushed at the station when my daughter and granddaughter drop me at Roma Termini. I'll remind myself that I've had three weeks with my Three, and that I'll be seeing the family again in June. And then I'll be off on my own for a few days before flying home.
On tomorrow's train ride, I'll reflect on the past few weeks here. It hasn't been a holiday, not a vacation at all, but travel for a purpose. Enjoyable, rich, frustrating, confusing, inspiring, and a plethora of other adjectives I'll be chasing down in my journal. 
I've already begun organizing the many photos I've taken. Today's selection is all about colour, for me at least, about colour found in the daily rounds in some unexpected and decidedly unglamorous places. Top photo: a rusting water-fountain (nasone) against a sun-streaked, stuccoed wall; next: that truck's minty green against the lift's rusty orange, the gritty muscularity of the vehicle; below: two photos of a graffitied wall on a fenced-off portion of the beach, the faded graphics of the tin can that's been caught up in the wire fencing, none of it romantic, even against that sky, and yet. . .
And then this photo above, the way the yellow skips, like a stone across the water, from the garbage-can lid on the left to that car to that roof. . . .

And below, one town over, out for a walk on my own, these shutters, in a building that's the same age as I am, if I remember my Roman numerals correctly (click to zoom. . . )
So as you might guess, although I'll be leaving Italy tomorrow,  I'll be bringing us all back there in upcoming posts once I'm back home. Hope you won't mind. . .

And I'm curious, as I sign off: do you often find that it takes some time for a trip's reverberations to settle? does your narration of it change with time? do you understand parts of the trip better, weeks or months or even years later, than you were able to at the time? Or is that just me? 

35 comments:

  1. Oh yes. Of course, it depends on the trip. Sometimes I come home and feel unsettled and out of sorts, sometimes I am simply pleased to be back again. Trips far away tend to make me feel rather unwilling to resume my normal life and normal horizons for a while. I've been eating different food, seeing different skies, trying different things and I don't want to return to how it was. But it tends to pass because there is nothing sadder than somebody coming back and acting as if they were someone else, somewhere else. Like people who start saying food words with very explicit accents or dropping foreign words into their normal conversation. I get it: you went to Verona. Grazie. But the saddest thing would be never to want to travel at all. Small world, little time. I found my travel journal that I wrote when I went on a trip to China years ago - things I had forgotten in there and I am glad I decided to write it all down, the good and the bad.

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    1. Interesting. I don't know that I ever feel out of sorts on returning home, although it can often take time to integrate what I've experienced -- then that becomes part of my "normal life," I suppose.
      I'm happy looking through old travel journals as well -- good and the bad, as you say.

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    2. You are saying food words in a very explicit "accent" if you are pronouncing Italian words in English. Nothing wrong with that, but other languages are equally valid and you have an explicit accent when abroad, and even in other parts of the English-speaking world.

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  2. My daughter and family lived abroad for the first five years of my grandchildren's lives. I often made the continent spanning trips to help out and to remain relevant in my grandchildren's lives. They returned to the states last year, enabling more frequent contact. I am so very happy that I made the effort to pitch in and be a familiar presence in their lives. The travel was often daunting, necessitating 3-4 flights and great expense. It was worth it all. I have come to realize this with time. Not only do I really know my grandchildren, I also know my daughter's daily life on a much more intimate level. I am trying to live my day to day life in a way that aligns with my core values. As family is a core value, I feel a deep joy integrating values/resources/ and actions. With time, those many trips have mellowed into a delicious and cohesive stew in my memory.

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    1. I'm glad to read this -- I'm determined to make a similar effort, although I have to balance travel to that g'daughter with time for the 5 g'kids who live nearby. We won't manage 3 or 4 flights a year, but I'm hoping to keep up a twice-a-year schedule, and they come this way once. We know, by our stage of life, how quickly those years pass. "delicious and cohesive stew" -- lovely!

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    2. Mater, Italian lessons? Not telling you what to do - perish the thought! - but it could further enhance your experience when you are going to so much trouble. A close friend of mine has returned to Argentina for the Austral summer - she loves being "back home" (she was a refugee from the dictatorship) and naturally hates our winters here. However, she is finding the actual journey from end to end of the Americas very tiring.

      I want to thank you again for these wonderful vignettes of everyday life in Lazio, including Rome and one of the many nearby towns.

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  3. I liked your description of the skipping yellow stone in that photo.

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  4. I’m just so glad I kept a journal on our travels . Sitting scribbling away , usually in bed with hubbie already asleep beside me , wasn’t always easy , but if I hadn’t done it then so many small details would have slipped away . Pictures are good but they don’t record scents , flavours , conversations & , above all , feelings . Reading them now I think what energy we had & we were quite brave too at times ! As you are . I’m glad the cold has left you , enjoy the rest of your travels .
    Wendy in York

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    1. I feel the same way about travel-journalling, Wendy, so many details I would have lost.

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  5. Yes,always!
    There are some things,emotions,situations.....I liked more later in memories ,when I'm back home, than in the real travel life.
    Lovely colours,you always find beauty in interesting places
    Dottoressa

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    1. Thanks, Dottoressa. There is so much beauty in the world, isn't there?

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  6. I love the colors and the decay. Something deeply resonant about these images. I find that what remains for me about travel are little moments that carry strong emotion: wild wind by an unfamiliar sea, a moment of kindness from a stranger.

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    1. For me too. Those small vignettes . . .

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  7. I have enjoyed the piggy-back visit to Rome and beyond. Do you know how much that generosity is appreciated?
    I hope your coming home is smooth, and yes, my understanding/memory/sense of a place adjusts as I move away from it and back into my everyday world.

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  8. It sometimes takes time and distance to reflect on a trip. The yellow of the shutters
    is beautiful. Have a safe journey!

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    1. Isn't that yellow cheery? I've never seen it for shutters before.

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    2. I've seen yellow shutters like that in Perugia, and many buildings like that one, just outside the historic centre. Unfortunately, I can only read the first three numerals on the building, but I already knew that it was from the 20th century.

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  9. Our Washington DC holiday trip was supposed to be a much needed break, but older son was quite sick and the weather was terrible. Were were glad to be there and help. but returned home tired both physically and mentally. I find as I get older it takes longer to digest a trip and find its true value. We hope to travel more this year, so we will see if that concept holds true.

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    1. Yes, and do you find, as I do, that with age the displacements seem to exact a slightly greater toll . . . the differences from home, the compromises in routine. .

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    2. One thing I'd find very difficult now is sharing a room, especially if working at or attending a conference, unless it is my companion of the time or a very close friend. I miss Italy and France as much as I do Québec, so the differences are ever-present.

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  10. On some trips I was so busy planning or organizing, choosing between alternatives and mourning missed opportunities that I failed to really be present in the moment. Quite often it was only in retrospect that the beauty of certain situations unfolded when I relived them in my memory. I wonder if I can still learn to do better. Next week I'll have a chance to try...

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    1. Oh, I do wish our schedules could have coordinated next week!

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  11. Agree completely - a bit of time/distance can help me realize how meaningful a trip was. This also applies to other experiences - gallery visits, performances, etc.

    Safe travels, Mater!

    ceci

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    1. It's true -- I think of what Wordsworth said about "emotion recollected in tranquility" -- he was speaking of what makes poetry, of course, but still. . .

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  12. All the best on your journey starting tomorrow! Yes, I do find that time changes my feeling about a trip. My experience of a place always seems to improve with aging, like a fine wine I suppose.

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    1. Thanks! The train journey went very well, although it included no fine wine ;-)

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  13. I am not on IG, but I couldn't resist your guessing game. You are at Chambéry right now, looking at four half elephants. By the way, did you see the Bernini Elephant at the back of the Pantheon on your short trip to Rome? I love his smile.

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    1. You were the first to guess! Do you know that the fountain is referred to locally as Les 4 Sans Culs?! (for the other, not necessarily better, other halves). I didn't get to see that Bernini Elephant this visit thanks to the stormy weather, but I stood and sketched it a few visits ago. Its smile makes me smile too.

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  14. Having just seen the awful weather news for the Swiss,Italian and French Alps and difficult rail travel I wanted to wish you a safe journey.Hope you are warm and well. Born voyage!

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    1. I think I must have been just ahead of the storm -- I did worry about my leather boots, which have inadequate soles if there had been ice and snow to walk through on my way to the hotel. All went well, though. Thank you!

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  15. Yes, I definitely find that it takes some time for the experiences of a trip (or any out of the workaday event) to settle and for the brightest spots to come to the fore. Sometimes it is in looking back through the photos that these emerge most clearly, especially if I am writing a blog post or the like. Then I wonder whether I am scripting a whole new reality...

    Lovely photos and I love the Follow the Yellow backstreet in particular.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip

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    1. Not sure if it's a whole new reality, but we definitely could shape several narratives out of the same trip.
      Often, for me, it's not just waiting for the brightest spots to come forward, but also for recognising what I learned from the darker moments.
      And thank you -- I'm so glad you're enjoying the photos. I'm so happy to be able to share them.

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  16. Making homemade cinnamon buns is not, IMO "stepping way back"! It's delicious in every respect. Safe continued travels!

    When I travel, time slows, because of the usually entirely new visual stimulae. Here, I can go on auto-pilot, but travelling ,especially alone, means I have to focus, and want to focus to remember so much.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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