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Gut

Every time of day has a twilight.  And there is something about the sound of a summer week around ferragosto: the table fan and nothing -- nothing -- from the street.  I feel a little bit perched on a precipice again.  A masterís in writing or a masterís in English (either way -- most likely *not* a masterís in communication).  My course in Travel Writing, mine to teach again (barring any more "misunderstandings," with the friend who (initially) agreed to substitute, of course...).  Billy Collins and Joyce Carol Oates at JCU.  And some writing, hopefully.

Itís amazing how much time you can waste on Facebook, looking up how much time a friend of yours is wasting on Facebook (rather than on you).

So maybe I will not get to go to vendemmia in Sarteano this year, because my mother will be visiting and she will not want to (or she will not be able to).  Maybe I will not get to go to the Festa del Vino in Greve, or Vino al Vino in Panzano, or anything lovely this September.  Some things will matter some day, and some not so much.

Oh.  And speaking of things that matter.  I guess I did the right thing after all.

Duh.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Marco Aurelio, Roma]
[domenica 21 agosto 2011 ore 16:49:08] []

Plonk

Itís the sixty-fifth anniversary of the day Pakistan was supposedly born (and as usual, it seems theyíre having a blast -- or two...).  Itís high summer on Monte Celio (the city is so silent you could hear a Vestal Virgin drop).  And in the house, thereís that kind of quiet that can only come from a house thatís deliciously, almost monastically-empty: just me and the cat and the company that music makes -- especially the kind that comes from past relationships, especially the kind that has no words.

***

I feel like I have forgotten how to blog.  It doesnít help that I am happy -- being happy has always ended up meaning I write less.  Who wants to read about how much I love life today? More importantly, who wants to write about it?

The downside is that when I *do* feel like writing, there is so much on the table and I am not sure where to start, and even when I think I am sure, I turn out wrong -- or unable to hold my own interest, at any rate.  (And then I end up writing hogwash like this...)

***

The month has been faultless.  I am working the way I wanted to work, with people I want to work with.  There has been the beach, a birthday, and some excellent baklava.  Five days in Sarteano under the Tuscan sunshine (and occasionally, inside a Tuscan jacuzzi).  Fiori di zucca and fresh tomatoes and the promise of another vendemmia.  And talking to Carlos Dews worked wonders for my verve -- for the first time in months I feel like I have found myself a road that leads out into the next chapter.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Marco Aurelio, Roma]
[domenica 14 agosto 2011 ore 16:39:08] []

Person B: Know-It-All

At least some of the time, and at least when you are at someone elseís house, could you try to PRETEND like you donít actually think you know everything? And, when you are confronted with evidence to the contrary (spectacularly, in that way that has everyone in the room watching -- but only because YOU announced to everyone in the room that object X can only come from region Y, right after person A told the story of how it came from region Z, and right before YOU condescendingly deigned to examine object X and find that it did, in fact, come from region Z), could you just TRY to consider -- however metaphorically -- that you might have been wrong? Instead of saying (and believing wholeheartedly), that this must be "some new thing" that region Z has "just" started...?

Could you? Maybe? For the love of god?


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Marco Aurelio, Roma]
[giovedž 11 agosto 2011 ore 11:20:08] []

Prose-ache

Checking the Beeb for more on the London riots, and getting distracted by this:

The Great Gatsby: What it says to modern America

Which means I end up reading "sentences" like these:

* "A new spin-off novel that traces the fortunes of Daisyís daughter Pamela has not long arrived in bookshops."
"...has not long arrived"? WTF?

* "And there was a musical appreciation provided by the Madison Symphony Orchestra performing The Gatsby Suite in Wisconsin."
So the Orchestra provided the appreciation? What did the audience provide -- cookies?

* "In World War I, the US had allowed 'ethnic Americans' like Gatsby, who is of German parentage, to become Army officers and this enabled him to climb the social ladder, although he is never accepted."
Maybe he is never accepted because he keeps switching tenses mid-sentence, eh?

*"Not only do they close ranks against outsiders like Gatsby but they destroy him and escape punishment for it, says Mr Gandal, which is a very modern theme."
Hello, my name is Mr Gandal, and I am a very modern theme.  Did you bring the appreciation?

Also.

Iím naming a new disease in journalism.

Itís called schizophrenic paragraphing.

Sigh.

Glittering with lyrical prose, indeed.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Marco Aurelio, Roma]
[mercoledž 10 agosto 2011 ore 12:23:08] []

Newlywed Homecoming (and Other Sports)

On Thursday we snuck over to Carlos and Lauraís, and left them a pitcher-full of flowers and a bottle of spumante.  Unfortunately, the flowers kinda stank.  Actually, they really, really, high-heavens-stank.  Whatever the little man on Viale Marconi had them in all day, it was not water.  Ah well.

On Friday I closed an Italian bank account in record time (twenty-nine minutes, including the wait in line before you get to the counter where she tells you to go to the vice-direttore in the back, and not including the struggle with the locker outside the tardis-like pod-entrance where you have to stuff your handbag, laptop, cellphone, keys, jewelry and under-wired bra).  To celebrate, I treated myself to an afternoon at Passaguai -- the one place in Rome with salumi that could give Volpi a run for its money.  And the one place in Rome where the words always show up.

On Saturday we spend an afternoon under a tree in Villa Celimontana: Carlos and Laura are resplendent in their post-Seychelles patina -- in forma and in love and into life, like always.  On Sunday we do a semi-repeat -- everyone comes over for mojitos, and even today the house smells of mint and lime and the wind we have had this summer.  And of the watermelon that Carlos walked in with.

Andrew is grappling with the bewildering nightmare that is me over the week that spans from my fatherís anniversary, to my birthday.  I wish I could help him...  Mars and Venus be damned -- how are you supposed to make a boy understand you, when YOU donít understand you?

I am hoping Tuscany will help (like always).  I am hoping.  Thank goodness for Enrico and Suzanne.  Thank goodness for friends that know how to be friends.

Oh, and work? Iím being given the room to be excellent again.  It feels good.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Marco Aurelio, Roma]
[lunedž 01 agosto 2011 ore 22:16:08] []