n i g h t i n g a l e s h i r a z / blog
come a-knockin'

june 2023
january 2023
december 2022
september 2022
august 2022
july 2022
january 2022
november 2021
october 2021
september 2021
august 2021
july 2021
june 2021
may 2021
april 2021
march 2021
february 2021
january 2021
september 2020
august 2020
july 2020
may 2020
april 2020
march 2020
february 2020
december 2019
october 2019
july 2019
june 2019
may 2019
april 2019
march 2019
february 2019
january 2019
december 2018
november 2018
october 2018
september 2018
august 2018
july 2018
june 2018
may 2018
april 2018
march 2018
february 2018
january 2018
december 2017
november 2017
october 2017
september 2017
august 2017
july 2017
june 2017
march 2017
february 2017
january 2017
november 2016
october 2016
september 2016
august 2016
july 2016
june 2016
may 2016
april 2016
march 2016
february 2016
december 2015
november 2015
october 2015
september 2015
may 2015
march 2015
february 2015
january 2015
december 2014
november 2014
october 2014
september 2014
august 2014
may 2014
april 2014
march 2014
february 2014
*april 2013
*march 2013
*february 2013
*january 2013
*december 2012
*november 2012
*october 2012
*september 2012
*july 2012
*october 2011
*september 2011
*august 2011
*july 2011
*june 2011
*may 2011
april 2011
march 2011
april 2010
march 2010
february 2010
january 2010
december 2009
november 2009
september 2009
june 2009
may 2009
february 2009
january 2009
december 2008
october 2008
september 2008
august 2008
july 2008
june 2008
may 2008
april 2008
january 2008
december 2007
november 2007
october 2007
september 2007
august 2007
july 2007
june 2007
may 2007
april 2007
march 2007
february 2007
january 2007
december 2006
november 2006
october 2006
september 2006
august 2006
july 2006
june 2006
may 2006
april 2006
march 2006
february 2006
january 2006
december 2005
november 2005
october 2005
september 2005
august 2005
july 2005
june 2005
may 2005
april 2005
march 2005
february 2005
january 2005
december 2004
november 2004
october 2004
september 2004
august 2004
july 2004
june 2004
may 2004
april 2004
march 2004
february 2004
january 2004
december 2003
june 2003
april 2003
march 2003
The beauties the beauties the things I let go by.

It was pleasant to wake up in Florence, to open the eyes upon a bright bare room, with a floor of red tiles which look clean though they are not; with a painted ceiling whereon pink griffins and blue amorini sport in a forest of yellow violins and bassoons.  It was pleasant, too, to fling wide the windows, pinching the fingers in unfamiliar fastenings, to lean out into sunshine with beautiful hills and trees and marble churches opposite, and close below, the Arno, gurgling against the embankment of the road.


Evening approached while they chatted; the air became brighter; the colours on the trees and hills were purified, and the Arno lost its muddy solidity and began to twinkle.  There were a few streaks of bluish-green among the clouds, a few patches of watery light upon the earth, and then the dripping facade of San Miniato shone brilliantly in the declining sun.


But though she had avoided the chief actor, the scenery unfortunately remained.  Charlotte, with the complacency of fate, led her from the river to the Piazza Signoria.  She could not have believed that stones, a Loggia, a fountain, a palace tower, would have such significance.  For a moment she understood the nature of ghosts.


The well-known world had broken up, and there emerged Florence, a magic city where people thought and did the most extraordinary things.  Murder, accusations of murder, A lady clinging to one man and being rude to another—were these the daily incidents of her streets?  Was there more in her frank beauty than met the eye—the power, perhaps, to evoke passions, good and bad, and to bring them speedily to a fulfillment?


Miss Lavish—for that was the clever lady's name—turned to the right along the sunny Lung' Arno.  How delightfully warm!  But a wind down the side streets cut like a knife, didn't it?  Ponte alle Grazie—particularly interesting, mentioned by Dante.  San Miniato—beautiful as well as interesting; the crucifix that kissed a murderer—Miss Honeychurch would remember the story.  The men on the river were fishing.  (Untrue; but then, so is most information.)  Then Miss Lavish darted under the archway of the white bullocks, and she stopped, and she cried:

“A smell! a true Florentine smell!  Every city, let me teach you, has its own smell.”

“Is it a very nice smell?” said Lucy, who had inherited from her mother a distaste to dirt.

“One doesn't come to Italy for niceness,” was the retort; “one comes for life.  Buon giorno!  Buon giorno!”

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Santo Spirito, Firenze]
[giovedž 29 giugno 2017 ore 18:24:00] []

Lists I would look for on Buzzfeed. Or not.

The ten most misheard lyrics in music (as in, 'scuse me while I kiss this guy).  The fifteen weirdest names for fairy princes.  The five happiest endings in the work of Alice Munro.  The three colors Kandinsky never used.  Six letters I should have sent but didn't.  Seventeen the other way around.  All the cat names we have not thought of.  Every shade of blue in a dream of drowning.  All the names of all the women who wouldn't.  Every kind of firecracker.  Every kind of fight.  All the non-verbal languages.  Every poet that drove too fast.  The seven kinds of mother.  The two kinds of hope.  The ten best times of day for daggers.  All the places a god isn't buried.  The thirteen ways I can look in a mirror.  The thirty-nine ways you can look at me.  Every word you never said.  All of the people I wished you were.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Santo Spirito, Firenze]
[martedž 27 giugno 2017 ore 22:20:00] []

Counted Sweetest

Through a Talk of the Town piece from a few weeks ago, I meet Terence Davies, the British filmmaker who directed A Quiet Passion.  On a visit to the Emily Dickinson exhibit at the Morgan Library & Museum, Davies tells of how he first encountered Dickinson:

In an introduction to an anthology, he read that “she withdrew from life” beginning in her twenties.  “I thought, There must be more to it than that,” he said.  “She loved to go out, she loved to bake, she improvised on the piano, she loved the commencement balls, she liked to dance.”

How would it have been, I wonder, had Glynn Maxwell spoken to Terence Davies (and perhaps, while I'm at it, to Adrienne Rich too), before making his hot misogynistic mess of things?


A little later in the same piece, I can almost see Davies wringing his seventy-one year old hands as he leaves the exhibit, still mulling Dickinson's lack of recognition in her lifetime.  “I just think, Oh, why couldn't she have gotten one success?” he said.  “Or at least, won first prize for her bread!  Why couldn't she have been at the head of the class, for once?”

I think of Monopoly.  And I wonder if Emily wondered, about what it meant to get second-best.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Santo Spirito, Firenze]
[martedž 20 giugno 2017 ore 16:41:00] []

Aprire completamente, quanto piý Ť possibile.

You still wake up mornings incredulous.


The summer of my fortieth year was my first summer.  Not really.  But it was the first summer that felt, barring unforeseen circumstances, tocca ferro and palle-if-I-had-them, scaramantica, starthirst, and blackswallow, like this might maybe, maybe, last.


You still cross the river with wonder.


One weekend we watched wisteria in Villa Bardini.  One weekend we voyeured into every private garden in our neighborhood.  One weekend we made my mother's chicken ginger for the only person in this country who has known me longer than my cat.


Every time you open a window, winglike onto the street, you think of the word spalancare.  Something for the body.  Something for the soul.

How am I allowed to have this?

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Santo Spirito, Firenze]
[martedž 13 giugno 2017 ore 09:50:11] []