Flashback to eight years ago this week: Beautiful Rome, the first destination of our 3-week trip to Italy and France. We hope to return to Europe within the next few years–the UK this time–and I can hardly wait.
A little verse I wrote in Rome:
The click on terracotta tile a welcoming staccato beat quick-sure heels on cobblestone we join the rhythm on the street.
Mellifluous foreign banter fill sidewalk cafes and bars laughter tinkling, glasses clinking under the Italian stars.
Heady scent of sweet ambrosia lips stained red with deep dark wine swarthy locals’ smiling faces lovers with their arms entwined.
Tastes and smells are all around us food and drink beyond compare warm night air drapes on our shoulders sated, sleepy, not a care.
Street musicians serenade us as we stroll our way back home memories to last a lifetime summer nights in downtown Rome.
What has been your best-loved destination?
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, But Nature more.
~ excerpt from Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
by Lord Byron
Having lived through a number of moves, changes, and upheavals, my transitions often deemed me as a newcomer who will probably always feel a little like someone on the outside, looking in.*
Yet, when I read that poem and let the words sink in, they seem to grant me the freedom to love and experience all the things that mean the most to me. I can now belong in this life I’ve created, just as everyone belongs to the bigger picture that is the universe, to bear witness to a journey filled with joy, sorrow, and exquisite beauty.*
Of course, Mary Oliver said it better than I ever could:
*Excerpts from my blog post: Belonging, March 12, 2015.
Many of the comments on your own feelings of belonging were a real eye-opener for me!
I wrote the following in September of 1994. It was a time of great transition for me.
I wanted to express my readiness for the next chapter, and my anticipation of what good things might come my way. When I wrote it, I had no way of knowing I would be meeting my future (and now present) husband later in that same month.
To me, these heartfelt words of my younger self are still fresh and very much alive. They have no expiry date.
The September sun falls warm upon my face
as I blink back a lonely tear.
But to be alone isn’t so bad.
A decade of fragile dreams, dashed,
had prepared me for this season of solitude.
Hadn’t you known it was inevitable,
poor battered heart?
The gulf I see ahead is blue, unknown,
and strangely comforting.
I knew I would face it someday.
As surely as I had faced the impossible gulf
of a love that could no longer support us,
like a ropework bridge – frayed, rotted,
stretching into a sadder tomorrow.
No, it couldn’t be trusted to help us across.
I finally accepted its condition and turned away.
The summer of change has passed,
and an autumn of new beginnings beckons.
A crisp welcome breeze blows
the last stray doubts from my mind.
I watch a dry russet leaf skitter and dance
to a uniquely different song, of a September that holds
the inviting promise of a life not ending,
Here’s a throwback to July 2013, when I was in the thick of creating the first draft for Calmer Girls. At the time I was also blogging twice a week, but hey, when your muse is whispering in your ear to pen a poem and she won’t shut up, you pen a poem. There’s no getting out of it.
She wakes tangled in themes
through a cobweb of dreams
with gossamer remnants
that linger and tease,
pushes back dusty curtains
and on a page blank and white
She deletes the clichéd
yesterday she okayed
and contemplates words
like ephemeral and moonglade
they taste like confections
with her tangerine sections
and jolts of black coffee
She’s reminded of chores
she keeps trying to ignore
with the scatter of crumbs
that litter the floor,
shrugs her shoulders and thinks
it will be there tomorrow
The bills wait, unpaid
And the bed’s still not made
There’s this blog post to write
and it can’t be delayed
her novel must wait
it’s a musing or rhyme that
She reaches again
for the manuscript when
her mind can’t break free
from the plot line within
and it makes him uptight
there’s no dinner tonight
but he digests her flaws.
After all, it’s because