Week 4 in Quarantine

The absence of a self, of color. Every day it feels like I have less to show for who I am.  My room is tidy, because I live in a house that is not my own. I have no decorations on the walls that define me.  I used to wear sweatpants everyday, but now I’m dressing up, honing in on a single aspect of my identity.  I’m loosing my words, even. I live with a family that speaks Italian and I’m the English native who is meant to speak English with the kids.  I can speak Italian, but I’m the English native of course, who is speaking to the air; because by the time I finish speaking my words go in through one ear and out through the other.  

Understandably. We’re antsy, I’m spending more time alone because the kids don’t want to do any of the activities I offer, and now I don’t know what my role is. “The English Au Pair” the English Something-or-other who lives here. I can’t write because I’m sick of it. I really appreciate the people that call me, because it’s a cure, someone who will hear, and it’s unfair. I want to be home too.

Days before this

Days here are crisp, 
you can hear every footstep 
that echoes through empty streets
and they become difficult to swallow
and everyday I’m a little more shattered.
But the voice of my love fuses the days together like
melted chocolate 
filling a palace with its perfume, 
washing over shattered fragments of life
over angles of houses separated and contained,
molding them together once more,
and I miss the indulgence of days before this.  

Acadia National Park photo journal

Unedited film and iPhone photos I found reminiscing about last summer’s trip to Acadia National Park, Maine.

Car rides and window sights.
A walk through the beautiful woods…
to catch sea swept smiles
and a boat slowly making it’s way across the frame
…to touch the beautiful rocky coast along the irresistible blue …
and emerald green forests…
in every shade imaginable, sparkling from last night’s rain…
The next morning begins, the first ones to feel the sun on our faces in America
…and as we hike on the Gorham mountain trail
…it’s an adventure between rock formations and shadows of trees…
…Until we reach the lookout point.

i momenti

 Quando i momenti vanno troppo veloce
Allora decelerò

Quando i momenti sono troppo corto
Allora crescerò da gli

Quando i momenti sentono troppo fatto
Gli disimballò

E poi gli porto con me mentre imballo le mie valigie

When the moments go too fast
Then I’ll slow down

When the moments are too short
Then I’ll grow from them

When the moments feel too made
I’ll unpack them

And then carry them with me while I pack my suitcases

Box

I see angles. Sharp ones, soft ones, patches of shadow as the sun rises for the triangle days of waiting: For the rare comings and goings of people, so we have somewhere to go in our minds. Dreaming. Boats of balconies sailing through sky, where clouds are left unharmed. Angles floating through windows and my door, unlocking a sanctuary to let in a little bit of heaven, 6 o’clock songs, voices bouncing between buildings, mingling with the birds, washing away the static sameness of the days, like waves and pulling you into life once again.

Dear Rome,

I’m excited to uncover what the future holds.

I want to cradle those moments of uncertainty before some profound moment breaks it.

I want to learn how to sit with the unknown and be at peace.

How to appreciate the moments of dependence on others, as much as my own independence and be happy.

How to give the gifts of my creativity and excitement with out expecting anything in return except my own satisfaction.

How to receive the hospitality of people without feelings of obligation.

And to appreciate the sweet acclimation to somewhere new, the most beautiful part of all.

With love,

Mary

Red.

See how the color red takes me around the city

Pay What You Wish poem
Telephone Booth, Westminster
Buckingham Palace guard
Queen Mary’s Rose Garden, Regent’s Park
Piet Mondrian, Composition B (No. II) with Red, Tate Modern
Telephone Booth, Pimlico
Laura Knight, Self Portrait with Dame Laura Knight, National Portrait Gallery, London
Patshull Street
Hyde Park Autumn Sky
Salvador Dali, Lobster Telephone, Tate Modern
Telephone Booth, Victoria & Albert Museum
Red Bus Shop
Red Bus outside Royal Courts of Justice

October 8th, an ode to Italy

An excerpt from my diary

It always takes me about 3 months to fully adjust to a new home I think. And I think it was this morning that it really struck me how beautiful Italy really is, and how the deeply rooted medieval structure of each city actually has it’s benefits. It encourages walking and biking because many cars nowadays can’t fit through the narrow streets.

The first thing I saw as I left the new gates in front of the house was how the light illuminated the colorful buildings, and the white laundry hanging from the clothesline, and its contrast. The morning sun made everything more colorful and splendid against the pure blue sky. An old man biked down the street, hazy with the saturated orange and pink colors of the buildings hanging in the air, reflecting and bouncing off each other.

I could see a translucent curtain in front of the doorway slightly blowing in the breeze, and the brilliant roses and flowers, pink and purple poking out of their shadowed backdrop and into the sun. And lastly, I remember passing beneath the olive tree whose leaves seemed to glow with magic, a little rubbing off onto my head each time I ducked beneath it to walk by.

I did start to feel a little homesickness, missing fall at home, but today I was reminded how much of me loves Pisa, and these little Italian cities that still have these somewhat limiting medieval structures, yet people thrive in it and use it’s advantages and make it their own, manipulate it. Or go with it, beautify it, blossom from it.