Saturday, June 17, 2006


This is a morning when I wish my ambitions and talents lay in words, crafting the words in a sequence and structure that could adequately describe this tiny medieval village and the enduring, exercise in perseverance, stations-of-the-cross-like experience one must mount to get here, when starting from The 'Kan EWA.

Even if I didn't remember the three plane changes, subsequent bus ride and the snaking, claimbing trek via train up, into and through the mountains, as I look out over the vibrant diamond of a lake, I would know I am in Italy becaue of the church bells--they ring at 6 pm for mass, again at 9 pm for vespers and now being the day at 7 am, ringing hourly, calling the faithful near.

The morning sun catches the terra cotta of the buildings, creating brilliant swatches of flashing amber in the cliffs that rise quickly and steeply from the lake.

The birds sing and whistle in the olive trees, so glad for the daylight, so glad for another chance in the new day, so glad to be here, in this Eden where the fruit in the gardens serves as inspiration and homage to douceur de vie rather than a temptation.

When we made our final climb via taxi to the steepest part of the cliff where our hotel lay, we passed a shrine to St. Anthony, carved into the sheer rock of the mountainside. Some things are all enduring, I guess. As so begins the Italian leg of the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Tour 2006. I was born in the mountains, I was raised in the mountains, I become of age and raised my own children in the mountains. But these mountains here....Lake Como is not an escape, but a return.

JBelle
On Location
Varenna, Italy

3 comments:

Tivish said...

Buon giorno!
Ah, the Angelus...bells ringing at 6 a.m.-noon-6 p.m., that remind us of the Incarnation. I would love to hear it again in Italy (or France), but St. Thomas still does a pretty good job...and it's still audible over the noise of hustle and bustle. Especially nice at 6 p.m. on winter evenings.
The beautiful Lake Como. In '77, halfway through a 30-day European jaunt with 3 students, one brother, and my mother, we spent a couple of days recharging by the lake. We took a cruise on an Italian Dance-A-Wanna (Wanna Dansa?)which stopped midmorning in Como so we could explore and eat and shop. Mom, Bro and I decided to eat first. The waiter was helpful with the menu, we ordered, and he asked us what we would like to drink. Mom couldn't decide; Bro and I said Pepsi. Then Mom said I'll have a beer...aghast, Bro and I said, "Mom, it's only 10:30 a.m." to which the waiter replied, "Why-A-Notta?" We all had beer and the phrase is still used by the family when it's time to have a beer--no matter what time it is!
Buon giro!

green libertarian said...

This is a morning when I wish my ambitions and talents lay in words,...

Who do you think you're kidding? Ha! Your writing is beautiful, Jbelle.

jb3ll3 said...

You both are generously with me and I appreciate it deeply. I drank lots and lots of Italian beer that I found out is actually Belgian, once I got to New York. Quite fine, whose ever it is! According to the billboards in New York, you can actually buy it here and people who are related to me say they've had it too! man! And we thought Coors was unbeatable! (Sorry gLib, total Idaho joke...)