Saturday, June 27, 2009

Exquisite Noticing

May, 2009

En route to Italy to meet up with friends in Umbria. I've been charged by my friend Klare with "taking it all in," and by my friend Kerry with "Exquisite Noticing." Colors, textures, elements; scents and sounds. From the plane I observe the way rivers wind their way over the earth ~ the way the land merges with the sea, as we flew over the Mississippi delta downriver from New Orleans. I was startled and then thrilled to recognize the geography as we passed above it. And the clouds: now thin and wispy like gossamer, little bits of nothing; then thick and substantial like cotton; sometimes dark and ominous, kissing and jostling the plane as we fly amongst them. Water mingling with air, substantial and ethereal at the same time...

Laying in a hammock in the shade ~ utterly enveloped and supported, looking out upon the most spectacularly sweeping vista of the Umbrian countryside. Tractors rolling by on their way to tend to the hay fields, grapevines, and olive groves. All manner of birds chirping and fluttering by. Just taking it all in, with every breath ~ the way the breeze caresses my skin, the passing of the day from darkness into dawn, morning to midday, and evening into nightas the sun traces its arc across the heavens. It's all greenery and rolling hills ~ pastoral~ with sweet valleys and sensuous mountain ranges, easy on the eyes.

I am remembering the view from the plane as we came across Southern France, over the Southern tip of the Alps and the coastline of the Mediterranean ~ mountains trailing down to the sea; earth meets water. And how, in the dawning light, the rising sun reflected off the sea, painting a dazzling peach-gold shimmer. Fire on water. I wondered, is light the fifth element? Or is all light encompassed by fire? Our sun, the source of our natural light, is of course a fireball, so perhaps this is so.

A cat gave birth to four kittens the first night I arrived. The miracle of life ~ ordinary magic. Exciting, primordial, simple, beautiful. Mama cat squeezing and pushing, yet so completely calm and peaceful ~ purring for her new children and licking them cleanas they suckled, even when only two had been born and two more remained inside of her. She knew just what to do, though really only a kitten herself...

The sun has finally relinquished its stranglehold on the day, and it is such sweet relief. The crickets are singing their songs to the night and the air feels so succulently soft on my skin. The tiniest sliver of a new moon hangs low in the Western sky. I've never seen the moon so slight. New moon ~ new beginnings. Hillsides and valleys softly cascading down to the Tiber valley, and then up again to volcanic peaks. Tiny specs of light sparkling in the warm, hazy nighttime air. All is well in the world and soon I will be sleeping and dreaming of you...

Photo by Melinda Rothouse. To see more pics from Italy, click here.

2 comments:

上班 said...

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Anonymous said...

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