Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ordinary Things

There really aren’t any "ordinary things" in Florence. Only some things that I am accustomed to seeing, and are a part of every landscape, street, and piazza. Now that my time here is growing short, and I stroll the streets everyday and look, and look and gaze, and try to memorize every detail, I am realizing even more the beauty in every street, every piazza, every view outside my window. The shutters on the windows of the palaces, where people live and the shops below, the sidewalk cafes, churches, sculptures, Madonnas on every corner.

Then there are the sounds, the beautiful sounds.

The scenes I can take pictures of and try to explain, the noises, might just be noises to some, but to me they are music to my ears. When I first moved here, I was awake all night with the new sounds of a strange city and a strange place. Now I sleep through the night without noticing, or maybe I do notice, but am no longer alarmed by these "ordinary sounds".

Church bells, motorcycles, sirens from police cars, and ambulances, buses, car horns, people singing in the piazzas and in the streets, cheers from a local bar for the "calcio" game, the clicking of the horses hooves carrying the carriages, the street sweepers, the steel doors rising in the morning, trash pickup, and construction workers, people speaking the beautiful Italian language as they stroll, all combine to make the melodies and rhythms of the city’s heartbeat.

And then, there are the smells.

All of these aren’t pleasant but reflect the life in the city. The warm sweet smell of jasmine that makes my eyes swell, but is so sweet I inhale deeply, the horse manure from the horse drawn carriages, urine from the sewers when it is so dry there is nothing moving, the stagnant river, pizza, and garlic and onions and the famous Florentine Bistecca, and smoke from the wood burning ovens that the pizzas are cooked in.

It is a "sensory" delight. All I can offer is the photos. If you’ve been here, maybe some of my words can cause you to recollect on the others and conjure them up in your memory.
The photos are some of my favorite "ordinary things".


alvit said...

i like your blog. just met it few minuts ago. will stay here and read/

alvit said...

i like your blog. just met it few minuts ago. will stay here and read/

Anonymous said...

Extraordinary entry...pungent and poignant writing...thanks...try to keep Cathy's feet on the ground...Doug