Finished my 2nd edition and I’m happy with it and feel so much better about life and art and a little less stressed than I was this morning. Will take a picture of the new babies tomorrow!
Watching Ever After in my new V-day socks from Mom while drawing layers for screenprinting and eating shit-tons of ice cream.
All that’s missing is a glass of rose wine. Mmmhmmm.
Four hours of sledding, a game of Catan with 12 people, and a bottle of wine later: snow day mission accomplished.
Now to work tomorrow…
(So I’m ending my few month long absence from Tumblr with a little rant about being back in the States.)
I’m home. And I’m away from home.
I know it doesn’t fully make sense when I say that Firenze felt like home, I mean, I hardly knew the city. Four months is not enough time to learn every street name, know where all the secret bakeries are, to explore every street and see all the sights.
But maybe it was like the movies. Maybe it was love - no home - at first sight. And yet, like a lover come and gone, I’m finding it harder to close my eyes and smell the sweet espresso, taste the creamy gelato, remember the sing-song of Italian voices…but what I do remember is this:
Getting off the train from Venezia at 6 in the morning, stepping out of the station and feeling myself fall into place. Home.
On the train from Munich, as we crossed the border into Italia the voice on the speakers sang Italian directions. I understood only a little (at least more than German), but there was that feeling again, after 10 days of being away from Italy: Home.
Walking along the Arno during my last week in Florence, soaking in the lights, the air, the people, the colors. Feeling for that moment how fully I would miss this place. Home.
And now I’m trying to make art that speaks to my time abroad, and I’m at a stand still. It’s the most frustrating feeling, having had such an experience and not being able to communicate it. I don’t know where to begin. Maybe if I had struggled when I was there, maybe if I had experienced culture shock it might be easier…but no, Florence felt like home. It felt natural to be there.And I want to do it justice. I don’t want postcard images, cookie cutter paintings that I can sell on the street for 10 euros. I want something that makes people feel as in awe, thrilled, amazed, emotional, touched, inspired as I felt living there.
Being back in the States is feeling a bit like reverse culture shock:
Has my shower always had so much water pressure? Wait, I can wash AND dry my laundry in two hours? That’s what dollar bills look like? Excuse me, tax isn’t added in? So I don’t have to translate my thoughts into another language? Hold on, you’re saying this water is FREE? Everything is actually open 24 hours? Okay here’s 20 euros - I mean dollars! So I’ve got to drive to the grocery store? And I can’t buy a bottle of wine anymore?
Mind-blowing pasta, open air markets, the Duomo, gelato, gelato, gelato, the Arno river, infinite variations of the color yellow, gorgeous little churches on every street, galleries, wine, cheese, pedestrian flooded roads, terra-cotta roofs, the melodic sound of Italian spoken everywhere, divine cafe lattes, hole-in-the-wall shops, Tuscan sunlight, fresh olive oil, the mercato centrale, a slower pace of life, long walks after dinner, marble sculptures, the most heavenly hot chocolate on the planet and of course beautiful people from every walk of life.
Living in this city has been the most rewarding, influential, beautiful experience and I’m so grateful to have spent the last 3 and a half months living in Italia and traveling (many times with the lovely Marisa) throughout Italy and Europe. Tomorrow Daniel and I leave for France and then back home to the States in a week, but I leave Firenze with a bittersweet farewell and hopes for new exciting experiences.
Grazie mille per tutti, Firenze.