Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sorry I'm late - I was finding religion

It's hard, taking a month off from the blog and then trying to slip back in without saying anything. I could try, but it's like taking a 2-hour lunch from work and then attempting to slide back into your chair without saying anything. People notice, even if they don't say anything.

Part of me wants to declare anecdotal bankruptcy; simply avoiding mentioning any of the events that have transpired in my absence, and just starting fresh.

But so much has happened.

I went to Italy, my brother got married, James Brown died, Christmas happened. So much…

Italy was beautiful, and I owe some anecdotal information to everyone on that trip.
Do I just try to slip it in as I go?

If so, I'll start with this.

In Florence, at the Uffizi, I stood, transfixed for 20 minutes, just staring at a painting. It was the most beautiful painting I believe I've ever seen. It was this:

This is the most beautiful Madonna I've ever seen, and the painting just sings of perfection to me. It gets even better when you know the story behind it.

Fra Fillipo Lippi was a monk. He fell in love with a nun. They eventually left the order to get married.

She was the model for this painting. His love for her and for the Virgin Mother meld so beautifully. And the cherub who's looking at you just draws you into the moment. He invites you to share it, to adore the Virgin and child. It's not a private moment, you've been beckoned.

It's enough to make one religious.

Speaking of religious experiences, I had another in Venice. Venice is a beautiful city, but it thrives on decadence. So much so that the decadence isn't seedy, it just is part of the Venetian experience.

It's the perfect place to party with the green fairy.

Absinthe is illegal in the states, and for good reason. Apparently, regular consumption leads one into mental illness. I can believe it, just drinking it...

In reality that's superstition; it's simply a very potent, very smooth liqueur. It's too strong to go down as easy as it does, and it can get you in trouble very quickly.

And this is what the bottle of absinthe looked like after we'd finished it.

It makes your body feel like it's been wrapped in cotton, and like your fingers are big fat sausages. While it's nice at the time, it also makes you very groggy the next day...

There we go, it's a beginning anyway. It's getting back into thew swing of things.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Buon Giorno!

italy 082
Originally uploaded by alpharat.
I'm back safe. There's much to attend to, but I hope to let you know all about the trip very soon...