Tag Archives: venice

Cold Walking

Venice.    This time in the beginning of February, 2007. (I try to word it in such a fashion that by some happy chance, I’ll get to go again someday.) Opera Boy and I were there for four fog cloaked days this trip… a much different city than in the Spring. Funny that both arrivals and departures were on sunny days. We had come in on the midnight train from Paris… twelve hours of rocketing through a dark landscape I’d liked to have seen. The first sight of Venice is one I have not photographed yet… it is a place where all of the land vehicles stop and all of the water starts. So far, it brings me to my visual knees and I am consumed just being there. Next time I will collect myself and make a point of catching that amazing transition. Our first chore this trip was to find our hotel and a laundromat.

 

The fog settled in and we spent the next couple of days wandering at will.

This day brought me a blister, a few small pieces of local pottery and three glass cherries each for me and my sister. Best of all, it gave me new vistas at every turn… a veritable treasure box of images.

The Straw Bridge, the lower one with the crowd on it is pretty much what the whole city is like. Tourism is huge here and probably not a little abusive. I came away from both trips with a sense of wanting to help preserve this special place. If you go, treat her gently.

The one that got away…

campo_san_stefano_morning

Photographers must all have a longish list of shots that we only took in our head… I can’t be the only one.
Opera Boy and I went to Venice for the first time in 2006. We got to our little hotel completely beaten up by the flying. The tall windows in our room looked out over Campo San Stefano… interesting and busy in the late afternoon light.

san_stefano

So we walked to stretch out and find a quick meal, stealing to bed as it got dark… it was like drifting off to sleep on a movie set… the cafes don’t get going until after dark so all of the friends and laughing people gathering for dinner mingled with faint music and, always, the sound of heels on stone.
I woke up at dawn and looked out the window… trying to identify a sound.

Here is where you will have to imagine the Campo empty save for one man and a two wheeled blue cart. He was sweeping the whole place with a long brush broom… made of twigs like we see in our fairy tales. No cars in Venice, of course, so he is the garbage service.
I was so entranced by the whole thing, I had to just watch. The camera, in the unpacking of it, would have made me miss something I wanted to see.

campo_san_stefano_rain

I went back to bed but my dreams were colored by that early morning encounter. Next time, I will be better prepared.

Fernando says…

“No. I mean I’m tired of waiting. I understand now about using up my time. Life is this conto, account,” said the banker in him. “It’s an unknown quantity of days from which one is permitted to withdraw only one precious one of them at a time. No deposits accepted.”  This allegory presents glittering opportunity for more of the stranger’s stage work. “I’ve used so many of mine to sleep. One by one, I’ve mostly waited for them to pass. It’s common enough for one to simply find a safe place to wait it all out. Every time I would begin to examine things, to think about what I felt, what I wanted, nothing touched, nothing mattered more than anything else. I’ve been lazy. Life rolled itself out and I shambled along sempre due passi indietro, always two steps behind. Fatalita, fate. Easy. No risks. Everything is someone else’s fault or merit. And so now, no more waiting.”

A Thousand Days in Venice — Marlena De Blasi