On Place

It is cold once again, very cold, in fact. When it is like this, I try to recall those blazing warm Sundays in a remote Tuscan hilltown. No one is on the street. All of the stores are closed. The shutters of the surrounding apartment buildings are shut tight.

You park the car in the single open square, get out, and are enveloped by the heat. It is startling. It is wonderful. You look for a place to get a drink. The local bar, where you can get an expresso, a Panini, a cold drink, etc. is the only place that is open.

The TV is on and a few old men are staring mutely at it. On the screen is a soccer game somewhere in Italy and the crowd is roaring. Otherwise, it is utterly silent in the café and on the street. And it is hot. It is perfect.

I begin my inward journey by writing about place. Some do so by writing about love, war, suffering, cruelty, power, God or country. I write about place, or the memory of place. Andre Aciman

All we knew was that we helplessly loved the place [Florence], and did not pause to ask why. C. S. Lewis

Nowhere else is nature so subtle, elegant, and fine. The God who made the hills of Florence was an artist. How could it be possible that this violent hill of San Minato, so purely and firmly designed, be by the same author of the Mount Blanc? By comparison all else was gross. Anatole France

Henry James call it [Florence] the “rounded pearl of cities…Its sweetness, its “delicate charm” restored him—as it restored, at last, even poor suffering Montaigne “to perfect equanimity. Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

Eventually he realized he would never feel at home anywhere. He wasn’t quite sure why, except that he was a Jew and a philosopher which taken together doomed him to chronic dissatisfaction. Zadie Smith

That our endless and impossible journey towards home is in fact our home. ….impossible journey home is in fact your home. David Foster Wallace