I traveled to Italy from March 20th through April 4th. I was fortunate enough to be hosted by four great friends: Giovanni Fiore, Miriam Sciascia, Jake Pepper & Alisha Young Leverette. I would not have learned as much or enjoyed my days in Italy to the degree that I did without their friendship. Thank you. I jotted some notes on my Blackberry while wandering Italy from its North to its South. I have transcribed a portion of those notes below. I wrote this while en route from Chicago to New York to Milano, Italia. Forgive any poor grammar or misspeeelingssss, but my hope is for the rawness to be part of the charm.
I don’t think you can write about something unless at the moment. The instant breathes. I sit in seat 30F on a flight from chicago to milan that connects I at jfk in nyc. I switched my seat to be able to press my child eyes against the window. The airplane’s windows are small but I can see the world. The bursting, gorgeous white clouds. And now new york crowded onto a point. I cannot see the twin towers. The clouds race across the sky as ocean waves or dashing armies. The neighborhoods surrounding nyc are geometrical. An ocean of clouds stretches further than my eyes can see. The bitchy stewardess forced me to turn off my cell phone, but she cannot stop me from dreaming my body out the window and writing later…We dip into the foam cloud bath. We dance in the clouds. They must be from God. I wonder what da vinci or shakespeare would write of flying if we could instantly transport them to seat 30F. None of their physical experiences were as alien to the frail human body as flying in a jumbo silver plane with its line of windows into imagination.
Many hours later…
Every time I see the wing of a plane from inside a plane, I think of that one Twilight Zone episode and worry about the possibility. (Hilariously, it stars William Shatner. I have posted that classic episode at the end. I recall my father introducing me to this episode and I also remembered the monster being a lot scarier than that cuddly warm bear.).
I am flying at dark night over europe. The ground is lit in hazy warm blankets of orange and in pinpoints of orange in others. The whole of the scene pretends to be the constellations and galaxies of the universe. Human constellations, with God’s constellations dangling in clear above the horizon. I spot rare towers of twirling white light on the ground.
A few hours later…
I am flying over the Swiss Alps at dawn. White snow covers them but patches of black break through. The horizon is from top to bottom light blue,yellow, orange, rose, purple, blue. The Alps shouldn’t be real. This can only be God saying good morning. The dawning sun grants pink crowns to the tallest heads of the Swiss. From afar I wonder whether the Alps are God saying to us, “But you can’t do this.”