Last night we had our last supper with the students at the Golden View Osteria. Fantastic food and time. The restaurant glowed with the luminous, candle, goldeness. Our area overlooked the Arno and it was a perfect setting for a series of goodbyes.
Naturally, we all went out later and they bought me drinks, told me what they were going to do with their lives, revealed dreams. Several were upset at the thought of losing contact with each other. I reminded them it isn't necessarily the place, it is the connection. Most of us share the desire to stay. I saw fear on some faces when thinking of their American life. They have changed here. I know this, because Europe changed me when I was their age. Maybe they are the same people, but their perspective has altered. A strange thing to witness in others.
To say that I will miss them all doesn't really express what I feel — especially in regards to my student assistants. Being around so much youth and energy . . . It isn't that I want to be young again, but capturing one moment to go back to every few years would allow for air and assessment. And that is what I'll miss about this first group — the lessons they taught me, access to their energy and the brilliant creative enigmatic personalities of a few. They actually made me feel better about the future. If they represent the generation to follow, then maybe it isn't going to be so bleak.
Naturally I took pictures, but forgot to bring them in today. And Cheryl is coming tomorrow and work is out for me. But I will pop in and try to keep you posted on my real vacation time! Cinque Terre, Rome (again) and Sicily — here I come.