The wall

On the way to the Serristori Hospital in Figline Valdarno to teach class, I was struck by more stone walls. There they are again, grey and brown in what is turning out to be a spring rain. Walls. Fencing people out or maybe fencing them in. They match my mood. Today was a day of climbing out of exhaustion and even the setting of my classroom— in a building that pre-dates America by about 400 years, with walnut cabinets full of books and, you know, piazzas, arches, all of that — couldn’t get me too revived.

Luckily the students are nice. Of course, this group hardly speaks any English. I felt relieved when I taught them how to write today’s date correctly and the day they were born. That took 2 hours; well, also present simple tense and present continuous thrown in. Va bene. Of course, then I stood in the rain, waiting for a train (but not on a plain in Spain) for 30 minutes, 30 minute train to Santa Maria Novella, 20 minute bus ride to Santo Spirito. For some reason, I thought of Laura Ingalls Wilder taking a sleigh to the first class she taught. Was it a sleigh ride? I think so.

The problem is sleeplessness. It hit me last night. I’m blaming it on the sweet that Umberto and Lexie brought me back from Sicily and too much sugar before bed time. Either that, or it may be that I’m officially illegal. My return ticket has lapsed, some friends are getting on to me about things like permission to stay documents, visas, etc. But most of the people tell me it’s ok. Naturally, I’ll investigate and probably enroll into a school to get some kind of visa; but also Rob Brezsny is reminding me to try and make money. All of these walls. Hopefully more time to crawl over them.

But now I must succumb to the wall of sleep that is mounting somewhere behind my eyelids. And tomorrow, the Cezanne exhibit. Now there is an eye-opener.

4 responses to “The wall

  1. What is present continuous?

  2. I have been sleepless in the piney woods. No walls here, but the marlins have returned chattering all day long, the frogs have begun their symphony at dark, then silence in the woods after the Colbert Report. That silence keeps me awake. How I long for the sound of a Marta bus, street sweeper, or that 5:30 garbage truck on Ponce de Leon.

  3. Do I need to go to Little 5 and find you a retro shirt with shoulder pads so that you can bust through those walls??? I’m having flashes of you with bobbed hair looking like Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink dressed in a v-neck sweater from the Limited with an upturned collared shirt underneath both having shoulder pads, mini skirt, and bangle bracelets…did I see a picture of you like this??? I have GOT to stop streaming music at work!!! Now I’ve got the Door’s “Break on through to the Other Side” ringing in my ears which again is a perfect reference to overcoming your walls!
    BTW…How was the Cezanne exhibit?

  4. Gee Sandra, I can arrange to send Frank and Bogart over to keep Julia’s cats company. After 10 minutes of the Bogart dash and workout, you and they will be craving the silence, and a cantelope liquor!

    Julia, I am loving your blog. I have just found back your address and here I am. What fun. I feel as though I am on vacation / in the trenches with you! I have read back to when you were packing.

    Your Ma came and inspected Ms. Henny Penny and her Dixie Chicks. (I have 3 now). My cement guy has been rustling the chickens from his roommate’s ex girlfriend whose bother is in jail and who is the true owner of these chickens (Whew). Between the three of them I am averaging two eggs a day. We are trying to figure out which one is the slacker, and is guaranteed a quick trip to the soup pot…. will advise. (My collegues in the “South” are in stitches at my country life as a esquiress. I am thinking to advertise on bus benches since I know there is a definate need for my services. Am thinking of putting in my ad “I’ll git ‘er done right”. What you think??? Maybe with my last name the people will think I come from South Warsaw or something…

    When I came to this country I knew two words in English- yes and thank you. So, after all these years as English as my second anguage I feel that I have gotten even. And so Julia will you, when your Italian rolls off your tongue like a hot rigatoni!

    As for Laura Ingles, I think more of Anne of Green Gables. She had the duty to teach in a one room classroom, spitballs and coming of age boys and girls and all….Now of course I am assuming that yur three ladies don’t spit… however, it could make for an interesting conversation, in Italian of course, on the merits of spitting….you can also give them a few watermelon seeds to practice with….

    What is lacking in Leonia is a Cezaane Exhibit- since the M & M is out as a location, maybe my pavilion or The Country Shoppe and fill the void….

    Hope your week is productive. And warm….it was 79F today….what a treat.

    Kathe K.

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