Category Archives: sounds


Last Friday the Atlanta Braves retired number 47  in honor of Tom Glavine — one of the great pitchers of our (well, my) day.  It was a warm and typically humid August  night and I was accompanied by the Howard-Barrs. Good time in spite of a long rain delay.

All of that is just the setting for what ended up being a rather upsetting milestone in my life. I’m sitting there, innocent enough with my now lukewarm beer, somewhere behind Heyward. Someone behind me says “ma’am” and I turned around. Let me put that on its own line so you grasp the importance.

I turned around when someone said Ma’am.

Now, I don’t know. Maybe some of you are thinking “it’s nice people are respectful”, but really that’s not the issue. The fact is that I’m at an age where I just automatically respond to Ma’am. To really make matters worse, they weren’t even talking to me.

Ah, maturity. It brings out some of my more immature emotions.

Tick-tock tick

School doesn’t officially begin until Friday, but I still have some work to do. It’s quiet. Eerily quiet. The clock above me is keeping me grounded in the fact that I’ve not entered a zone of silence. Someone just walked down the hall wearing heels. I’m going to soak it all up and know that in a few days I’ll be counting the hours before I can crawl back into my solo space.

The between times at work are my favorite. Obviously, I love working with the students and I appreciate the static and energy. But now, this quiet ticking. My typing and the clock the only factors. A box of books to catalogue. The simplicity of solitude. It’s a special and rare treat — one I especially appreciate.

Hope everyone enjoyed their countdown and the past few days of 2010. Felice capodanno (and enjoy La Befana today)!

So little morning

This is another night time post. Earlier today I took a nap, so naturally am awake now. And reflective.

Last year seemed all about the morning. I would rise, go to my library, open it for students and send you all some tidbit of my life here. Discovery of self, and place, and life. Now, on the other side of this city and in the p.m of things, everything is different. Work load, living situation, friends, life. I hate complacency but perhaps take that to the extreme. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m discovering other than strength and persistence. Love, yes. And that does make it beautiful.

So, here is a little bit of sound for now. Someone just broke some glass which is only distinguishable from the buzzing of scooters because of its intermittent quality. Summer nights in Santo Spirito are loud, raucous events. Music in the piazza, but then a constant stream of chatter on the street. Chatter is better than the fights. The fights tend to wake me in the wee hours. And they create in me a need to use profanity. My windows are open to help with the heat, so everything is unfiltered. Live, from Via delle Caldaie, it’s Wednesday night . . . if only laughter would always follow.

But at least there is a bit of cooling down in the night. It soothes the skin and mind. So, let the city awaken me when it needs to. I’ll find the gift it is offering later.



Collecting has always fascinated me. What drives people to want to focus on an item and repeat it over and over? Why that object? Why the repetition? Baseball cards, stamps, PEZ dispensers, snow globes. When I was little it was … Continue reading


The winter brings the fog. I’d forgotten that. Everything can be very yellow, grey, pink, green and terracotta here and then when it is blurred—yet still lit by the sun, it becomes a realistic special effect. As if the place didn’t look stuck in time enough, then you ad fog and well, the question of “when am I?” rises to the surface. If you catch the top of the Duomo looming from between buildings wrapped in mist, it looks like a post card from the fantasy of your mind. As if your subconscious could send you an image and say “wish you were here.”

Maybe it is all a dream. Maybe the cold walks to class with long strides, voyeauristic damp, morning rush, dodging pigeons and angry scooters is not a part of this time over. But I suspect reality is knocking.

Not today though. Today I’m voiceless and at home missing class with books in the bed and medication at hand. If you try to call me, be warned. When I make a sound, it is a raspy bellow.

Pine trees, swamps, the usual

My impromptu self pointed the car towards my parent’s farm yesterday morning. With company coming for several days and future travel plans on the horizon, I realized this may be the best time for a visit. As much as I hate driving in towns—traffic, idiots, red lights timed against you—driving down the highway and in the open is not so bad. All of the planted pine forests and swamps of north Florida rolling by sooth. That evening, mom, Lucy, and I listened to the tree frogs and night sounds after a lovely summer storm and some wine. One would think this would be a peaceful setting.

But, it is my family. And while the night was unwrapping the dark, my mother was finalizing contracts, dad was writing something for his campaign, and typical chaos was carried out on keyboards and cell phones into the evening. Entertaining til the end and progress always. Hopefully we will all have that energy in our mid-60s. Or if not the energy, a comfy chair to watch the world go by.

piano, piano

And so it begins, a gentle submersion into life here. There are things I can not quite get used to: my bed, writing at home, hours of blank time. Others I readily accept: the washer and dryer, cats meowing, a microwave. Though I have driven around Tallahassee and do not have any problems managing a car, I will say I miss the walking. Walking for the sake of exercise seems too luxurious. So, when I take a stroll, I try to look at it as adventure seeking. Missing the adventure — for sure.

So I think I must take this re-acquaintance piece by piece. The big hole of depression was beginning to open up yesterday, but I think I can cross it with connections. Talking to friends here, there and everywhere in between. Plus now I am living once more in this wild landscape of the deep South. Everything is green, ripe, noisy with birds, crickets, cicadas. They all say here more than anything. So I am here, slowly.