Wednesday, July 18, 2007
And what do you do to numb the pain, in between cathedral-gaping (a scarf around my shoulders, as the only dresses suitable to Italian July are denied entry by the Italian Church--Italy is too hot for Catholicism, oh there I said it) and museum meditating and street gadding and hostel gabbing--what do you do, oh? You are me and you read. In Montottone I finished the last two books I had bought in Madrid, A Hundred Years of Solitude by Garcia Marquez, and The Nymphs by Umbral, and read a great deal in my book of spanish poetas. In Rome I read Orlando by Woolf, finally, and now I too am in love with Vita Sackville-West. In Florence I am re-reading Orlando, because my gosh, but I found a spanish-language book shop in Rome and bought DON QUIJOTE at long last, so that will be for Florence. Really if you travel alone and are not a smoker going through a philosophical crisis I do not know what you do bookless. There are moments that need an occupation, thoughts coming in other than my-how-pretty-hot, beautiful places to sit and be for as long as possible and too many people to watch the whole time. To walk all day I, at least, need my thoughts in dialogue with those of another, and Woolf does marvelously.