Saturday, September 17, 2011

Where water comes together with other water

From the Grand Canal yesterday morning:


To the Grand Canal yesterday evening:


Eight days in Venice. One wedding of two wonderful people, both of whom individually I feel honoured and deeply happy to number among my closest friends, who in their ceremony and the time away together shared with us something truthful, brave, inspiring and very moving, about which it wouldn't be right to say more here. Nine months since I've been outside of Ireland, which was also the last time The Unfortunately Loyal Boyfriend and I were able to travel abroad together, a large amount of such travel originally having been our aspiration for March until approximately September, rather than the actuality of his extended solo sojourns in various hospitals around Dublin. Six months of craziness, living often day to day, returning to hospital at unpredictable intervals, unable to make plans, and feeling neither free in the present nor able to look forward to the future with any lightness of heart. In Venice all these figures added up to an amazing, intense and beautiful holiday that has renewed me in multiple ways.

Some of those renewals will become apparent in the coming days and weeks, as the waves from a boat's wake hit the canal quay sometimes after the boat had sped out of sight, and other times intersected unpredictably with the wave signatures of other boats coming and going. We'll see what remains, what can be built on, what can and will be maintained, from a week in a city that is constantly crumbling but continuously being rebuilt, refurbished, repurposed, a city whose fantastic existence has endured for well over a thousand years, that persists in spite of its ludicrous position, despite and because of the intense effort and determination required for it to exist at all. The city that is Venice, and appears only Venice can be, in a way that I did not know I did not know before I had rocked on its vaporetto until the swaying continued even in my loosely landlocked bed, laid my hand on the soft warm brick of its buildings, crossed or never reached tiny bridges on its many canals, and seen the sun and moonlight play over the water, wood and stone which intermingle to make this city up. A place of water that moves to the rhythm of water, a place of reflections that are rarely clear mirror images, of masks and drama, of floating and sinking and keeping your balance, of slow disintegration and long endurance due to the ravages and gifts of water. All of this has been said before, and better, by others, and it is hard to imagine saying anything about this place that hasn't been said in its long and extravagantly chronicled history and myth, hard to picture something that hasn't been photographed countless times before and will be again. I find myself happy Venice exists, happy to have been there, and happy to have come home to my own island, to work out how better to travel on, determined to persist.


Anonymous Felix said...

So amazing to read your thoughts/reflections on Venice, especially your descriptions of it as a place, and the relationship between that place and the place where you are in yourself.

I too was renewed by Venice x

Sunday, 18 September 2011 at 20:59:00 GMT+1  

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