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Monday, December 19, 2016


lost in Venice
Getting lost in Venice.
Is not difficult.
It's happened to me in Florence too.
And Reggio del' Emilia
It's a sort of amnesia.
And I'm getting used to it.
And it's not easy to let go and say to yourself 'OK, I'm lost and I give up'
In Reggio Emilia I had to be at a Tai Chi class absolutely on time. Absolutely.
I was staying with friends and insisted I didn't need their help to find the class.
But could I?
No, I couldn't.
Just drove around for half an hour, spiraling around the inner city ring road where every road looked the same. And then I thought 'I've blown this' turned down a side road, turned off the engine, made an huge deep sigh, looked out of the car window and guess what?
There it was, the Tai Chi centre down a little road and just in view of where I'd parked.
Same this time in Venice.
Fearing the amnesia coming on when I arrived, (late because my train from Civitanova was 30 minutes behind time and I missed the Bologna connection) I turned on my super smart phone satnav;
and what a foolish thing to do. It told me 6 mins from the railway station and when it said zero minutes, I remember thinking 'How can there be such a thing as zero minutes?', when ZACK!,
my telephone battery ran out of juice. Couldn't call friend, couldn't locate house. Began to ask folks passing by and nobody had heard of either her or her house.
Amnesia sets in and I find myself twenty minutes later in the beautiful piazza Campo Santa Margherita. Quite an amazing place, and it's dark and moody and full of people spilling out of bars and shops; Christmas lighting the way only Italians know how to do.
And I thought this is good. And I let go.
I was coming to my senses now (if I dare say that) and saw clearly the road I had entered the Piazza through, retraced my steps, and found myself in familiar territory. As I turned a corner there was a lady and her daughter about to enter a house and I asked if she had heard of la Ca della Corte and she said 'Yes it's right there' and pointed to this iron gate, one which I had passed a dozen times.

If you are still awake, you might have got the gist of the story, so I won't bother to tell you about how I got lost again the day after and nearly missed my train back to Marche. And I won't even mention the near death experience in a Gondola.

Got back home quite late and had a shower and dived into bed, clutching for my nightly dose of Krishnamurti (The Book of Life). where he writes for the day of December 18.....

'The seeking out of something beyond the inventions and tricks of the mind, which means having a feeling for that something,living in it, being it,--that is true religion. But you can do that only when you leave the pool you have dug for yourself and go out into the river of life. Then life has an astonishing way of taking care of you, because then there is no taking care on your part. Life carries you where it will because you are part of itself; then there is no problem of security, of what people say or don't say, and that is the beauty of life'

So, that more or less sums up what my photographic workshops are about, being absorbed in the rhythms of life, instead of trying to control it (in this case Venice).

p.s. still a few places left on my 'Black and White in Venice' workshop February 2017