Italian Class

parola e pensiero

I can’t imagine anyone not liking my Italian teacher.

I see her at the front of our class. A first floor room with opened, screenless windows. Trees outside, and a warm September breeze moving the air in the room.

She was maybe 23, from northern Italy, and she’d only been in the US two days. You wouldn’t say she was beautiful, but she was everything you see when you think sweet and sexy. Her hair was almost blond, she had soft blue eyes, and she wore glasses that weren’t exactly flattering. I think they had fancy light blue frames. She was built cute as a 23 year old can be built, and she wore dresses. All of us were in sloppy jeans, and there she was in a sleeveless dress, a cottony kind of fabric in an A-line shift that came to the top of her knees. And she didn’t shave her armpits or legs. Yes, she was cute and sexy in some kind of 23 year old, stylish, old world, northern Italy, kind of way.

She hardly spoke any English. She could say, hi, and, thank you, and she joked about us teaching her bad words.

Today. Yes, today. Today, it’s an October evening and I’m looking for my old Italian grammar book, and my mind wanders to an image that’s just easy. For life as it is, for the worries and challenges, there’s a picture from the past that’s just easy.

Those classes were wonderful. They weren’t hard for me. After years of Spanish classes, I did some American blend of Italian/Spanish, and she understood. She smiled, behind those glasses, and it was cool. It’s hard to explain how some people are easy. Easy in a wonderful way. There’s not a person reading this who wouldn’t absolutely love my Italian teacher.

2021, plants

ferns

If someone did a Top Ten list of plants that inspire, ferns would be there. Mayapples would be there. Giant oak trees would be there. Flowers that show up on their own, and bloom at the edge of a paved street, for sure would be there. I’m talking about plants with personality, plants that stir the imagination, plants that make you smile. Plants that make you write a story. It’s a short list.

A field of wildflowers, as far as the eye can see. That kind of imagination.

Ferns. A stegosaurus stomps the ‘earth’, the way we imagine the earth looked millions of years ago. With each step, the ground thuds as the dinosaur moves past vegetation…huge, prehistoric ferns. Yeah, that kind of imagination.

So, ferns. This is what I love about ferns. Well, for one thing, they hang around all year. They survive the winter. Like we do.  They’re not fresh and robust when they meet the first light snowfall, or the last cold icy storm. But they don’t dry up and wither away, or lose all their leaves like some bigger, stronger, more impressive ‘plants’, otherwise known as trees. Buried under January’s coldest, iciest cover, the fern hunkers down, close to the ground. You scrape away the slush and snow and hardened icicles. And there’s a fern. I have respect for that.

Is there another plant that comes to life with the charm and charisma of a fern? I know, somebody’s gonna come up with some mushroom that pops up overnight in an interesting way. Nope, forget it, not good enough.

You can smell the scent of ‘earth’. And take in the filtered light shining from above through the branches of those tall awesome oak trees. Peculiar little mayapples cover the leafy-rich surface. And ferns.

Bob Marley

music and images


When I hear Bob Marley, I see shades of tangerine and vivid pink. And pictures in tropical greens and blues and yellows. And one of those small half-circle type windows, with sheer white curtains gathered neatly in a fan, to block out the afternoon sun.

Outside on the covered porch, someone waits in the shade of painted wood. A fancy overhang, and thin carved spindles. Tiny glass chimes, multi-colored prisms, hang down between the spindles, quiet and motionless on a day that’s warm and still. And past the cover of the building, blue skies. Gravel and grass, magenta-colored flowers, and lush green sandy vegetation.

I pick up the scent of stewed chicken.

The imagination’s funny. It takes a little of this reality, and the flavor of a song or a memory, and without beckoning, it floats some kind of blurry image your way. Like the soft elements of it all have been waiting around in your head, waiting for something to stir them up.

_____________________________

2021

august

angelon

All those delicate flowers we planted in May, or June, they’re strong and showy now. Or they’ve withered and died. The tomatoes are tall, healthy, nearly out of control, ready to pick. And tall blades of grass that used to be bright green are a shamble of bent, disheveled straw.

The last days of summer always feel a bit restless. Maybe bittersweet. Like we’re living in yesterday’s moment, and holding off tomorrow’s worry. We try to relax, but there’s a nagging feeling … it’s almost gone.

2021, space, time

continuum

In high school physics class, I did a paper on the theory of relativity. I didn’t choose the subject. It was a random distribution of topics, and I was lucky enough to get the theory of relativity. I did the research, I typed up the words and wrote sentences and paragraphs, and I prepared and delivered a presentation. Did I understand anything about the theory of relativity? No. I didn’t understand it then. I don’t understand it now.

After our stand-in-front-of-the-class presentations, the teacher asked each student a series of questions. So I read what I’d prepared for my report, and he asked me question #1, which I don’t recall at all. I spoke some words, because I was aware that words were required under such circumstances. But I knew, and he knew, I had almost no real understanding of the subject matter. I finished speaking and looked at him, and he looked at me with something like a blank look on his face. He said, ‘okay’, and there was a pause, and he moved on to the next presentation.

It’s called mercy.

_______________________________

© Etikser. All Rights Reserved.

Not my artwork on the wall. It was mass produced, and I bought it years ago. All other photos and images here are my own. They may not be used elsewhere or reblogged.

Please visit my other blog, Clover & Ivy, https://cloverandivy.wordpress.com.
I post mostly nature photos there.

2021, continuum

reflections



It’s a lull. It’s a pause. It’s a pendulum ready to swing. It’s a moment that hangs there. It’s a breath, and then it’s gone.





© Etikser. All Rights Reserved.

Not my artwork in first photo. It was mass produced, and I bought it years ago. All other photos and images here are my own. They may not be used elsewhere or reblogged.

Please visit my other blog, Clover & Ivy, https://cloverandivy.wordpress.com.
I post mostly nature photos there.

2021

above

You go outside, and it seems the whole neighborhood is asleep.

And there are fireflies. Not one or two. At least five or six. Why are they surprising? Why do they bring hope? Reassurance? Reassurance that with everything going on in the world, all is right with the trees and the stars, and you can still stand in the quiet, and take in the magic of the universe.