How endless the visual and historical delight is here! This morning I went back to visit San Rufino, a cathedral I’ve now been to seven or eight times. Since I went on the Roman Antiquities tour yesterday — an absolute subterranean wonder, medieval Assisi having been built on top of a first century Roman town– I paid more attention to what is under the Cathedral… the layers of civilization and time in plain view.
Above: the front rose window from the outside on Good Friday and from inside this morning, reflected in the glass flooring that’s been used in order to reveal Roman wall work underneath.
On one side of the cathedral, next to statues of Jesus, Mary, David, Isaiah and others, is a preserved arch opening into an ancient Roman space.
Here, a hokey inclusion of my own shadow to hint at the insubstantial brevity of this life.
Speaking of life passing, one of the blessings of being here has been distraction from the last months of my sister’s struggle. I’ve lit candles for her all over the city and shared a little about her with a new friend, but otherwise not much — not much memory or hand-wringing. This morning, I threw coins into a pool at Santa Chiara (my sister’s middle name being Claire, recall), one each for K, the boys, me, and her.
Not three minutes later, there was a beautiful and perfect feather in my path. Some say finding a feather means an Angel is near. I thought cynically, it also means pigeons are near. But then, not two feet away, I found a sticker emblazoned with a pentagram, a symbol important in magic generally and to my sister personally. And so, there she was. Hello, Noreen!
I took out the little owl that I’ve been carrying around in my pocket (one of hers) and photographed it near a new picture of Francis in her honor from my favorite perch of this visit — my chair by the windowsill. Need I say — I am a sucker for religious iconography?
I finished the first Assisi-inspired quilt (below) and am rushing to finishing another to give my host before I leave.
Didn’t get to share pix of the sweet cafe where I had breakfast or the many incredible street views returning home, but look how long this is already. I’m going to load some wall and door pix on Flickr and otherwise will be posting about this trip for weeks to come!
Home Tuesday. Apologies for not commenting on blogs right now. Can’t wait to catch up with Jude’s class and Happy Birthday, Nancy!!!
We bring back mementos of trips, photos, perhaps a few purchases but I often think it is what holds inside of us, memories stored in the movie reel of our heart, that forms our lasting sense of a visit to elsewhere…sometimes a trip to another place is planned, other times it comes as an unexpected gift when most needed. You carried an owl from Noreen,comfort is found in the tangible and she was with you, not in total sadness but in anticipation of sharing what presented each day…feathers and pentagrams are no accidental finding…love is ever present.
I love that: the movie reel of our hearts! Thanks for bearing witness here. It is quite a gift to me.
So many significant gifts, back and forth… beautifully present spiritus, captured.
Oh, Dee, this is all so rich, thank you for the vicarious daydreaming I just had. So glad your sister is with you in loving ways. Love your new pieces & all of the arches.
Assisi, one of my favorite places on earth!