Thursday, January 24, 2008

England ? Italy???

Some of the things I saw in England reminded me of Italy. The rolling green hills with trees few and far between. Reminiscent of the landscape I saw in the Napa region of California, but not here on the east coast where trees are abundant. I mean, geesh, I live in a neighborhood called Greenwich Forest. What does that tell you?

The winding cobbled roadways, the stone facades perched right there at the edge of the street, definitely designed for pedestrian access, not automobiles. I can't help but think of the many who have, over time, stood where I stand, walked where I walk, looked beyond to the rolling hills - they are all there with me and I stand in awe and just try to soak it all in.

I wonder what a week, a month perhaps, alone in one of those towns would do for me. What would I come to realize, about me, about life? It's just a dream, for if I am there, I am not least not in any lifetime I imagine...Under the Tuscan Sun anyone?. No, if I return it would be with someone, my husband, Lynn, a class of similarly inspired students. I have created a life for myself that surrounds me with people. And I love it, I do. But I often wonder what would happen inside my head were I left alone to my own thoughts, amusement, daily routine and yes, art.

I was lamenting to nina today how my 'year off' had been so very busy so far. She said (wisely, or sarcastically, or both), "You can't control everything, you know." Of course I know that, but I had forgotten. After years on the road, keeping a schedule, running a family, a business, writing books, making art for this publication and that, this collaboration and the other....I have been trying to control things for so long that I have forgotten that there are just some things I cannot control. It's part of that 100 mph lifestyle that led me to forget that.

Just so you know - when I was in England, I did slow down. To about 25 or 30 mph I think. I went to just be there for Lynn and so I was there, just there. It was lovely. My mind was still to wired for me to write or barely read anything, but I relaxed, yes, I was relaxed. I think this year will be the year I learn how to relax again.

I may get to revisit Italy this summer, and gaze upon it with a new perspective. We are only 1/2 way full to making the Art & Soul - Italy trip happen. If you'd like to join me and the other wonderful committed students, we'd love to have you. Besides making mouthwatering painted papers bound together in glorious fabrics and ribbons, we can relax over a bottle of wine (or beer for me. yes, even in Italy), some famous Pienza pecarino cheese, watch the sun set from the city wall... share stories about life, about slowing down, being in the sun and in the moment. It's the first week in June and the weather should be just lovely. Ah...I'm already there. I know it's my year off, but when Glenny asked if I'd like to return and I said, to my husband, "But it's my year off." His response was, "Are you crazy? If you can go - GO!" So if I go, good, if not, that's OK too. There's a reason for everything that happens or not.


Jan said...

Lesley, I have traveled to Europe twice by myself. Once to England, on a tour, where I met the most interesting women from Wisconsin. The interesting thing was learning about similarities and differences in California and Wisconsin life while learning about English life. The second time was 12 days in Paris, where I do not speak the language. I learned more about myself on that trip than in any other period. I had never felt so "engaged" and so "alone" all at the same time. Not speaking the language kept me quite alert and engaged in every detail of the day. Yet traveling alone for such a long period was a bit challenging. These days I prefer traveling with my husband. However, I am talking to a few women friends about a month in Tuscany one of these years, a la "Enchanged April."

Carol said...

Lesley, I am so moved by your posts over the past weeks, I have cried and smiled and felt strengthened by your compassion and courage. I do hope you manage to find time to relax this year. I would dearly love to go to Tuscany for your course but not this year. Maybe next year. Tuscany is my dream destination, worth saving for. All the best from hot and humid Sydney, Carol

alex said...

I echo Carol's words. I haven't been visiting blogs so much lately...something akin to your going 90 MPH...but I am so glad that I chose to visit this morning.

Your experiences of the past month have hit me over the head (in a good way:-) and you remind me to slow down, pay attention to my mother, and take care of the hearts and health of my loved ones.

thanks Lesley!

Lorri Scott said...


I hope you get to have your Italy workshop. Maybe people are leery to sign up because of the devalued dollar? If I didn't have the opportunity to go to Paris in Nov. you know I would take this class!

Thank you for sharing the stories of your travels and of your life.