I found my riches.
Updated: May 19, 2022
This is my first #italyhereandnow week. The first week I decided to explore what living my dream now, in a different and unexpected way, would be like.
You know that buzz and high you get from traveling somewhere new? The thrill of exploring culture and social nuances? The joy of letting go of you your normal days and indulging in something different? I feel it.
Let me tell you what I've done and what revelations have come to me.
I started my Italian lessons again.
I had been learning the language for about a year then when our 2nd trip to Italy got cancelled I just got depressed and stopped. But, beginning my lessons again has brought me so much joy. As many of you know, as you're learning a language you think about it a lot; you try translating certain things so the language and deeper culture is always with you. So in practicing the language again, Italy is always with me. For those interested the best language learning I've done is with the Coffee Break series. It's brilliant. The podcast is free but I ended up buying their accompanying resources because it's THAT good. They offer 8 various languages, too.
I'm digesting anything I can on Italian food, culture, life, experiences.
The librarian knows me now and offers to help me carry my bushel fulls of books out to my car.
I've only fully completed one so far and don't want to recommend anything until I'm done so stay tuned.
On that note, if you haven't read Taste by Stanly Tucci, stop what you're doing and get the audiobook. It's thrilling, delicious and entertaining from moment start to end.
I'm rewatching my favorite movies, Big Night, Il Postino, Cinema Paradiso, I'm listening to Italian music as my main musical accompaniment in the car.
I'm reflecting on what I dream of doing there, and doing it here and now.
Why do I want to be there so badly? What is at the root of this soul-draw?
I can begin to answer that after this week.
In Italy, I want to walk slower and explore. I want to savor the seasonal bounties of the earth.
I want to meet new people that have had different experiences then me. I want to taste new things. I want see lands and structures I've never experienced. I want to be uncomfortable but in awe of a new land.
I want to open myself to see this things to learn more about myself.
And what I realized in this one short week is that I can do all that here. I don't need a new place to have those experiences.
I don't need to wait; I'm making my dream come true here and now.
So in experiencing my dream this week, I had a couple mind glowingly powerful lessons come to me. The first one happened in the line to the carwash of all places.
I had gone to a beautiful local bakery, Companion Bakeshop, to buy a loaf of fresh bread, hot out of the oven, per request of my daughters. I had ordered a frittata for breakfast and opened it as I waited in the carwash line and noticed there were two slices of toast included that I hadn't anticipated. At this point it's important for you to know that for 12 years I've been predominantly gluten free. It' only in the last 1.5 years I'm ok with introducing some gluten on occasion, like when I make pasta. But indulging in bread, real heavenly glutenous bread, is usually a hard no for me. I make my own gluten free sourdough. And it's good. It's great. But it's not GLUTEN.
And as I saw this fresh toast laying alongside the frittata I asked to myself, "If I was in Italy, would I eat this?'
I answered myself " F@#k yes."
So I ate the damn bread. And I felt like I was in euphoria. Floating on a carmelized wheat, toasted and gloriously buttered gluten cloud. I was ecstatic, like I had never tasted bread like this before.
I made the resolve that I'm going to eat some bread sometimes. I'm going to friggin do it because I'd do it if I was in Italy and I'm living my Italy, here and now.
In "Searching for Italy; Rome" Tucci said that the Italian have the ability to find riches where others may not have.
And I found an invaluable experience in that one moment.
In that one slice of bread.