Monday, June 29, 2015

FLORENCE - a traveller's diary by North Carolina Painter, Sue Scoggins

Pinch me! So surreal.  I hestitated to write this summer's journey.  I know that so many people have only seen Italy in their dreams as I have until now.  This opportunity dropped in my lap and I still cannot believe I am here.  Two months! Paid.  Teaching! To think of where I was just a year and a half ago..ten years ago...fifteen years Alzheimer world. 

Answering the request to share, I hope this provides hope that all things are possible. The world is filled with wonderful people and places to learn about. 

Street artists everywhere in the city of art.

The lounge outside my room where Pellegrino is waiting on these hot summer days.

one of the most famous architectural masterpieces of the world. 

My tiny room is at the bottom of the steps.

It's Monday morning from my rooftop. The hotel pigeon, who loves almond biscuits, is perched on the edge of the wrought iron chair across from me...waiting for his morning crumbs. These next five days will be spent learning about the greats...Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli.

Traveling alone has it's rewards. Each day I've met the most interesting people.  There's Gino, Antonio, Lorenzo, Leonardo....Funny how these Italian names all end in the letter O.  Today I have to mention the one that stands out the most.

Bountain!  Like mountain accept with a B.  When I got off the train in Florence, the lines were too long for a cab.  Headed in the general direction of my hotel, down by the river, I lugged my bag, filled with more art gear than clothes, loaded my portfolio bag on top and began walking. On the corner were two very nice gentlemen from Nigeria.  They had just come from McDonalds. Such smiles! We struck up a conversation.  These Nigerians had the most beautiful command of the English language...such a deep, powerful and tuba sounding musical accent.  Bountain began talking about how beautiful the English language was and that some people refuse to learn it. Our conversation moved on to having a zest for life and loving life and how he is saddened that so many people refuse to LIKE life. Some people just cannot see..and are constantly critical and angry about everything from too much this to too much that.

"You must LIKE LIFE before you can LOVE LIFE!", he said with his animated, barreling voice.  If you never like'll never love life. You must appreciate so you can love LIFE.

I love that!  Thank you, as tall as a mountain, Bountain.