I spent six weeks in Tuscany cooking in a villa near Panzano. A gorgeous country walk to Volpia. A good story with other stories nesting inside, like a matryoshka.
The first item on my daily shopping list toward the end of my stay was husband. It made the company I was with laugh. It was done with a light heart and expressed how hard I’d fallen. Leaving felt impossible.
When that day came, the man I cooked for came to collect me from the clothesline where I’d gone to cry. He said nice things to me on a grassy hill. His words carried on a soft June breeze. On the way to the Florence airport, I could see my reflection in the window, like an underpainting on the receding landscape — Cypress trees passing over the hands in my lap. I longed for the place for weeks after. Felt the heart pangs of a breakup.
I’ve fallen in love with many things. Hard for places, people, stories, books, paintings, and restaurants. I get serious crushes. Some fantastically irrational.
I didn’t need a man to create conditions for staying. There were good people I was sharing the experience with. But there are places where I recognize the absence of that intimacy. When it’s good.
Have you been to Paris in April?
Culturally we equate singleness with a failure to form attachments. Can I introduce you to my friends? Passion is not something I’m short on. Living alone is just another way. And it’s not terrible. I have enough coupled friends to know. And I’ve been there. Alone and together.
One morning this week, I heard on the news that researchers believe the Orcas are playing in the Strait of Gibraltar. Boat rudders look like fun to the giant creatures. It made me smile. Socially, it’s interesting. Unless you’re a boat owner lacking consciousness of living with other beings.
The photos were taken in another special place. A few of you know its beauty.
Sampha’s words. His lyrical voice.
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