Saturday, July 19, 2003

every 24 hours there is a new quote

Working on making the titles of these quotes of the day a little more spunky. It's really just an attempt to make it look like I am blogging more often than I really am. We will blog more on Monday though, really!

"And it could even be that those of us who never found what we dreamed of, may have found it a thousand times, but seeing only the things we feared, chose to stay among the dispossessed."

-Merle Shain
(we thought maybe it was Mark Twain instead, but can't imagine he'd ever say such things!)

Friday, July 18, 2003

Quote of the Afternoon!

...just to liven up the title a bit (sorry, it's been a long day).

Anyway, here you go:

"Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved."

-D. H. Lawrence

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Daily Quote

"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."


Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Today's Quote

"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."

-Alice Walker, in The Color Purple

Jazz Sketches

Last Saturday afternoon my friends and I prepared ourselves a little. We listened to a tape of Miles Davis and various jazz pianists in the car on the way to one of Perugia's largest success stories to date--the Umbria Jazz Festival.

The festival, one of the most prominent in Europe, took the idea of "jazz in your own backyard" and unleashed it on the once virtually-unknown province of Umbria in central Italy. It has done wonders for Umbria in terms of tourism, and for Italy it has made jazz something easily obtainable. Names like Bill Evans, Sarah Vaughan, Herbie Hancock, and Stan Getz have graced the line-up, and this year's 30th anniversary proved no exception--with a Keith Jarrett concert to inaugurate, and plenty of well-established jazz artists, including Chick Corea, Sonny Rollins, Brad Meldhau, and Ornette Coleman, to keep the music going.

We arrived to fresh rain (but just a little) and then sunlight and music. Perugia, a beautiful medieval town and the capital city of the Umbria region, was packed with people in its old center. My friends and I were happy to be a part of it, and we were happy to all be together. Our friends Antonello and Alessandro exchanged funny stories while Corrie and I laughed and talked in a sort of giddy-rhythm, content in the feeling of all that was going on around us, and content in the feeling that we were here, among great artists, in a great fortress-like city--the kind of old-and-new mix that is still rare in Italy.

My uncle played trumpet with a jazz group here some three or four years back, and I recognized bits and pieces of the Festival from pictures he showed us and the rich stories he told. I was comfortable in the city, hearing every once in a while bits of English spoken (which I have not heard around in so long, being in this country) by a passing American tourist, or wandering aimlessly into tall streets of old brick and cobblestone, suddenly away from the festival, from the crowds, entirely. We ate an early dinner at a student-hangout pizza joint, and the atmosphere was all at once that of a weekday in a college town--a mix of lively and laid back--without a hint of jazz.

We heard Ornette Coleman play that night under a full moon.

My friends and I left Perugia around midnight, a two hour drive back to Macerata ahead of us. We played the same jazz tape in the car--Miles Davis on one side, Bill Evans and Chick Corea on the other. And Italy felt different in the darkness, with the music surrounding us. It was a rich, happy feeling. It reminded me of home.


Tuesday, July 15, 2003

O Pioneers!

On Saturday afternoon, Antonello, Corrie, and I decided to visit Cingoli, a city in the Macerata Province of Le Marche. Perched on a hill, Cingoli's wide expanse of panorama gives it the nickname "The Balcony of Le Marche," which it promotes rather wildly as its tourist selling-point. Upon arriving in the city, we parked the car outside of the city walls to see this renowned panorama. It was a sunny, fogless day--perfect for vista viewing.

It was true--you could see everything from Cingoli's long stretch of hill. The country stretched out as patchwork before us: clearly worked into what it was, but colored like land that had been touched only by the most respectful of hands. Gentle greens and golds with folds of cities tucked within them--a land filled by years and years of life.

But it was Antonello's view of the land that meant the most that day. A native Maceratese--I saw him looking out at the land, his hand shading the sun like an explorer: a pioneer. He was searching for his own town out there, in this raw country. Finding it with him was a sort of relief. It was there: Macerata. In a wide open land you can find anything, I felt.


Daily Quote

"I never sing a song the same way twice."

-Billie Holiday

Got a Ticket for my Destination

I went yesterday and got my ticket for coming back to the States. While I am excited about returning (I miss Steak 'N Shake, of all things), it will definitely be difficult to adjust to life in America again. I can't wait to see my family and friends again. I miss my dog, too.

Looks like I'll be coming home the 20th of August!