Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dante’s Boot Camp

The sound of the waves crashing upon the shore has been replaced with the sound of my heart beating in my chest. As if in a dream, I am transported across the world from my wild place in the New World - ocean, eagles, tall pines - to a rugged edge of Tuscany - alabaster, olives and sheep.

I cannot say how I got here, because in reality I was sleeping most of the time. And that is my common story: the human, who walks around in his pajamas, sliding across the polished concrete floors, going to get a glass of water, walking from room to room, taking a spider outside and seeing a small group of foxes as they go from their outdoor places.

Here, there are no grapes, except for a few wild stragglers. Italy, the giant peninsular vineyard, here is bereft of those energies. They are transmitted through other things. How interesting to be in a place that has defined my work, my life even, and to not have any of that which is familiar. It is liberating, actually, not to have the message broadcast and to only have the energy, the essence. The raw matériel.

Footsteps from here are a flock of sheep, tended by Sardinians who migrated over from their island. Always the islands and people who have left theirs to tend the sheep. I couldn’t have dreamed a better metaphor.

Outside, a national park and a forest of sorts, not quite like the one is found myself in last week. Here the trees aren’t so tall, the waves have been replaced with the heartbeat and the fog has been transformed into steam rising from the fumaroles.

Tuscany is a place I seldom seek but am often brought to. My tendencies are to go south, where the language and the food and the random uncertainties seem more familiar. And while this is not the Tuscany of James (Henry or Suckling) or Mayes, it’s alright ma. I’ve just awakened and found myself in Dante’s Boot Camp.

To be continued….

written by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
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