My time in Sicily was probably one of the most inspiring, and for such I decided to book-log it. Here’s a snippet, for your interest, from my Sicilian makeshift diary:
The sicilian sun would beat upon me, my bare skin so vulnerable to the sting of the baking sun. Lines of gold shined below like streams of shelter from a shy and salty breeze. The horizon shimmered against the edge of waves that swayed and splashed in layers upon each other, and sparkles bobbed in and out of sight across the broad ocean pastures. Serenity was a silence hummed among us on the Aci Trezza Lido. Every now and then I would crack open an eye to find the heavy sun still lying down on me, like a blanket that I could be sure would hold me long hours into the evening. And even when it would decide to nap itself and slip below the endless horizon until the next day’s wake, it was sure to return strong again, to shine through the split of my rooftop window and whisper me good morning.
The next day break cried itself awake with a pitter patter of raindrop and sips of wind that pitied themselves through that same split in my window. The day passed with not much but a usual pass to the salumeria where a grown-to-be-good friend would greet my entrance with his hearty key phrase, “giorno!” You knew with certainty that it came from the heart.
I flipped pages to a cook book that was gifted to students of our program, finding the form of smiles spread way to a new existence across my face. The pages jumped to me, alive with color and culinary history of italian cuisine. Tagliatelle, melanzane, photographed with elegance and repose; I could only imagine the pretentiousness of its photoshoot and picked myself up to go warm some water.
With the blurp blurp of boiling some minutes later and a cup of mint tea sitting tilted at the edge of my lips, the rain began to tatter itself to a beat upon the rooftop, accompanying a faint start of nightly band music playing somewhere far far over the rainbow, the dull, almost muffled american tunes somehow seeping themselves through the split, the split almost bribed by their plead to enter. Like the sun, I could certainly count on their rearrival the following day.
Excursioning myself through the untreated streets preserved of their ancient history, unmanicured but maintained as what they were to be, I stumbled, and literally so, into a little square that hosted a beautiful, secluded trattoria. Tables with patterned tablecloth embodied a simplicity checkered green and white. Serenity sang in a wind that raced to greet the faces of newcomers like eager licks from a clumsy puppy’s tounge, a ball of fur and fire trampoleining to a door bell’s resonation. The wind blew a kiss and continued its scurry throughout the piazza, fluttering alive the ends of otherwise neglected tableclothes who, without the wind’s course, would be left suspended as victims of gravity.
The sun played peek-a-boo for quite the hour, only to turn itself in to destiny and light the city to life. It crept like a predator over and through buildings, skylighting every crevace of the city’s center. It washed away the darkness that had grown comfortable in the streets, inhabited in the night’s break. Slowly but surely it devoured the moon in its entirety and swallowed the stars with an earthly glow, without reserve. The sicilian sun penetrated the little world that lay at its touch, inpenetrable in its quest to be heard by light.
It was the day of what had become for me a weekly regime– la fiera. Up Via Etnea and descending Via Umberto, I reached the swarms of people, the shouting vendors, and the chaos from which I am now facing withdrawals. The tarp of rugged merchant tents wailed in the wind and bags filled with fresh groceries swung every which way through the streets. Dieci centesimi! Ecco qua! Dialect orchestrated the sound of the streets, vendors — conductors of their work – manipulated traffic their way, and Piazza Duomo was their domain every single saturday morning. I strolled the last end-part of Corso Vittorio Emanuele as merchants packed away the day’s surplus into trunks and folded stands and tucked them deep into their trucks, fastened to safety as the precious cargo pieces that they were.
On to the next!