Friday, June 16, 2006

Now that I know this one place a little, I read with doubled perception. The guide directs me to the acacia-shaded lane along the inside wall of the town, and I immediately remember the modest stone houses on one side, the view over the Val di Chiana on the other.

I see, too, the three-legged dog I know lives in the house that always has the enormous underpants drying on a line. I see the cane-bottomed chairs all the people who live along that glorious stretch of wall pull out at evening when they view the sunset and check in with the stars.

Yesterday, walking there, I almost stepped on a still soft dead rat. Inside one of the doorways that opens right out onto the narrow street, I glimpsed a woman holding her head in her hands at the kitchen table. Whether she was weeping or catching a catnap, I don't know.

Frances Mayes
from, Under the Tuscan Sun