Tuesday, October 21, 2003

We are in Lucca today. Lucca, Italy. About thirty-seven kilometers from our villa. Our villa that overlooks about a million kilometers of rolling, crushing mountains covered with green, red, and orange trees and vineyards. The villa itself, Rustico Sera is worth about seven hundred and fifty words of description, but time is limited so I'll give it about half that.

We drive up and up a winding, one-lane, careening road. We get nervous because we are still driving and we are far from the main road. We see signs once in a while, but you know how Italy is...you just don't know if you can trust or if you are going the right way even if you do trust. Clouds wisp like smoke up through countless ravines and the sun breaks through once to stun once in a while. We have to pull over for a picture. WE HAVE TO. When we pull up to Rustico Sera, we are tentative and afraid that it is too good to be true. A majestic, stocky house carved from two hundred year old brick/stone. The brick/stone pathway around it is thankfully lined by an iron fence, since the drop is about two hundred meters down into thick greenery. Inside is a dream mixture of old and new. The walls and floor are old, the stove and plumbing are new. In other words, we don't have to rough it, really. There is a fireplace for our main source of heat, but of course, there are little gas heaters in each room if we like. I love that the bathroom is beautifully tiled and recently renovated. It's the best of both worlds. The proprietors, Umberto and Pinuccia Bunaccino. They took great pains to show us each in and out of the place. It was their little baby to lend and their care in showing us the finer touches made them sweet.

Rustico Sera has been the highlight of Italy. It lets us take advantage of the slower pace that the Italians are famous for. We can have our home base and sleep late, etc.

This morning, while lying in bed with Ginny, starting to wake up, I began to have thoughts for the first time in a while. I started to verbalize things I haven't been able to say in a while. Things about how we should live, what we should expect, how to handle sorrow/disappointment, and our past. I recalled Merton's ideas of forgiveness and past sins, and, due in no small part to Graham Greene's "End of the Affair" which I have started a few days ago, I was thinking about God.