17 August 2010


Finding churches everywhere is common, especially in a Roman Catholic country like Italy. Nonetheless, I spend more time outside any church, than inside. This nondescript church in Santo Spirito has caught my eye from every direction since I first lived in the area. I try over and over to capture in a photo the feelings it brings up inside me, and yet can't quite. Instead, its angles, geometric patterns, patina, shadows, and size capture me.

Just one of many things I feast my eyes on in a given day.
--Josslyn "Giosalina"
Firenze, Italia

15 August 2010

A Ritual

Walking my dog, Mabel, is a joy. We share the opportunity of exploration and discovery.

To observe her go pazza ("crazy") over scents hundreds of years old is something she didn't experience in Los Angeles. In Italy where civilizations are built upon older civilizations, she always discovers something new to her nose. Her joy is a pleasure to me.

In the months since living in Florence, I have avoided a particular street. Perhaps it is the steep climb that caused me to choose a different road. Now living only a few steps away, we have made it our regular, late-afternoon passeggiata ("walk").

The first time I recently explored the street, I had several discoveries. One discovery was that my friend P. and I were exploring the same road in the summer of 2006.

I was immediately filled with happy memories of our explorations -- pellegrini ("pilgrims") that we are -- four years prior.

So when I walk out my door, the options are either turn right and climb a few stairs or go straight. Either way, I begin a steep climb for at least half a mile. Within three minutes of walking, it is so quiet that it is easy to forget I am still in Florence.

A slice of heaven. The views; the churches; the villas; the backside of Boboli Gardens; Forte di Belvedere; the many little details of art, architecture, and sculptures are just waiting to be noticed.

They say, "Every day walk your dog even if you don't have one." Mabel celebrates 12 years of life this August.

Thank you, Baby Girl, for rescuing me!
--Josslyn "Giosalina"
Firenze, Italia

05 August 2010

Night Reflections

A quick update.  It's been a busy time.  Approaching a month that I am living in my new place and, well, I'm not exactly settled in yet.  Still in need of  buying some things for my new home, including a comfortable chair to work in since I spend so much time in front of my computer.  I have unfinished projects from my time in Los Angeles that are important and need my attention sooner rather than later.  And I am getting quite anxious to finally resume private Italian lessons.  But the days fly by.  Life is good.

Less than two weeks after I moved, my longtime childhood friend came to visit from Mexico City for five nights.  The following day I had a visitor from Hong Kong for another five nights.  And only a handful of hours ago my friend from the Lake Constanz area (outside Zurich) spent four nights with me and she arrived the day following the Chinese visitor's departure.  It's been a lot of fun, and I am exhausted.

Immediately after returning from taking my "brilliant and wise" Swiss friend, with whom I currently have a bet that I can't wait for her to win very soon, to the bus that would transport her to the airport, I hooked up with a local friend for dinner.  She, Mabel, and I walked into San Niccolo and had a delicious dinner outdoors on a hot summer night.  Mabel was entertained by a red cat that wasn't phased by Mabel's interest in him.  He just stayed cool and close to Mabel causing her to be just a bit more excited.

Of course, following dinner we strolled over for a gelato at one of a handful of my favorite gelaterias.  Tonight's flavor:  yogurt with nutella and fondente.  I always grieve when I see the bottom of my cup.  The taste of handmade gelato...well, I just can't get enough of it, which is why it is not all that uncommon recently that I end up in one gelateria or another more than once in a day.

Walking back home along the Arno River on the Oltrarno side of town, we snapped a few fotos looking in the direction of Centro Storico.

I hoped and still hope to be blogging more frequently.  Life is so good here that sometimes it's difficult to keep up and check in.  Here I am.

-- Josslyn "Giosalina"
Firenze, Italia