Part IV

Lately I've been thinking pretty analytically, which has led me to evaluating the cost benefit ratio of being here in Italy. I know what you're thinking...I'm in Italy. There are, however, things I'm giving up to be here. Inevitably I come to the conclusion that four months in Florence and the finer things that come with this lifestyle far outweigh the things I'm missing. Let's list them though, shall we?

(In no particular order)
1. The mountains outside my house
3. Driers
4. DVD player + comforter + pajamas
5. Pretzels, oatmeal, chai tea, salt & vinegar chips
6. Wearing sweatpants to get coffee after 7 pm (Italians don't drink coffee after lunchtime...why?!)

The thing I miss the most, though, are the people that make home, home. In the interest of this feeling, today's poem will be Sir Walter Ralegh's "The Advice."

The Advice

Many desire, but few or none deserve

To win the fort of thy most constant will;
Therefore take heed: let fancy never swerve
but unto him that will defend thee still.
For this be sur, the fort of game once won
ell the rest, thy happy days are done.

Many desire, but few non deserve
To pluck the flowers and let the leaves to fall;
Therefore take heed; let fancy neve
r swerve
But unto him that will take leaves and all.
For this be sure, the flower once plucked away
Farewell the rest, thy happy days decay.

Many desire, but few or none deserve
To cut the corn not subject to the sickle;
Therefore take heed let fancy never swerve,
But constant stand, for mowers minds are fickle;
For this be sure, the crop once being obtain'd
Farewell the rest, the soil will be disdained.

This poem is a comfort. Amidst all of the seduction poetry in the Renaissance, the jilted lovers, Ralegh breaks the trend.
Before I flew across the Atlantic many of my friends and family gave me advice that rings similar to this poem - don't be too open, people will take advantage. Of course, my open nature is famous among those who know me, and 7000 km away (I think), I feel at home when I read Ralegh's poem. I can't go out to lunch with Dad inbetween Italian and Renaissance Literature, I can't see my mother after her class, can't see my sister when she comes home for a weekend, can't see people from home that have made me who I am, so I've decided to find things here that are substitutes for the familiar. I've decided to find things that I'm fond of, things that "get me."
That being said, I've searched far and wide, and I've found a place that makes me happy in Florence, a place that will make me feel watched over and protected. This place is home to my new friend Romeo. He's a handsome one, strong, quirky, and for some reason makes me feel calm - he's the stone lion outside of Palazzo Vecchio. I happened upon him yesterday after my visit to the Uffizi (which I will talk about later), started photographing him for my photography project, and I really liked his personality. Inanimate objects can never really disappoint. He'll be my anchor here, the place I go visit when I'm feeling lost, when I need a reminder that love, advice, thoughts, and home can span an indefinite distance.

All my loving I will send to you


The Inner Marker said...

I love following your mind's journey Racheo.

laura freeman said...

Dear Rachel,
It was a great treat to meet you (FINALLY!) and to enjoy your conversation and share an evening together. I'm looking forward to introducing you to the Mercato di San Lorenzo tomorrow.
Yes, you are "lucky" but you appreciate it and that means your parents are very lucky, too.
Sogni d'oro.
un GRANDE abbraccio.

laura freeman said...

p.s. You already had that poem by Catullus I recited!