Posts Tagged ‘watching’

Window Watching

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014


Sitting in Emporio alla Pace, just a few steps away from Piazza Navona, enjoying a cup of coffee and a pastry, it is easy to take for granted the things around me, to not take note of the truly extraordinary nature of the things going on around me. It is only when I realize I am over half way done with my study abroad experience, half way done with my time in Rome am I able to realize, not without horror, that these average everyday things will no longer be a part of my life in a very short while. Every moment I spend here is an exceptional gift unlike any other I have ever received.

My ordinary world is extraordinary in every sense of the word. Sitting in a flower framed window in a softly lit golden alleyway bustling with Roman life and her ever busy residents coming and going, I feel in the pit of my stomach how much I will miss this.

Two men with accordions strapped to their backs walking arm in arm followed by a man carrying a huge base, casually strolling. Two women happily embracing with a graceful kiss on each cheek and loud exclamations in an excited flow of Italian words rolling effortlessly off a native tongue. A woman in a window above and across the way airing out a comforter along with the rest of her laundry, after throwing open the dark green shutters of her apartments window with the double handed opening of arms of a bird taking flight. Construction workers gruffly laughing as they share a cigar on their lunch break, a slowly shifting cloud of smoke encompassing the space of their laughter and the street they sit on. A man emphatically hitting a newspaper with a questioning flat hand as he regards some article in angry disbelief. Three priests walking with arms held behind their backs smiling slightly but silently progressing down the street. A young man and woman walking together, talking under their breath with faces close and confiding, each holding a portfolio of work that is either art or architecture designs that wave back in forth with their fast walking movements, square compared to their bent over, whispering frames skinny from long nights in the studio.  These are the things I will miss. Italian people leading Italian lives, the ordinary and everyday that goes on without note that in its simplicity lies true beauty.

If I sit here long enough I can witness a thousand worlds rubbing elbows without ever meeting one another. I wonder often how many of these worlds I will be able to hold onto when I leave to return to the United States. How many scraps of memory can I cling to when the reality has escaped me and the ordinary becomes the impossible again? I suppose that is why I have this blog. A collection of scraps of memories frantically and sometimes brokenly woven together to make something of the memories and thoughts bumping around in my mind that I fear I will lose some day unless the memories become something tangible, something real. Something to cling to when I am no longer here, something to look back and to prove to myself that it all really happened, that I did live in Rome for a semester, that I did see all these things because honestly I wouldn’t believe it if I wasn’t living it at this very moment.


Creeper Photo: Wave Watching Skater Boy

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

I saw you walking around in the crowd with your buddies and your skateboards. You joined the crowd to watch the waves crash on the rocks. The waves were huge the other day but you hopped over the railing anyway. You went out onto the edge even though it was dangerous. You just sat down on your skateboard and watched. You were interesting, why was it so important for you to be right out there next to the water when the waves were crashing so close. I bet you got water on you. I had to leave though so I never got to ask, maybe I will next time I see a skater-boy wave watching on a stormy day.



Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

The camera’s eye
Swivels and rotates
Focusing and unfocusing
Trying to capture you
In your purest form
Or your darkest moment
To swallow you whole
In the blink of an eye
It is watching you
With it’s great eye
Extending and retracting
The glass reflects
Back on you
It reaches out for
Your sprit
Your very soul
That brilliant shine
The smile
Always on your lips
The laugh
Bubbling out of you
And the life
That never dies
Now lives on
In the camera’s
Unforgiving eye
That swivels and rotates
As it watches
Be careful
It is always watching

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Posted in Poetry |


Friday, September 11th, 2009

I climb the stairs
As doors close with a hiss behind
Thousands of eyes watching
Walking down death row
I sit down in a chair
Images rush past me
People walking away forever
Never aware of me watching
I put my hand against glass
Cold and warm from other days
Everything rocks back and worth
People whisper, cry, laugh
I look down beside me
A little girl sits there
Lollipop to big for her small mouth
She licks relentlessly at it
I hear everything at that moment
Two rows up a baby howls, hungry
Three rows back a man coughs, dying
Across the isle a man and woman fight
I see everything at that moment
Five rows back a woman with a black eye
Four rows ahead a man without an arm
Across and seven rows back a blind man sighs
I sigh too and stare at my hands
“My mom says it is rude to stare at people”
The little girl looks up at me questioning
“Why do you stare at them” she asks
I speak to this girl so much younger than me
“Because there is so much to see” I reply
“I see nothing” she whines
“Look very closely and you see everything”
“Everyone tells a story, but your mother is right”
I listen to her as I do everyone
“Well what’s your story?”
“A long and sad one” I reply
I don’t see it” she says
“I see your story” I say grinning
“You like lollipops”
She stares blankly at her lollipop and says “No”
“My mom gave it to me before she died”
Silence bustling
People get up and leave the bus
She stands alone and waves to me
Still sucking “Goodbye” she says
I just sit there wondering

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Posted in Poetry |