Monday, September 29, 2008

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Venice is like eating an entire box
of chocolate liqueurs in one go.

- Truman Capote, author, born on
this day, 1924

I didn’t find it like that at all. Venice, I mean. I found Venice strangely ….. austere. And I loved it. I was there, with a very diverse and truly fascinating group of friends and parishioners, for a few days. When I look back over my Life, one of the things I try to do is to relish the utter amazingness that people are. I remember - in the best “sacramental” sense of “remember” - those charming days. They come back to me on several levels and I am transported back and I “relive” them ….. and my spirit is utterly charmed, even by the not-so-pleasant memories of crankiness and testiness and tiresomeness. There was also uniqueness and down-to-earthness and surprise. And a wonderful late afternoon when, on a patio looking over the town and the church tower, two guys got drunk enough on Scotch to fall off their chairs!

One lovely memory: a vivacious, wild woman friend and her husband took me along to a shop where we could buy exotic reading glasses. I could only think of Peggy Guggenheim wearing them! My friend said, “Well, one has to come to Venice to get one’s glasses!” Oh, there’s a touch of gauche and of snobbery – but more, a sense of adventure and of appreciating the wonder of the World. I spent $150 on reading glasses that afternoon. They have all been lost or broken ………. but the Venetian Glasses Buying Afternoon was one of those moments that will live with me forever. The bridges we crossed. The gondolas we admired. The espresso we drank. The bead shops we looked into. The out-loud laughs we had! The utterly beautiful little ristorante we found at the end of an isolated bridge for a superb, giggly dinner. The flair that made it such a unique time. It was magic.

“Magic” is a great gift, a divine one, I think. Magic, like the Kingdom of God, is only known by those who retain their childlikeness. By those who stay open to wonder and to simple pleasures and to surprise. “Venice” is a metaphor ….. for expecting Delight. How it saddens me that so many of us are deprived of the magic the World has to offer.

It can happen anywhere, with anyone. Thank God.


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