Saturday, February 20, 2010

MATCHES--- A Magpie Tale!

It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone. ~John Steinbeck
ru_glamour Louis Vuitton Core Values
There was something tugging the blankets off me waking me from the twilight of sleep. I notice a faint whimpering sound barely audible. A cool breeze gently moves through the wind chimes right outside my bedroom window, causing them to chime softly.  I woke up to a room bathed in sunlight.  I wonder what time it was as I fumble around trying to find the clock.  My dogs are excited that I am finally awake and jump up on the bed and want to play.  They don't stay long but jump off and  start running to the door, signaling they have to go out. I follow them and unlock their doggie door so they can get back in,  start the coffee, and get myself ready for the day, or afternoon for it was already 2:00 pm.
After a long hot shower, a continental breakfast and endless coffee, I feel a sense of anticipation as I  revisit in my mind all the details that happened to me in the last 36 hours. With all the last minute changes I almost didn't catch my flight back to the states; then again would that have been so bad?
The feelings that gripped me while I was there take hold of me again. I recall the quote from John Steinbeck  "It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone"
 by Joanny
I promised Claudia as soon as I was settled, I would email her to let her know I arrived home safely.
Claudia was our tour guide, and interpreter for the three week hands on cooking lessons with Michelin-starred chefs along the delightful Amalfi coast town. We would visit all the important sites of the area, including Pompeii, Capri, and Positano while we would experience an Italian cooking school like adventure and learn the culinary secrets of southern Italy. The last part of the tour  she made a mistake she didn't make a reservation for me. I have known her for a while and she can argue with the best of them and pull strings and make things happen so I wasn't too concerned, after all I was in good hands.   This time it was different - she came back with a look in her eyes, "I can not get you in, but found you some thing better, much better, in fact you could never afford this place and would be a fool to turn it down."  Claudia was not happy that this happened but secretly glad it happened to me instead of one of the others on this tour.  They would be very upset and besides she knows that  travel excites me, awakens my senses, I would be up to the adventure.  Especially when it leads to exploring some ancient Italian town and staying at some glorious villa, truly a once in a life time opportunity.  There were going to be only seven other quests and I would have my own wing to myself.  It was a favor owed to her and she cashed it in to save the day,  ah good friends are a treasure, indeed.  Off she sends me packing for three days till departure back to the states, with the reminder that I better leave on time for there was only one train time available to get me back to Rome and then to the airport - miss that and I am stuck.

ru_glamour Vogue Flor, Jani, Veiga, Susan by Pedro Ferreira for Vogue Portugal June 2009
There is an archway, just outside this magical enchanting villa, in the hillside village, which neatly frames a cluster of white washed homes, sculpted trees, an extravagant array of flowers, dazzling blue water and clear blue sky.
Someone greets me in Italian, quickly takes my bags and shows me to my room. "il pranzo di seniora sarà servito al 6:00 pm che squilleremo per voi". That is how I met Peter, he was one of the guest staying there. The dinner was lavish, Peter and I left the others and ate on the balcony over looking the beautiful floral gardens and the shores of Lake Garda. 
 
 google images from Italy
An infinite number of twists and turns throughout our lifetime led us to each other -  As fate intervenes by the result of a series of happy circumstances; which I believe is another way of saying it was a gift from God.
 ru_glamour
My thoughts trail off --every muscle in my body tightens up and I am gripped with  fear, I am thinking every negative thought possible.  I am in utter disbelief at what I am seeing -- there it was in the email Claudia sent me a link to the Italian news article -- The Villa Capra built in 1866 is completely destroyed in a fire ,,,, it is not reported if all occupants have been safely evacuated.... It is not known what started the fire that destroyed the whole building, but that it happened in the early morning hours.   In my mind I am trying to retrace my steps the morning I left the villa.....
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DavidHR's photostreamDavidHR photography of Castle Miranda
....the night before Peter came to my room and we enjoyed a wildly romantic dinner.  We sat in front of the fireplace all night into the wee hours of the morning.  We were barely able to understand each other -- except love is the same in any language.  
We must have fallen asleep  I heard a knock on the door and when I opened it there was a tray with breakfast  and a fresh pot of the wonderful Italian coffee and pastries.  It was my morning wake up call to be taken to the  train to Rome..  I did not wish to wake Peter but instead left him a note on the breakfast tray and lit a small fire in the fireplace to take the morning chill off the lovely but drafty room. I kept the box of matches for it was my only souvenir.
Le Love blog
In my haste to leave so that I would not miss my connections for my flight back home --- then was it I who was careless? Could it be?   Did Peter? -- did the others all make it out safely? My head felt like it was going to explode.... my thoughts consume me.. My dogs are barking loudly outside and  it brings me back to the now--the phone rings -- I can not bring my self to answer it . I let it go into the voice message.  I let the dogs in the house to stop them from barking  and sat there clutching the box of matches tightly in my fist. Not knowing what to do, what to think-- the phone rings again,,, this time I look at the caller ID -- it is long distance calling from Italy.  I collect my thought's and say a pray for strength, for courage, the safety of all those at the villa.  I answer the phone...  It is a woman's voice -- Claudia -- her voice explodes in the phone  -- "are you alright?" she asked "why haven't you answered the phone--  the emails?"  "Yes, of course I am alright, what about ..." I asked.   I did not have to finish my sentence she interrupted me and continued to say that it was a kitchen fire -- they still used a big wood cooking stove  -- everyone got out safely but they could not save the building --  and the whole town was saddened by this. There is one last thing she said-- there is someone here who wants to say hello -- Peter.
The only thing Peter said to me was "restituisca me il mio amore "

Fin

 Willow over at Life at Willow Manor has come up with a new blog site called  Magpie Tales  She will be posting a photo weekly as a prompt for a fictional account or poem telling of its history and/or how the item came into your possession.  Be sure to check out the other people's blogs for their tales.

8 comments:

  1. very nice romp of a tale...loved all the pics to illustrate as well...well played take on the theme...

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  2. So romantic! And what great illustrations!

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  3. Well done, Joanny. So romantic.

    (Hey, you might want to make this your first post today, so your visitors won't miss it! I almost did!)

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  4. ...i tiptoed in here...quietly. and lent my ear, my heart...and cast them deep into your work today. and the delicate string of love was strummed. and the string was pulled...and the string almost broke, as the tale took on a ride of intrigue! but the end...ah, the end, the string was brushed gently with the hand of a musician...add the final song of love was merely the first. i relished this :)

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  5. Great piece of work. I almost missed it also as Willow said.
    QMM

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  6. words and illustrations to woo a romantic's heart; A worthy piece with elements of intrigue, suspense and finally release of pent up tension.
    rel

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  7. OMG what an amazing post!!!
    So beautiful...
    I have to ask, did you do that lovely painting?
    I'm smitten with it!
    ~xo always

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  8. I really enjoyed the story Joanny. Suspenseful and the images are beautiful and really worked into the narrative well. Even a happy ending!

    One of the things that piqued my interest is that last year I spent a few days on the Amalfi coast with my family to celebrate my little brother's wedding. We stayed in Positano and the ceremony actually took place at a cooking school in Ravello. Gorgeous. So you had be hooked on this one from the very beginning.

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