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...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
frenetic, love-laden song, "Walking On Thin Ice." ( play song )


Spent some time last night writing about our recent visit to Italy: 

We explored some of Venice’s labyrinth, walking into smaller and smaller fractions of roads and paths, some terminating at canals into which we had no access. We found doors and windows and bricks, weather worn, transformed into appealing aged patina. Then a two-hour boat ride around the whole mess of islands, where we finally comprehended the grand scale of Venice’s structure on water. Purpose and majesty.

We took the bus from Venice into Mira for our B&B, worrying because we couldn’t see anything through the dirty bus windows. Italians looked at us as we voiced strategies in English to each other. I asserted myself, said “scusi” through the crowd to the front of the bus to gain purchase on vision. I was just in time to see our stop at the side of the canal in Mira.

Mira is on a portion of canal from Padova to Venice. The previous night we watched the sun set over the canal into distant haze, melt fast into a cold gold wink, then evaporate into nothing.

We found our bikes in their racks by the canal. The B&B provided this point-to-point convenience. We’re accustomed to just the use of our legs. How amazing to travel by train, by bus, by plane, by bike, by leg, by language. A wonder, a miracle we get to the many midway points in another country, another language, relying on the infrastructure of civilization and benefiting from friendly hosts.

It was early dark and chill, January. I didn’t feel the cold because I was warm from biking. Tired but extremely happy, I peddled into the fog on a road which wound through the country.

The trees squatted, thick short trunks on either side of the road. They were trimmed. The branches abruptly diverged from the stumpy trunks right at my height, reminiscent of arms or tentacles. The fog came right up to the tree beings, then stopped. It obscured the fields, a curtain roiling within itself. An occasional ascertation of a fence or a looming roof melted down into slate dark.

We didn’t bother figuring out how our bike lights worked, so we were at the mercy of drivers’ caution. As a car approached, wet stones in the tarmac briefly sparkled from the headlights. One driver put on his brights, passed, and I was temporarily blinded by the contrast. Kept pedaling, kept faith in my recollection of the layout of the road.

Behind me I kept an ear aware of Steve, listened for the machinations of his efforts versus the pedals, the wheels’ groans versus the road.

I smelled the dark earth smell of cow dung. I felt my lungs working, the pack on my back, my strong legs, my heart pumping progress down the road to our bed.

Here we were, two former uncertain Americans. All our important things on our persons. Our persons balanced on bikes, through unfamiliar terrain in the dark, in our second night in a new country. We were capable, we felt secure, and we were happy.

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