walking talking inspiration(S) 2
I didn't quite get to finish my thoughts on the last post... Picture this... a rather drafty Thursday evening in Venice. We're heading back from Santa Maria del Salute through Sestiere San Paolo. On the way back we got lost in this enchanting maze of small streets and bridges over narrow canals. The natural light was shyly making way to that of light bulbs and street lamps. The city was putting on its nightgown. Bars and coffee shops were just starting to wake up as street and souvenir shops had been long closed. It was 9 o'clock and if you stopped on your tracks you could catch up with this ancestral quiet that Venice keeps sacred at certain times during the day. The streets we were walking by were getting smaller and smaller, closing in around us in a manner that could become frightening for anyone that doesn't really know Venice and how incredibly safe and care-free this city is!
Suddenly, somewhere across, at a faint distance, above the rooftops, just as a signal or a strange cry of faith meant to draw near the lost pilgrims of arts and creativity, classical music exploded over the Sestiere. It was a vibrant piano forte and probably some accompanying cello. Instinctively, perhaps even spiritually, our steps shifted in this musical direction. We went through a tunnel sort of street as an archway opened up over a small canal. Small boats were parked to the right and left banks of the canal and quiet 2 or 3 story Venician villas were stretched on either side. At the foot of the bridge, after its crossing, we discovered the source of the sound. It was as if someone was playing the piano right there, from the inside of the ground floor of a villa...
There was a strange sort of passion accompanying each musical note. We drew closer only to discover what we thought was yet another souvenir shop with glass figurines and ornaments. It was in fact a souvenir, glass workshop. The mad artist behind the music was not a piano player but a glass crafter playing a CD of inspiring music. He was in the middle of his creative act stretching glass into a neat, long black string across a constant flame. A few minutes later he used this to decorate some 5 or 6 pairs of ear rings. I took a look in his shop...wondrous decorations were for sale and I wanted to buy one. I didn't really want to buy a souvenir but a special time capsule that will immortalize this moment forever. A man and his passion in the late hours of the evening, stretching out across space and probably time, across rules and sound barriers, across the preconceptions of the Italian proverbial laziness or of the souvenirs' questionable authenticity. It was a form of pure expression... it was himself...in essence. I was almost afraid to stare at him working. I tried to make my eyes walk along the walls and shelves on which his work was exposed. It was as if looking at him was an act of invasion...invasion of privacy...of his private, creative intimacy... something that even though exposed could not be meant for wondering, ignorant eyes alone. That night I bought a special glass locket for my mother. He carefully placed in a box with a string lace wrapped around it, thanked us for our purchase and closed the shop behind us. He headed in the same direction we did for a while...so I got the chance to ask him if the shop would be opened the next day. He told me the schedule and walked away in a hurry.
I came back at daytime the next day, hoping to catch another glimpse of him working and buy a few more glass-works. He wasn't there..there was just a lady at the counter selling his products. Strange enough, I wasn't disappointed. Somehow it was to be expected. I realized that which we had experienced the night before was unique and too special to be revealed to all - a one-moment-in-time!
Labels: inspiring thoughts