February 23, 2009

Letter from Venice

Another trip with Branko, this time very sedate. After leaving the West Coast, the weather turned nasty. Clouds hung like shrouds and snowflakes drifted by. The route into Scotland and England did not improve the picture. On the ground, the mood is just as frosty.

I met Felix in Vaduz. He looked exhausted.
So much for the joy of international banking

On to Venice, which was in full Carnival swing.

American expats are not cheerful; with portfolios shrinking at an alarming rate, everybody is worried.

Clive is settling comfortably into his European stay. He now towers over everybody. When do boys stop growing?

Met up with old friends, and bumped into people from L.A. Small world!

How is old Dame Venice? Pensive. Our moods are becoming alarmingly synchronized. The native population of the inner city is dwindling at a rapid pace. The exodus to the mainland has uprooted the old men from their lines on the street benches and its blowing away the new generations.

The usual grumblings accompany Carnival. Once Venetians donned their masks to hide their identities as they indulged in revelry, now the citizens are searching for their identity. You flock to the Piazza San Marco and feel the crush of expectant sightseers lit up by the flash bulbs of cameras. Extroverts parade around in truly splendid costumes.

Alas, there are no flights of the angels, nor balls and banquets, or orgies (much to Clive’s disappointment).

This revival of the ancient Carnival has not struck a chord in the hearts of the citizens, but it has touched a new button on the cash register. The old rites and customs have died out, and new once have taken their place. They have claimed their pound of flesh and the flesh has been cut up, divided into miniscule portions, and offered for sale at arbitrarily high prices. So, each year Venice makes up her face like an ancient beauty aware of her fine bones but worried about her wrinkles.

Carnival will be swept away tomorrow and soon forgotten. Once it’s over, serious business can be resumed. The city will be waking up to feelings more genuine than anything paraded in the Carnival.

As I plough through the Grand Canal,
I amuse myself by thinking that the palazzos gaze across the water at each other, critically observing their respective splendors.

I’m moving, and things around me, shadowy as they may be, are moving in their diverse, crisscrossed, self-regulated ways. Circles of movement transmitted through water.

I am pensive as I observe life to which I am addicted with the same intensity as I’m to that vanishing reminder of something else.

Meanwhile, with relentless, undying love and enthusiasm

I come,


and I’m admitted ,

to marvel at the inside of the oyster shell.

Time to leave –

Joyously, Doris


New York New York said...

the nicest postings i seen so far

Anonymous said...

wow, nice

Anonymous said...

Grazie mille

Anonymous said...

thank you

Anonymous said...

interesting read