yeah i got nothin.

so it’s been two months.
two. whole. months.
not sure how that happened. and i’m afraid to spend any considerable amount of time trying to puzzle it out lest i miss a moment of the two months that remain.
poetry is over. i’m not sure i’ve acquired any more skill as a poet than i previously possessed but a group of us plans to keep on writing and work shopping once a week and i’m looking forward to it, so that’s something because before intro to creative writing with the most excellent professor stevick last fall i quite dreaded the thought of writing poetry. after that class i merely spurned it. and now…i like it? really didn’t see that one coming. but i do feel that the poems i wrote over the course of the class were stronger than past attempts – more confident maybe. i fought my voice for a long time but i think i’m settling into it now even if it’s not exactly what i wish it was or hope it might be.
we went to assisi as a group friday before last (can’t believe it’s already been a week and a half) and it was marvelous. assisi is on a hill and we spent the day working our way up and then down again, exploring churches and singing italian worship songs in an olive grove and viewing giotto’s fresco series of the life of st. francis. as field trips go, it was quite surreal save for the necessity of locanda sack lunches for the second day in a row. just before we left we met with friar marco, a young addition to the franciscan order, who shared stories about his monastic life and answered questions about his personal struggles and the reactions of his family. the most human member of the catholic tradition that any of us have met in italy to date, marco readily admitted that even as a friar he sometimes has trouble staying awake during prayer, which takes place at least three times a day. we were all having trouble staying awake ourselves by that point, and i for one was incredibly thankful when we were on our way home again – it was a glorious day, but very full and very long.
on thursday of last week, we wrapped up our respective classes – oil painting and poetry – with explanations and readings of our pieces and a pizza lunch complete with ice cream cones brought to us by albert and eike, the dutch couple we harvested grapes with a few weeks prior. the eleven students in the oil painting class were each assigned cantos from dante’s inferno to depict on canvas, and the poetry students each picked a painting and responded to it through poetry for our final assignment. it was a really beautiful way to tie two such different classes together and wrap up the ekphrastic work that we’d been developing throughout the four weeks of class.
for our second travel weekend, three friends and i took four trains and six hours to travel to the northwest coast of italy. we spent the weekend in manarola, the second town from the south in the cinque terre. on saturday we hiked from manarola to corniglia to vernazza to monterosso, where we stopped to swim in the ocean (i think it was the ligurian sea, technically) and catch some sun before we took a boat back to manarola and got focaccia for dinner (since focaccia and pesto was born in the cinque terre), which we ate while sitting in the harbor before we climbed out on a jetty in the moonlight. on sunday we tried to hike to the first town, the name of which i can’t ever quite remember (it’s riomaggiore or something like that), but the path was closed so we went back to corniglia and took a cappuccino break before high tailing it back to manarola to beat the rain that never came. we had focaccia and calzones for lunch by the water and then we waved our lovely thought kitchenless apartment goodbye and spent another five and a half hours on trains. i read two madeleine l’engle books and we played cards and sat on playgrounds and took a million pictures of ourselves with linnet’s camera on timer and generally had a wonderful weekend away from the convent and sans homework. it’s nice to be back now, though, and we celebrated our safe return with bowls of corn flakes all around. i guess you can learn to appreciate even the most mundane of breakfast cereals after all.
our new classes started today, renaissance narrative and stone carving, and prof doll’s back after a rather impromptu two-week sojourn to the states with his family. i’m currently watching pride and prejudice, FINALLY – we’ve been talking about it since we got here. collaborative dinner nights are a thing as of last week, when we decided to have a taco night spur-of-the-moment, and i can’t complain. i might complain about my moldy-smelling laundry though. apologies in advance and you have permission to slap me if i start waxing too eloquent on that point. i got to make tortillas and i can’t even begin to explain how wonderful it felt to be creating in the kitchen – even something so simple. sam and i are making all sorts of plans for themed dinner nights next semester and i. cannot. wait.
so yeah. that’s the current state of things in orvieto. all things considered, they’re pretty marvelous. the weather’s still grand and the pasta’s still a daily occurrence and there’s still no sign of pumpkin-flavored anything. that’s all right. i’ll get by just fine with karen’s phenomenal cinnamon rolls.

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