Friday, January 22, 2010

Remedy for My Winter Blues!


I bought this journal in Florence to record my ten days as they unfolded. I wanted to be able to savour the memories. All the memories, large and small. To relive and marvel in the beauty and joy of my experience. This journal was my attempt to bottle and contain the excitement of these ten days. To relive them when I needed a reminder of how wonderful and exciting fulfilling a dream could be. Especially during the frigid, icy, dark days of winter. The days, the weeks that just suck the energy right out of you. Like this past week for example.

So I took up my journal and turning to the intro page, I began to read...

"I left my house in Abbeyside by taxi at 9:45AM on July 6th 2009. The beginning of my grand adventure...my trip to Florence. After three years of talk, desire and fear, I was finally on my way. Last March I booked the flights with Ryan Air and an apartment through VRBO. Flights paid for and a 200euro deposit on the apartment I had backed myself up against a wall. Forcing myself to commit. There was no turning back. I was excited, nervous and fearful all at the same time.

During the planning and in my excitement I did not dwell on the obstacles. Husband did enough of that for me!! He was concerned and unable to fathom my determination to go solo. Making suggestions of possible travel companions. I tried to make him understand, that this was my dream. I did not want to compromise my dream by having to consider a fellow travellers dreams. I needed this trip..I needed this trip on my own. I wanted to saunter through the galleries at my own pace, not having to watch a clock for prearranged rendezvous for lunch, shopping, etc. I would eat when it suited me, take the time I needed with any painting or sculptor to soak in and try to hold the beauty. If I wanted to stay gazing at Michelangelo's David for three hours I could, and I did. Returning a second day for more gazing."

Having gotten only this far, I found myself smiling. Smiling even as my eyes sting with heaviness and my feet feel like lumps of lead. My journal has sustained me. It has worked it's magic. The day doesn't look quite as dark and I haven't even turned the page to day one yet!!!

14 comments:

Susannah said...

That was really evocative Ann - I was almost there with you! What a wonderful thing to have. Who knows, one day our blog entries may provide the same memories we can slip into.

Old Kitty said...

Oh Ann

This is lovely. I like the determination you showed to realise your dream. And what a dream! To "saunter through galleries" and "to soak in and try to hold the beauty". And what beauty to behold too in Michaelangelo's David.

I look forward to more excerpts of your journal -that btw is beautiful! What a cover!

Take care

x

shantiwallah said...

Wow, that's fantastic! And what a beautiful journal you've chosen. My journalling has slowly turned into blogging, but I do cherish those old books made of real paper full of memories.

Ann said...

Thanks for the lovely comments. It does seem that blogging has become the new journalling. I hadn't started blogging when I wrote this journal. I still love taking the pen to the page recording my thoughts and experiences bound in an attractive book. It adds to the specialness. :)

Barbara Scully said...

Brilliant post Ann. Loved it. Could feel your excitement tinged with fear. I also dream of travelling alone - I sometimes think that I will finally feel grown up and sophisticated when I manage it.

You also remind us of how wonderful it is to have a nice notebook to record thoughts.. nothing beats it!

Thanks for sharing and I also look forward to more excerpts

brigid said...

hi ann, loved your post, i am a real diary person myself and still enjoy reading from old ones,
have added you to my blog list on my sortofwitty blog, brigid

Niamh Griffin said...

Hi Ann, what a lovely post! I still keep handwritten diaries too;s somet feelings are just too raw to share at the moment you feel them. I love re-reading old diaries. This trip really sounds like it changed your life! And like Shantiwallah, I love the cover!

Ann said...

Thanks Barbara, I still don't feel grown up and sophisticated. Should see me today, wearing these god awful claw things on my boots, to avoid falling on my you know what! No so sophisticated that's for sure!

Hi Brigid, I am usually a sporadic journaller. So I was very proud of myself when I did actually keep this one for the full ten days. Thanks for adding me to your blog list. :)

Hi Niamh and thanks. Beautiful journals are a weakness of mine. I have loads of them. Just not so good at keeping up with filling them. I have one ranging from 2004 to date. A page here a page there. But when I was young I kept diaries. Now they are fun to read. The things that I worried about, the things I got up to. Have kept them hidden from the kids!!!

siobhan said...

Hi Ann, your lovely post brought me right back to my own summer, in dublin, writing my thesis. The bright spot of each working day was your descriptive text from Florence: for a few minutes of every day I was there with you. x.

Ann said...

Hi Siobhan, glad you stopped by and enjoyed the post. We both accomplished major things this summer. Well done sista!

brigid said...

Hi Ann,you welcome for the blog mention, i have all my old diaries, when my 12 year old gets bored, I try and find a date near her age in my diary to show her how exciting (!) our lives were, i'm 44 now, also reading how vacuous i was at 16 inspired my dear 16 year old blog entry, i love journals too, but always feel they too good to write in!!

KarenG said...

Oh what I could say about journals--my lifesavers. Oh what I could say about going off by myself--nothing, as I've never done it! Wonder what it would be like?

Ann said...

Hi Brigid, aren't you the brave one reading your diary entries to your daughter. I didn't do that, as my daughter had enough strange doings without me giving her any more bright ideas! LOL

Hi Karen, Going off on your own is just wonderful. A real treat. No one to please but yourself. Seeing all you want to for as long as you want without compromise. Wonderful!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I completely understand the desire to travel solo. My most excellent adventure was in Norway where my mother's father was born -- I went at the age of 56, and I also kept a journal of my travels. You've reminded me -- now I must get that journal out and read it again. Maybe it will inspire me to take another trip??