I can't quite make out if the gentleman in this book cover by Paul Sahre is saying farewell to an old world he is watching sail away or waving a greeting to a new world he sees approaching. Which is pretty much the way I am feeling as the New Year starts. I am sitting in the familiar, comfortable surroundings of the den of our apartment on Via dei Villini in Roma doing something that I have done, off and on, for the past 59 years - listening to the Metropolitan Opera Saturday broadcast. Last evening (December 31, 2010) was spent with friends from our time here: Brigitte, Peter and Joe, Walter and a new acquaintance John. The laughter and wine flowed as barrages of fireworks lit up the sky and scared the hell out of the dogs. It was warm; it was familiar; it was home.
But in the coming year that will all change - we will be moving on again - waving farewell to the familiar and greeting the new. One home will be fading and another hovering into view. Like that floating world it is still up in the air as to where and what that new home will be.
But before I allow myself to wallow in sentimentality and melancholy - not that I would do that!!!! - I'm looking at all the plans being made for our remaining time here. The next seven months are going to be busy as we continue our life in Roma and set out on a few journeys around Italy and Europe. Some of that travelling will be for things musical and some for things touristic. And some of it probably should have been done in the previous years but like many people we kept delaying things and don't see time creeping up.
The first musical jaunt will be a circle trip from here to Padova up to Innsbruck, then over to Salzburg on to Wein and back to Roma. It will all be done by train - which I am becoming convinced is the only way to travel - including an overnight deluxe jaunt on the last leg of the trip. With the exception of Padova it will be familiar territory at an unfamiliar time of the year. The centrepiece of the trip will be concerts highlighting the city's favourite son during the Mozart Woche in Salzburg. And what better way to cap it all off than with my favorite Mozart opera Così fan tutte at the Weiner Staatsoper.
There will be several side trips for opera and music during the intervening months but the next big trip will be in May to Southern Italy. Though we did a quick few days in Palermo (and I'm hoping to go there again in February for opera) it only piqued my desire to see the rest of the island. And our friends Vin and Larry have told, and shown us, so much about the region Vin was born in that we want to see as much as we can - so its two weeks motoring through Sicilia. And that will be after a week of driving through Pulgia stopping off in places recommended by our dear Marie-Luisa who has told us so many great things about her home region. And in both cases it really isn't enough time to see everything we should.
At that point it will be time to start packing up for the next destination, though I've made a New Year's resolution that I will start clearing out stuff and taking inventory for a few hours every week rather than leave things to the last minute. Of course that may be like the resolution to enter things on the inventory list (which as I recall is on the hard drive that fried two years ago) as they were purchased.
So the next seven months will be filled with friends, family, food, drink, music, travel and then farewells - after that we will have to wait and see what shape the future will take.
01 gennaio - Circoncisione di Gesù
Written on January 1, 2011 and posted today.