Sunday, January 18, 2009


Sometimes, for no reason, in my proverbial mind's eye, I see again a loved image, a snapshot that develops suddenly. That happened late this afternoon. Apropos of nothing, while at a friend's house, engaged in a conversation about an entirely different subject, I saw this scene from December 31, 1999.
With my brother and sister-in-law (now deceased), nephew and new wife, niece and then-boyfriend, I climbed the public viewing tower of Siena's cathedral and looked out over the medieval town and the vista beyond.

I love Siena (and have blogged about it before) -- its friendliness and beauty, architecture and panforte, great art and cathedral cats, and the pleasure of my family's company. At lunch, I ate delicious pumpkin stuffed ravioli; wandering the narrow streets off the main square, I chewed dried apricots pulled from a paper bag; in the sun at a Piazza del Campo cafe, I drank a delicious coffee with steamed milk; and I took my favorite photographs of one brother, from behind and then the front, as he leaned against a post, jacket and scarf pulled up to the bottom of his nose against bitter cold, a heavy bag of panforte hanging from a gloved hand.

I never know when I'll have a fleeting picture surface in memory, and I'll never know why. I'm glad I've been to Siena, if only once in my life, and even more glad I shared the journey with loved ones.

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