This morning, the barrista is a rather large middle-aged man who is barely awake. His eyes have that sleepy look. He rubs his face and pauses a moment in confusion. The bar is already full of activity, however, and along with my coffee he favors me with a smile. Gratzie!

Morning in San Gusme

After consuming my little bit of heaven I move about town taking pictures. A woman is watering her already flourishing flowers, while tables stand ready nearby for the Festa del Luca to come later that day. Two cats, one pure white, the other solid black with golden eyes return my look impassively. The church bells that I've been enjoying for days, I now see perfectly framed between buildings with a bright blue sky behind them - a further gift to me! I know that this is one roll of film that will provide me with a treasure trove of wonderful memories and paintings to do in my studio this winter.

Back at the apartment Sam is ready, and drives us to a nearby town for the next part of this adventure. Hello to Montevarchi where the main street is closed to cars and we have time to stroll about a bit and get a Gelato before the train arrives. Arrividerci to San Gusme. I promise that I will return! Maybe I'll even speak a little of your beautiful language next time!

Florence; the workshop, the art, crowds, food shopping and more.

My Experience of the Poetry Writing Assignment

If there are Gods of poetry, we have certainly been favored by them in this already incredible workshop. We have Dr. Nils Peterson, Professor of Literature and Humanities here to bring out the poet in each one of us. As a rule, I don't seek out poetry readings, but when he shares his own words, or those of other poets, I feel it, and today I find myself doing a rhythmic doodle in my notebook as his voice reaches my heart.

Each day we poetry challenged participants create what he calls a group poem. We do this by accepting his assignment - Write one line on a theme such as "The soul of an art object you have seen in Florence." Yes, they were often awkward, but I am also pleasantly surprised by how many are beautiful or humorous. I leave the rest to your imagination, for the telling of it seems impossible. Only this, one of our last poetry lines was on food. Ah, a stroke of genius - everyone was at their best.

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