Passage through Treviso, Italy
copyright © Sophia Khan
If you have traveled to Italy, or dream of traveling there while perusing dreamlike images in magazines or beautifully curated Pinterest boards, you know it is a land of variety. While monuments and majestic ruins are plentiful, so too are the many inviting vistas and the small details one is sure to find along the way. These present themselves at varying scales. One might marvel at the spaces that unwind while strolling through an arcade, or encounter an ancient wall to witness the age of its weathering stone carvings.
It is with all this in mind that I painted the above watercolor and wrote the poem below.
Mosaics of Italy
They flash before you like scenes from a mosaic brought to life.
Each vista in Italy is both a delight in and of itself, while through our wandering, they become connected by our memory, and thus become whole.
Turning the corner of the arcade leads to the open door in the home.
Turning the corner of the Cathedral leads to the closed doors of the forgotten church.
The church whose fading frescoes are all that remain to watch it from within, be it in silence and in dark.
Laundry drips its thirst onto sunlit stones, creating patterns for the wind to play with.
In Italy, what was once private is now out in the open, while public space-the life filled piazza-retains a level of intimacy that is perhaps not even found within the home. For here, the traveler is not frowned upon for wandering alone. Here, the stones of the cities past gently nudge us to reconnect with, rediscover, and bring to the surface, thoughts of of own lives, our own story, our own path.
And just as our lives are made up of tiny seeds of memory, that now and then become large or shrink according to the importance we impart on them, so too our travels embed in us many images that remain within us.
Now and then, they lovingly remind us of a certain part of ourselves we perhaps found or fell in love with while we were there.