This Is How You Make Italy Ugly: Day 03

Mountains near Lake Como

Bellaggio, where are all the cruise ships? This city screams of elderly tourism and unfriendly locals. It may have been the crowd on our ferry over from the ever-pleasant Lenno - and I hate to be ungrateful - but it pains me that such a view, such mountain and lake air, such green and flowering beauty is witnessed and exploited by so many, like a young prodigal musician. Such visual noise and distraction causes the natural music of the Alps to be muted as I sit here on the boardwalk.

It's the view of my bedroom painting, and from now on, the experience of just looking at it will also be an audible one, bringing back memories of grandeur and unpleasantries. It seems one cloud is slowly growing from within, beginning a slow and steady reach toward my bench, like a flower toward the morning sun.

Ugh. I just witnessed the brutal homicide of a winged insect by an inquisitive finch. In his dance to impress me, he found the poor thing resting on the iron railing, without thinking, grabbing him completely in his beak and brought him to the gravel where his wings were ripped from his body. It sort of pleased me to find the tiniest smidgeon of nature and life in this city supposedly screaming with it. This is a Great Wall moment.

Where is my dormant passion, the flutter that feels nothing like indigestion but of utter joy. Tiny increments of hope arise more and more each day, and I hope they continue. But I worry the death of a student has produced the most unaware adult - at least temporarily. A little girl and a monster tulip - a good image, maybe I'm getting closer to my heart.