Now, more than ever, I’ve got to remind myself over and over to stay present to what I’m creating for my life.
It turns out this college is a mess. The culture that’s been created here is nasty – deceitful, gossipy and disrespectful.
I don’t want to just move across town and only come in for work; I came here to be a part of a small, liberal arts college community. Mom reminded me that most people don’t mix work and life so much, but commute to work and leave it there when they go home.
That would be a fine option here because I’ll be living in a beautiful town, in an equally lovely country. It reminds me so much of St. Lucia, in the Caribbean. ‘Went scuba diving there about five years ago. The mounatins, water, sunshine are all the same, but the cool thing is I’m smack dab in the middle of Europe!
I’m committed, though, to liberal arts education and creating a learning community here that’s rich, vibrant and fun. It’s why I came here. Well, that and the merlot and pizza on the lake at dusk. I’ve got to get some other folks excited about the possibilities at the College and see what we can do…
In the meantime, Monday was a holiday and Mom and I found a small restaurant, a grotto, in the woods. It was all locals but us. The ambience was unbelievable. It was warm and sunny outside and families and lots of old people were all sitting on big, concrete and wooden picnic tables. Maybe 30 of them. Big ones. Under towering trees.
There weren’t very many things on the menu and almost everything was, “polenta and…” Since I’m allergic to corn, I thought I’d order one of the two things that wasn’t with polenta. Lamb or some other word starting with a p that I didn’t know. It was horse. Foal, more precisely, I learned later… when the waiter whinnied like a small child after I asked as he served me a lovely little slab served with roasted potatoes.
When I was a child I was a voracious reader, and my favorite books were this series about a black horse… I’d read and read and read and pretended I had a horse like that. And here I was Monday eating a horse. In Italian culture, you just don’t NOT eat the food. It would be very, very bad form. Plus, it was expensive and actually kind-of tasty. Who knew? The adventures are just beginning!
Today I had my first solo phone conversation completely in Italian. I don’t know part of what was said, but I got my point across and heard most of the other party’s too. It’s clear I’ve got to enroll in Italian courses.
Finally, the moon over the lake is gorgeous as it’s getting bigger and brighter this time of the month. I couldn’t sleep last night (espresso after dinner tastes so good but keeps me up so long). After the local church bell tolled midnight I took this shot. It doesn’t at all capture the beauty of the night, but it’s a start.
And then there’s that question again, the big one I started with… “What AM I creating for my life? What am I up to here? Why NOT just go home (as Mom has suggested I do because the school is so poorly run)?”