Wednesday, April 19, 2017

You must believe in spring - Venice

It is one of my favorite song titles ever. Because I do. Believe. Even when I think it will be impossible for me to, "No, not this year," come what may...

And then the months roll over and I feel so alive. Brimming with humanness. I want to eat the cake of the world, sip down its emotions as wine. My skin is bristling perforated, too sensitive to know where I end and the rest really does separate from the other.

Now, imagine that sensation while wondering around Venice. And no - I see you coming from here - no drugs were consumed (even if copious Spritz's were downed, even at suggestive hours of the day) but oh how my senses were on high alert.

At times, I needed to go into a sacred space just to catch my breath by the tail before it left me to go exploring down a glistening canal. 

That is when my hands would start to shake. The utter peace colliding with such scattered, hungry discovery and yet both holding something in-between; a nod of acknowledgement as undeniably true. I couldn't help my hands. And so, as I have written before, I just could be a wide-mouthed witness at best.

Because the churches, the cathedrals, the altars of Venice demand attention and respect regardless of your spiritual, religious, or none of the above affiliation. They did to me. Most especially at the Basilica dei Frari, which while certainly not the most spectacular (that one will hopefully get a post of its own if I can write it), the one where I felt so at peace and so grateful for it. I stayed and wandered, looping back over my steps until my eyes ached. I could not take it all in. But my heart calmed. 

And that wild human rushing became something else, just for a moment or two. How messy we are, how incredibly imperfect and yet with our bright intentions, our brimming goodness somewhere to be found. 

We try so hard.

 It was worth it to take the risk. To believe. Not in a specific story. But something not so far away, finally, to what just might resemble an eternal or at least, ever possible, spring.

The following is a mix of photographs from only a tiny handful of the beautiful churches of Venice.


Songs for this post...pour écouter...

either this way:

or, of course that:

Wishing you all well, friends, from a very Mistral-ridden Provence,


  1. Beautiful, Heather. These spaces show the power of architecture and art--one and the same, they are--to touch our souls. It's so good you had such a wonderful time. When one lives abroad, one can forget to travel. Even being unsettled every day can become its own rut, and it's good to go and get shaken and unsettled in a completely different way, to remind us we're alive.
    I so appreciate your existence.

  2. Well, do, indeed, seem to be having a better time in Venice than Oscar Wilde did; as you'll know, he (when asked about the experience) described his ride in gondola as being "like riding in a coffin through a sewer".

    That aside? do seem to be rising. Here's an appropriate recording for you & your Easter musings......

    go to:


    Uncle David

  3. Wonderful photos. I've been following your adventures. Spring is truly marvellous and we are truly blessed! Best Wishes

  4. This is a heartening post Heather. I'm extremely pleased that your are on a different pathway now. Full credit to you for all the effort and determination it's taken you to reach this point in your life's journey. Amicalement, Elizabeth.

  5. Feeling of peace. Heart calmed. Churches can do that.An epiphany. A spiritual spring. Wonderful photos.

  6. Beautiful photos, Heather. It's lovely to go a bit off the beaten track in Venice and explore the side canals, little campi and churches less frequented by the thousands of cruise boat tourists. These are all so stunning and uplifting. They say Venice either raises you up or casts you down to gloom, depending on your frame of mind - and the weather. Some Italians say it's where problem marriages go to die - or new love can suddenly awaken or grow stronger. So good to see it's been so restorative and reinvigorating for you personally. Best wishes, Pammie

  7. Thank you once again, Heather. You have convinced me to give Venice another try. When I visited it, I was so dismayed by the filthy water all around that I did not appreciate the rest of Venice. (Being a water person, I found it very dispiriting to be surrounded by water that was so filthy.) Your beautiful photographs of sacred spaces in Venice are deeply moving, and I hope that we get to see more of them. Sending peace from the Pacific Northwest, Leslie in Oregon

  8. We are messy, we humans, aren't we? But, oh, how we try, indeed. Thanks for the beauty of this, Heather. So glad to see you welcoming Spring.

  9. I love that comment from above - we are messy, we humans - but oh, how we try. That really sums it all up.
    So true. Happy Spring.

  10. So mesmerising and beautiful; so utterly sublime.


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