Italy The Return – Part One, The Muse

Dear Readers:

Some of you may have noticed that these pages have been abandoned lately, like fields of sunflowers left unharvested on Italian hillsides. You see that from time to time. It’s not that the field isn’t rich with the fruit of the “girasole,” and it’s not that my mind isn’t filled with the seeds of ideas for this blog.

I could sit down every day and write something fresh or wonderful about this magical place. So it was something else. In this case, it had to do with my wife Jenny leaving for an extended visit with her family in Florida.

That may sound like blame. It’s not … or rather, the blame is mine. When I engage in harsh self-criticism, I have to admit that laziness has something to do with it … laziness abetted by her absence. Writing is hard work. Yes, I know, the last thing you want to hear is another writer complaining. It isn’t hard work by its nature. Hell, open a window, sit down and try to think of something interesting to say.  Not exactly heavy lifting. What’s hard is saying it precisely; writing it well. And that makes the keyboard resemble an ancient device of torture. Good writing requires lots of concentration and even more rewriting. It’s the craft … and to me, that’s work.

When I’m kinder to myself, I have a more romantic rationalization. My wife is my muse. Yes, she can nag me into fixing the latch on the shutter or driving nails into this blog, but it’s not about that or even her gentle prodding to write. When I do, I want to write well. I want to write well for her. I want her to be proud of what I produce. In that way, she inspires me.   

So inspiration has returned and laziness is hidden again in the closet. I’ll try to write more often about the land that I love, if not tomorrow, then dopo domani.




  1. Lucy Metz · · Reply

    i enjoy reading your blogs. I also enjoyed getting to spend an afternoon and evening with your wife. She is a dear friend.

  2. Despite the absence of your muse, will you please enlighten us stateside readers about the Berlusconi sentence?

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