Wednesday, July 7, 2010

summer and the Eternal City

For one reason or another, I haven’t felt much like writing this summer, so I suppose a little catching up is in order. The first half of the summer was mostly uneventful – a weekend trip to St. Louis for their graduation and a wedding, another weekend at home for a wedding, then a visit to NYC to see friends, while taking a class at SU: Spiritual and Existential Approaches to Psychotherapy. Interesting material, especially as a once and future campus ministry person for whom talking with people’s experience of meaning was the order of the day. Super-nice people in the class – were totally fine with me not being a psychology person, and I got a little glimpse into their field. Also got to put in a bunch of time helping my friend Hanah get her new house fixed up – pulled up an old floor, rewired a light fixture, put in a shower curtain, helped paint – simple stuff that I nonetheless don’t get to do that often.

The second half of my summer just began – a four-week renewal session at our general house in Rome. I am at this moment typing very slowly because the keyboard is set up for Europeans qnd if I donùt look qt the keyboqrd qll the ti,e this is zhqt ,y typing zill look like::: I had not been in Europe in almost ten years, and Rome in almost twelve. There are about 25 guys here from all over the Institute, including some guys I have met in my travels (from Zimbabwe, Haiti, etc). Getting to work on the French and Spanish at the same time, and making slow progress, but these first few days have mostly been about getting tuned in to accents and pronunciations and unpacking the mental notebooks. Pretty sweaty here in the summer, but it is just an awe-inspiring place: the history, the architecture, *the food*. There is graffiti everywhere, which I guess makes sense – they invented the word, right? Today we had tickets for a papal audience, so we got there a couple of hours early and moseyed around, but when we got in the queue to get inside, the guards decided to close the line right as I was trying to pass security, so I ended up getting separated from the group. Ten minutes later they opened it back up, inexplicably, but by that point the Bro’s were long gone. I got inside the auditorium to see the papal audience, which in effect meant I was somewhere in the same time zone as the Pope. It could have been Carol Channing in white and I wouldn’t have known any different (except for the voice). After all was said and done, twelve languages later, I somehow caught up with a few of the Bro’s who wanted to get pizza and beer – always a plus in my book. BUT, they just wanted the closest place they could find (note – “menu turistica” is Italian for “rip-off”), so we paid too much for too little. OK guys, thanks, but I’ve got it from here. Did a solo act for the rest of the afternoon, saw the papal tombs and the basilica, walked halfway across Rome, sweating my can off the whole way, but made it back with no real problem (although I did get on the metro going in the wrong direction for about 2 stops before I figured out my mistake).

Lastly, a friend pointed this page out to me last week - I had forgotten the editors had compiled it out of the hours of interviews we did in the fall.  More as it unfolds, but I want to publish before something goes wrong and I have to figure this keyboard out all over again...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Son
Thanks for the update on your experience and for sharing the pictures (and video!). I hope your renewal experience is a good one. Be careful "roming" the place alone. If you run into any Marinos or Gaglianos give them a hug for us.