Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Monday, August 12, 2019
Me, My Heart, and I :: Every photo contains a breath

Recently I walked to Ponte Santa Trinita an hour before sunset. I particularly enjoy watching the sunset from this bridge because of the brick walls bordering both sides of the Arno, the arches of the Ponte alla Carraia are reflected on the water, boats traverse the river in both directions, and ripples on the surface of the Arno change with the shifting of the wind. While the sun is setting and the clouds are shifting in shape and size, the view is transformed: a variety of colors blaze across the sky and are replicated on the water.

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Sunday, February 25, 2018
Me, My Heart, and I :: A break leads to a breakthrough

I have kept relatively quiet on my blogs for the past six months. I didn’t consciously choose not to write, but I wasn’t as clear as before about what I wanted to write in my blogs. I have worked on many posts, but didn’t feel like publishing them. I set aside my writing projects because I felt a little lost. It was a bit scary for me to stop focusing on my projects because I wondered if maybe I wouldn’t pick them back up again. I felt that I had to take the risk even though it frightened me. I told myself that if I’m meant to complete my projects, I will. And if not, I will discover what I should be writing.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017
Me, My Heart, and I :: Photography as a way to savor the moment

Anaďs Nin is quoted with saying, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” I feel quite similarly about photography. The first time I experience beauty, the moment is intense and rich with the stimulation of all of my senses. The second time it is more like an echo of that first experience, but all my senses are not stimulated to the same extent as they were originally.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Me, My Heart, and I :: Photography as a way to appreciate beauty

Like most people, I appreciate the beauty I see in this world. I love how beauty enters my eyes and gently settles into my heart. Even though I never studied photography, I find great joy in taking pictures. I have an SLR, which I rarely carry around with me due to its cumbersomeness, but I prefer taking pictures with my iPhone. It’s more convenient to use my iPhone because I always have it on me and can take a photo almost instantaneously. I never plan on taking a specific photo when I'm walking around Florence. I have a few favorite spots where I enjoy the view, but I only take a photo if I feel like it. A few of my best-loved photos are ones I didn’t plan on taking at all and it was just a case of being at the “right place” at the “right time.”

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Friday, February 27, 2015
Me, My Heart, and I :: Savoring the moment

One thing I love about living in both Florence and Paris is that I have the luxury of time. Whether I plan an excursion around town or if I happen to be out to meet a friend or to run an errand, I get to take a moment or two to enjoy my cities. I often take a detour just so I can admire one of my favorite churches, admire the view of the Arno from different angles, or stroll along backstreets. I do my best to breathe in my cities and enjoy them whenever I get a chance.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015
Me, My Heart, and I :: A jaunt to Venice before the year ended

Before the end of 2014, my beau and I decided to take a trip to Venice. I was happy when he suggested it for two reasons: I hadn’t been there in a long time and I needed a break from the flip-flopping between my two cities. I wanted to go someplace where I could prepare myself for the New Year. I love Florence and Paris and am stimulated by them, but it’s always nice to experience a different place. In that way, I’m able to keep myself open and more flexible for the arrival of 2015.

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Friday, October 10, 2014
Me, My Heart, and I :: Starting off my year in Porto

As an expat, I think I travel a little differently than others. Not the actual traveling process, but the getting acquainted with the new place. I look at the place I’m visiting as if I were planning on living there. When I visit places in the countries I know well, like the US, Italy, and France, I want to understand other facets to them. However, when I travel to a new place, I’m eager to find out about the place’s core: the city’s energy, the people, the language and the culture. It’s almost as if I’m interviewing the city to decide if I want to live there even though I’m certainly not looking to live somewhere else.

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Monday, September 15, 2014
Me, My Heart, and I :: Experiencing and cherishing beauty

For me, beauty can be transmitted through photos and words, but the feelings that bubble up inside of you when you experience beauty are personal and powerful. Even though I live in Florence and just outside of Paris, I am exposed to a lot of beauty. I am very sensitive to my surroundings and crave beauty because it inspires me, emotionally moves me, and touches me deeply.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014
Me, My Heart, and I :: Exploring and enjoying other cities in Italy

I love discovering more about Italy. I find Italy to be one of the most interesting countries I have ever visited. Each region (and even each town in a region) varies from the next one. Each place has its own charm that can be unveiled, enjoyed, and appreciated. In France, at the beginning of May we had two Thursdays in a row that were holidays. By taking Friday off, we did a pont (bridge), which allowed us to have two four-day weekends. My beau joined me a week after I returned to Florence and we traveled around Italy.

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