Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Monday, October 8, 2012
Me, My Heart, and I :: Birthday weekend in Florence

After staying in Paris for two weeks and a few days in Matera, I was happy to arrive back in my beloved city where I could celebrate my birthday. I took Friday off so that I could visit Florence with my beau who came to my beloved city for the first time. I was excited to show him around and visit Florence again because I havenít been able to do so in a long time. I made a mental list of all that I wanted to see in my beloved city and show to my beau.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

At the end of the Ponte Grazie, I decided to head west away from the sun rising above the city and toward the moon that was on its way out of sight. The weather is typical for autumn: cool air and cloudy skies. It is definitely my favorite time of year when so much is happening and changing. Nothing is stagnant and itís evident all around me.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

This morning while I was running on the Ponte alle Grazie, I wasnít sure which way I wanted to go: either through town along the Arno past the Ponte Vecchio and toward Le Cascine or up to Piazzale Michelangiolo. It wasnít until I saw the sun peeking through the clouds above the mountains that I decided to run up to the piazzale. As I ran along the Arno on the sidewalk with cars and motorini (scooters) passing me by, I felt a slight thrill.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

One of the things I noticed after one day in Matera was the lack of color and sounds. I had been in Paris for two weeks and then Florence for a couple of days before arriving. In both places, I was inundated with colors and sounds. It was interesting to be in a place that was rather monotonous because I was able to see the beauty in textures, shadows, and the nature surrounding the city. As for sounds, it is now almost shocking now to be back in Florence where sounds encircle me: scooters, buses, and cars pass along the lungarno (street along the Arno river), people talk and laugh in the streets, and the campane (church bells) ring every hour and half hour.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Normally, I return to Florence late Friday evening; however, this week, I returned on Tuesday at 6pm. I was initially going to spend a few more days in Paris even though I had already spent two weeks there, but cut my trip short so that I could see my soccer team play our archrival at the stadio (stadium) in Florence. The soccer season has only begun, but with my work schedule, I realized that the first partita (match) I could attend would be in December.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Saturday morning I woke up and saw the light blue sky outside. I was suddenly filled with high hopes about what I could do. On the one hand, I wanted to stay at home and write, but on the other hand, I wanted to scour the city for more things to experience. After writing a little bit, I decided to go out and enjoy the day. I began to imagine my possibilities: I initially thought about taking the metro to the Opťra, then I thought maybe I could go to Jardin de Luxembourg or even some other area of Paris that I could discover. By 10am, I decided instead to get breakfast before making a final decision.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wednesday morning when I went out for my morning run it was darker outside. The sky was a dark blue and the only thing darker were the shadows of the trees on the beige gravel paths of the Champ de Mars. The Eiffel Tower appeared a dark brown instead of its usual greyish tan color. The only lights were the red ones at the top and the elevators that were slowly going up and down.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

My time in Paris is intense. A week goes by rather quickly and at the end of it I am surprised. Itís almost as if Iím in a vacuum: work pulls me in on Monday morning and spits me back out on Friday night. My life is completely different in Paris than when Iím in Florence. In Paris, I wake up early so that I can write and go running before my workday begins. In Florence, I rarely set my alarm and let myself wake up naturally. Even though I still write and go for a run most mornings when Iím in Florence, my time is not as condensed as it is in Paris.

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