In June, I read for Cracked Walnut at The Salon , and the CW liked my work enough to invite me back. Tomorrow I speak at Black Sheep Coffee in St. Paul, Minnesota, as part of the St. Paul Almanac Literary Festival by Cracked Walnut. I know it’s just coincidence to be invited to speak at a place called Black Sheep, but I can’t help but think it’s perfect: Tomorrow I’m reading two pieces I’ve not performed before. And I can’t wait to meet the other artists. Come if you can; I’ll read to you.

Without further ado, journal entry Part II of Mountain & Sea: Nooks & Crannies: 

412I’m dipping my toes in the Mediterranean this morning. I wish I had some bread and some tea to really hit the spot after the trek down here. I took some side “streets” and pathways and stairs and got down here faster than others that I passed who were going the traditional “road” route. However, the road was graded and not so steep—the route I took was nooks and crannies and stairs! Molte, molte stairs.

414Yesterday we dangled our feet in the Sea in this spot, and there were little black fish swimming near our feet. They’re making their appearances now, but I should get back up the mountainside to breakfast. I figure I’ll time myself so I know how long the traditional route takes…

It takes 10 minutes from bottom to top—that’s with stopping periodically for a quick rest.

I’m getting better with the enthusiasm of my greetings. Everyone says, “Buon Giorno!” and they mean it. It reminds me of my time living in the Southern U.S. when everyone greeted one another as they passed, whether they knew each other or not. It’s the polite, happy greeting of people who live in their own paradise. In Italy, I notice that you say it with enthusiasm and without hesitation. It’s important not to mumble it, but to mean it. (Mumbling lets everyone know you’re a tourist.) Putting a little singsong in it also makes it fun, and is well-received. I practiced on the way up here.

Yesterday I bought a purple sundress to wear over my bathing suit. It’s in this place that one should always be ready to strip off the outer layer and jump into the Sea for refreshment. Or so I think.465

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