Buds and I were up early and after settling Monkey in our cool bedroom to see if she could get more sleep and saying good morning to Buster, we went in search of coffee.
A lovely woman served us at a small cafe a short walk from the apartment. We sat outside and when she brought us our coffees she was so pleased to tell me she had adorned the top of my cappuccino with chocolate. 🥰🥰
Back at home Buds settled in for some work while I headed out for today’s groceries. My sense of direction is slim, and when I’m with Buds I’m glad for him to lead us because then I can enjoy my preference of watching people. But as Google maps led me to the store, I stayed focused and noted landmarks so that after shopping I walked back home without Google maps.
Small to some people; a victory to me.
I’m heading out around 9:30 to visit the Church of Santa Maria della Vita (Holy Mary of Life Church). They have a statue there I’m very interested in seeing and a black and white photo exhibit of Buddha statues from around the world.
Elapsed time of many hours…
We’re back at the apartment. It’s 4 p.m. and we’re having down time before going out again.
I had my outing to the Church of Santa Maria della Vita and it was a gut -punching revelation.
I paid my 5 euros and the guide pointed me around a corner into a small side chapel at the back of the sanctuary.
I had the space to myself and there was a bench across from the artistic scene onto which I could collapse.
Even now, 6 hours later, tears are streaming down my face as I think about that moment.
Why do so many scenes of Jesus’ crucifixion show his mother and his followers with stoic, calm, resigned looks on their faces? The devotion this man inspired? It doesn’t make any sense.
But when I saw “Lamentation of the dead Christ ” by Niccolò dell’Arca, I realized how much emotion it must have cost him to do this work, and museums would be filled with sobbing people if all the portrayals had this much power.
The agony in these faces.
I had not expected it to be life-sized, and I didn’t know it was a whole tableau. I didn’t know Jesus would be there, too.
I saw it and immediately began to sob. I was so grateful I was all alone and I could just sit on the bench to try and gather myself. But it quickly became clear that I was not going to be able to stop crying until I moved away, so I slowly left the chapel to go see the other areas of the church.
The other chapels were beautiful, though of a totally different type.
There was an exhibit of Buddha photos in a different part of the church compound and I wandered through there next.
The room holding many of the photos had glorious works of art of its own.
One end held “Transit of the Madonna” a group of 14 statues in terracotta (1522) by Alfonso Lombardi in “Oratorio de Batutti” in baroque church Santa Maria della Vita.
After I returned home to pick them up, Buds, Yessa, and I took the bus to the train station to meet up with cousins for lunch.
Some had pasta and some had sushi. Everyone enjoyed it.
Then there was a little shopping, a little gelato, good conversation, and we’ll see them again tomorrow when Gem-Fest really begins!
After seeing them off to Pisa, Buds went home to work while Yessa and I shopped for books.
After some time at home, Buds, Monkey, Buster, and I had an evening outing. It went so hilariously awry it deserves its own post.
We’re back home now, ready to rest and set out for our next steps tomorrow.