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Vanished!


I’d spent an hour composing an expanded version of the EU Passport for my dog post, and when I pressed PUBLISH, it vanished. Poof. Really irritating. I tried to find it in the trash, but it’s gone. There’s a retrieval service that wants to charge me 71 Euro, and though I was on the verge of sending it my money, I’ve pulled back. Evidently, the universe did not want me to publish that last blog.

I talked about rescuing two blackbirds from a fox trap, buying a magnificent 12 carat citrine and diamond ring in Colle di Val d’Elsa, and how wrenching this upcoming separation is turning out to be. I have four more days. Volterra. San Gimignano. Poggibonsi. This is like waiting for an execution.

Mysterious and sinister happenings in the neighborhood. Augusto of the Pietrafitta clan was found dead ten days ago. The first report attributed death to a heart attack. Subsequent updates mention suicide or, more likely, foul play. The apartment of the winery secretary was ransacked at about the same time. These reports are confirmed by Michaele, who lives in the same complex — “Il Palazzo” — as the secretary.

A fourth rumor has it that the death was staged and that Augusto, who had been under house arrest for embezzling two million Euro, has gone off somewhere.

Maurizio mowed and plowed the olive grove, arousing our misantrophic suspicions that he is scheming to expand his claims on the trees. WIllie and I met with him to offer to pay him for his hard work. He showed up at the gate on a bicycle, with his 15 month daughter Sofia on the handlebars, and his pregnant wife close behind in the truck. I assume he wanted his entire support staff on hand to shield him from whatever malevolence he expected to receive from us. He protested energetically that he had no ill intent in doing the work, worried that it had been badly done, and emphatically and endlessly insisted that he was reciprocating Michaele’s help to him on various occasions. We’ve left it at that. I’m trying to figure out what nice thing I can do for them before I leave.

I type this standing, channelling old Vlad N. If only I could write like him! He’s been on my mind since the afternoon walk with both dogs to the lake, where the frog chorus was magnificent, the ducks raucous, the wind – a polyglot sussuration, and all these sounds, I came to understand, are the voice of the sun speaking through the great resonator of the Earth and all its creatures. And what, I ask, makes the sun speak?

Domenico talked, in his note to F., about the light that shines through his window as being the “expression” of the sun, not the sun itself, just like the thought of F. is an “expression” of her being, rather than her self. I like that way of distinguishing the modalities of being in the universe.

After much hesitation, preliminary rumbling, windy false starts, and high altitude shuffling and reshuffling of clouds, the rain has finally begun. Drops started to fall on the drawing I had started after dinner. I persisted for some minutes, hoping it was another false alarm, but this time the rain came in earnest.

The new generation of swallows has hatched. The parents are frantically collecting insects, flying back and forth between the nests and the fields and swooping into the pool for a beak-full of water. Even with their voracious appetites, they cannot keep up with the prodigious volume of insects hatching and instantly breeding. I spotted superhighways of ants in the vineyards. Vlad Nabokov take note: blue and yellow and brown butterflies in the  cacophony of meadow flowers. Extraordinary vitality!

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