Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
Meditation On Age And Anchovies
by Laura Blatt
I'm dining on anchovies. Not the usual, overly salty stuff you get in tins, but big, robust simmered ones, a delicacy here in Manarola, Italy. From my table, I have a splendid view of fishing boats on the blue Mediterranean and brightly-colored flats nestled on steep cliffs.
Small dogs sit at their masters' feet, perhaps tasting a special treat before the bill arrives. The dogs are patient. They have learned that good behavior allows them to go anywhere, from bakeries to restaurants. And there's no rush, either for humans or canines.
Today is my birthday or "Oggi č il mio compleanno," as I say to my waiter, having vowed to speak only Italian or to remain silent. Every night, I memorize a phrase to use the next day. "Cinquantotto anni" (58 years), I add, proudly.
This meal marks the ending of a glorious day. In the morning, I ate fruit from my hotel's lush garden, At noon, I snacked on pungent cheese. Strolling on the boardwalk of the Via dell'Amore from Manarola to Riomaggiore and back, I listened to the rush of the waves and the murmurs of tourists. Later, a six-mile hike led me down rough, winding trails along hillsides and vineyards. An old man carrying a loaf of bread smiled as I took his photograph.
Back in the USA, my house gathers dust and noxious weeds grow on my one-acre plot. Reports and documents clutter my office desk. All are urgent. But here by the sea, I take delight in my own good company. As for picking up speed, posso aspettare—-I can wait.
For over two decades, Laura Blatt was an editor and manager at Wolters Kluwer publishing (formerly CCH) and a web site writer. Now retired, she lives in Penngrove, California. Recently, her work appeared in Tiny Lights and California Explorer.
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