Proof there is god

The tears my mother cries as she washes dishes after dinner
Vaughn Williams on the stereo
The way my brother leans all of his weight into me when we hug
The promise my father keeps, “call me if you need anything”
The wedding, the divorce, the remarried women, the man she remarried
Women who make their own birthday cakes
And every time my brother and I refuse to part without saying “I love you”
That is god

Journal Entry: Ten


January 26th, 2019

I must begin with yesterday. I spent the majority of my day with Alec. We met at the Spanish Steps around one o’clock after I picked up a textbook that I needed. We just walked and talked. We went in circles. There is really nothing note-worthy about my time with him. He kind of makes me uncomfortable. He smelled like my grandma Connie’s old bedroom in Michigan. He told me that he gets along better with 40 year olds and that he doesn’t like how unstructured school dances are. I’m beginning to think that it might be a normal characteristic for boys to not ask questions about a girl. I always feel like I am the curious one. Anyway, it wasn’t completely terrible with Alec, it was just boring and dry.

Once we parted ways at Ponte Sisto, I went back to my apartment and made a salad with mushrooms, carrots, walnuts, and balsamic. I also sautéed a veggie burger. I had a glass of red wine as well. Then I got into my pajamas, washed my face, and watched the movie Lost in Translation on my laptop with dark chocolate and red wine on my nightstand. I fell asleep around 12:30 and slept until 10:15.

This morning I walked to Campo di Fiori and bought two eggplants from the market. It was such a beautiful day outside. It smelled like spring and the wind was soft. I came back to my apartment and did some reading for my English class and then I made lunch by chopping circular slices of eggplant and sautéing them in olive oil. After lunch, I put together the videos that I took today while walking around. Then I relaxed and read for a few hours. Now I am sitting at my desk while digesting a wonderful mean I had at a restaurant in Trastevere called Da Gildo. I had a gnocchi dish with red wine. For dessert I had a creamy tiramisu with mini biscotti. My waiter asked if I was from the United States and I laughed and said, “Yes, it shows?” Then I told him that I am studying at John Cabot. He pointed down the street and I said, “Yes, right down the street.” And then he said, “So you can come back?” and I replied, “Yes, I can come back.” He told me his name but I couldn’t really understand him. I think it was Mattei???

First Impressions: Capri, Italy

Personal Essay

There is no word for what it feels like to wake up on an island, but there should. I rested my head on Meg’s shoulder, mouth-breathing and warm. The ferry’s windows mocked us with their stiffness and immobility. I just wanted a breeze. I just wanted some relief from the feverish pink that doused my cheekbones like a rash.

When the ferry docked I felt Meg’s shoulder shift. I woke up and instinctively joined the stirring of eager travelers: collecting their belongings, stretching, craning their necks to see the new landscape. Meg checked our seats to make sure we didn’t leave anything behind. I like that about Meg. It reminds me of my mother. Then, like schoolgirls filing out of hot gymnasium, we walked onto the dock with our luggage thumping behind.

We paid a man to drive us to the city center of Capri. He helped pile our luggage into the back seat of a light blue convertible, the kind of vehicle I would expect to see in an old world like Cuba. The suitcases piled high. He asked for my bag but I told him I would hold it in my lap.

We drove upward. The wind flattened my bangs along my forehead and sent the rest of my hair flapping backward like a fibrous flag. Meg sat in the passenger seat. She was laughing and smiling. I felt the smile on my face too. It was like experiencing freedom for the first time. The other girls were laughing too. In all the wind and laughter and freedom, no one remembered to talk. I tilted my head back and raised my arms. The sky was blue like the terracotta statue of the Madonna and Child I had seen in Florence. The inscription read Della Robbia blue. I will never forget that blue.

Journal Entry: Nine


January 24th, 2019

It is 9 in the morning. I woke up about an hour ago. Classes are going really well so far. I have Italian at 10 and then I am taking a taxi to an interview for the internship. Meg left this morning at about 5 am for Florence. Ursella is also going to Florence as well so I will by myself for the weekend. I am trying to keep God in mind throughout the day. I know I live a better life when I keep Him in mind.

I’m definitely not in the honeymoon stage anymore. Rome is beautiful and so interesting (and I am so grateful to be here) but I’m realizing how important home is. I keep thinking, “life is life.”

Journal Entry: Eight


January 20th, 2019

Today I woke up at 9:30. I made coffee with my new french press and then I read in bed for a while. I did my first load of laundry today. The washing machine is puny. Around 12:15 I ate yogurt and granola. The woman from Italy Excel emailed me back and said she wants to meet at her office. I hope the internship goes through.

I went to Coop today and bought carrots, lettuce, mushrooms, and brown sugar for coffee. It makes the coffee taste sweet and good. I just relaxed all day. Classes start tomorrow. At 5:30 I went to La Chiesa di Santa Maria in Trastevere. I bought a pair of leather boots on my way home from mass because the ones I’m wearing give me blisters.

For dinner I made the following: two-three mushrooms, one garlic clove, 1 oz spaghetti noodles, extra virgin olive oil, red wine, and a salad. Now am drinking a glass of red wine and eating chocolate in my room. Meg and Anna are talking about taking a trip this weekend but is sounds nice to be on my own.