I walked for hours, days, during this trip, dragging behind me a photographer who was captivated by the countless details and layered textures of the city. Well did I understand his desire to stop, to stay and see.
I was on a mission, though, and there was no time to lose.
Getting anywhere in Venice goes about like this:
Right – left – right – right – left. Over a bridge – left. Bridge – bridge – right – left – right – five bridges – left. Be sure to roll all the “r”s when you read that.
After hours of it, the photographer panted out… “You go so fast, and I’m sure that this time we’re getting lost. It all looks the same. Are you sure we’re not lost?”
Of course I wasn’t lost. Because Venice leads me.
When I begin to feel that maybe I could be lost this time – that maybe I’m disoriented – Venice shows me the way; reminding me of a restaurant I once ate at with a friend, recalling the iron railing of a particular bridge, conjuring the face of a familiar shopkeeper in a window, who still recognises me after a long absence.
I don’t need to remember the watery city, the mesmerising lagoon. She remembers me.
Life is not much different, actually.