Friday, March 28, 2014

Montessori homage in Italy

When I first decided to study Montessori it was partially due to a dream I had in which I was standing in a small wooden school/alter at the edge of our farm and on the wall hung a beautiful painting of one of my Italian female ancestors and Maria Montessori.  As I looked at the image, Maria stepped out from the painting and held out her hand toward me.  She opened her fingers and exposed a beautiful egg.  In the dream I felt that she was offering me the egg as a metaphor for the future and a challenge to go forth and evolve early childhood education.  
I began my first Montessori training program a few months later.
Now I am studying the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education while in Italy.  I  thought many times of her during the days of lecture and I thought of her challenge.  
Yesterday I found myself standing  before this tomb while wondering through an elaborate cemetery in Reggio.  In that moment I felt the strength of that challenge coursing through my veins.
I will to do great things.


my roomie and travel sister

 Here is a shout out to my travel sistah' Kirsten and Pal Ina.
Kirsten was a fabulous traveling companion, thoroughly capable of changing directions on a dime, non plussed by getting lost and found a dozen times daily, open to any restaurant.  We are both free spirits and equally adventurous.  It was a fabulous traveling experience without anyone asking what our plans were since neither of us ever really had one.

Milano

 Milan...fashion, graffiti, and lots of city!!!!!  I am gearing for my trip home and imagining the next trip to Italy.  Perhaps I will fly into Turino and head directly to the Amalfi coast.
Preferably with my David and Owen, both of whom would love this place. Italy would be much more fun with David's arms around me and his camera capturing shots, and with Owen oogling the sights for the first time.
 As it was we discovered that  Italian men can be very aggressive.  We were grabbed, chased, followed and yelled at.  Ah female objectification seems to be a universal concern
I leave tomorrow morning for home.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Reggio wandering

 We slept til 11AM.  Literally.  Then pulled ourselves together and went out wandering in the city.  The colors here are so beautiful, each one playing off the other in a palette of Tuscan beauty.
 I have to say that my nature soul is missing soft earth and the open splendor of wide horizons but the brick and stone streets curving down alleys opening onto inviting piazzas are beautiful in their own right.
 There is an inordinate amount of graffiti here and all of it appears to be fairly recent.  It is interesting.  This one struck me.  The artist suggesting a bunny, projecting a shadow hand onto the wall, was such a wonderful inside-out perspective.  It reminded me of one of the lessons of this trip, drop your assumptions of what IS and allow space for what can BE.
I'm looking forward to a return trip home on Saturday into David's arms and my boys' sweet smiles.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

supper at 61.1 in Reggio Emila

 So dinner was FANTASTIC!! We went to a fabulous restaurant on a little side street.  I was with a gaggle of women led by two of our instructors and the restaurant we had initally set off for was closed. We began wandering down alleys in search of possibilities when we spotted a lovely Italian couple.  In my very worst italian and very biggest smile I asked them "Dove' bene ristorante?"  To which she replied in perfect English that there were a number to choose from and pointed us in the direction of 61.1 where she and her husband were dining for the evening.  We walked together over cobblestone streets to glass doors that opened onto a beautiful room with great art, ambiance, people and FOOD.  We ate with abandon and talked for the next three hours.
 I love Italy!  How there is no real rush and everything is intentionally slowed down so that life can be savored.
 Now off to bed.  Ciao!

Beauty-full

I found this graffiti on a wall in the piazza below and stopped in front of it.  Being called Bird for most of my life there was a dreamlike moment when it seemed as if those words were written on that wall specifically for me.  A message in Italy.  I felt my Grande's hand press mine from her spirit vantage and whisper cara mia in my ear.
Life is Beauty-full.  It took me awhile to get my wings and see that...really see that...but it is beauty full.  I am thankful beyond words for my David who taught me the value of giving AND receiving love and for my two boys who remind me daily to see beauty everywhere and add more wherever I go.  And I am grateful for each of you, for all the beauty you bring, every day and wherever you are.  I love you!
 And here is an Italian selfie...40's really are wonderful.



Reggio

 I spent the day in Reggio Emila.
This morning began with a walk after breakfast of shaved meat and some blue corn tortilla chips I had with me from home.   Next, we convened as a group at the Loris Malaguzzi Center for an orientation and introductions.  For lunch they served us an incredible meal and for me they had gluten free tortellini and pasta and pizza with a big salad and steamed vegetables...HELLO ITALY!  It was wonderful.  I spoke with so many amazing educators from around the world.  I ended up in a deep conversation with a beautiful Reggio liaison from Israel.  She was an inspiration and reminded me of the deep value in developing WHO we are in order to see real changes in HOW we operate.  Next, we went on a walking tour of the city.  My group was led by Amelia Gambetti's husband and he showed us the city through a lens of history and story telling.  Now we prepare for a late supper with a few friends.
 It is beautiful here!  Ripe with color and beauty and history and art.
 Each alley opens up with possibilities, whispering of new sights and smells.  I wish I could take them all.
We stumbled on an antique car show and I snapped this photo for my David.  I will post more pictures as I go.  The internet is slow here, functioning on Italian time, so brevity will be primary.