Goodbye and Hello

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The name Assisi contains memories of narrow streets and flower baskets, stone buildings, and the Piazza del Comune. One night in the piazza, I recall moonlight shifting, gelato dense and tart, the summer breeze welcome, and a language rich in vowels and made for song. Next to us, a lady with auburn ponytail and flowered skirt joins her friends. “Ciao,” she says and sits with them at a small table. Off by the fountain a man in a red shirt waves goodbye, and his friends shout “Ciao.”

While Italians have the same word for greeting and farewell, like the French “Salut” and the Hawaiian “Aloha,” English speakers use distinctly different words for arriving and leaving, and never use them in the same message. Oh, I take that back. Too long ago for most of us to recall, the comedian Groucho Marx sang, “Hello, I Must be Going.”

toni snow 1-2“Ciao” is on my mind because this blog is my last one. I’m writing it on a day in February when the birds ought to be chirping and the maple outside my window should be sprouting red growth. Instead, we have snow. Fitting, though, because I began the blog in the winter of 2017 and am closing it in an unexpectedly late winter of 2019.

“Starting from Anywhere” has been a unique journey, one that has meandered through treasured life experiences and favorite literature selections. Week after week, season after season, I snapped photos, searched out themes, and wrote until one day, not too long ago, I knew it was time to say goodbye.

Where is the hello? What happens next? I need to think about this, but over a cup of hot coffee laced with chocolate.

maple snow-1Three days later I am back at my desk, pushing sentences and paragraphs together, pulling them apart, and in the midst of this process, the weather has changed. The maple reveals scarlet growth and the sky is blue—for an hour or so. Time to return to my question. What arrives after the blog goes?

I certainly have enough reflections for another book. To purify and condense my thoughts into poetry also tempts me. Maybe I could spend more hours accomplishing nothing. Who knows? Like green sprouting from drenched earth, I have the freedom to start from anywhere.

rocks grass-1

Over two years ago, my blog began with the opening of T.S. Eliot’s Little Gidding. It seems only right to complete this final entry with lines found toward the end of the poem:

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.

To those who have traveled with me as visitors and followers, thank you. May the future give you what you need for arrivals and departures, whether unexpected or planned.

Pace e bene.

Ciao.

16 thoughts on “Goodbye and Hello

    1. Allen, from one writer to another, thank you. Delighted that you now have a blog. Continue to capture life with your camera.

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  1. Oh, I’m going to miss this!
    The topics giving me glimpses of your experiences, the literary references, your beautiful writing and photos. Love this one of you and Angel. Thanks for your posts.
    Looking forward to seeing what comes next, even if it is just taking your time deciding….
    Your elegant writing would lend itself well to poetry.

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  2. I am sad that your blog is leaving. I have followed it since I met you at your book launch at All Saints Church community room, where you spoke so eloquently and so affectionately about your family and your life in many forms.
    Later you came to share broccoli soup and chopped salad with Lisa. I’m still embarrassed that you walked and bussed to get here.
    I have enjoyed your thoughts, your turn of phrase, your linking of , to me at least, previously unrelated or even contradictory observations. You awakened new thoughts and new ways of looking at the world, and you shook me from the lethargy that at times seems to blanket my own thoughts.
    I am grateful for your sharing.
    I wish you every success and pleasure in your next writing endeavors.
    When I am more settled, you must visit again and share more thoughts . We’ll have another soup and salad discussion.
    Blessings,

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    1. Loved my time with you and Lisa. Let’s get together soon. Thank you for your lovely comments. Blessings in return.

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  3. Very well done! In my humble opinion, I do believe your last was your very best!! Though I shall miss trying to follow from anywhere, Mike.

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    1. Thanks! Now that I have all this free time, maybe I’ll play golf again and you and I can hit the fairways.

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  4. Believe it or not this is the first time for me taking the word BLOG seriously. Why do I resist all this computer offers? I love reading parts of your Blog. Assisi piazza especially brings memories of a summer birthday taking the train from Rome to Assisi. I’d like to return there but probably won’t. There are so many places yet unseen to visit. Prague is high on my bucket list. My husband’s fraternal relatives come from that part of the world. Blessings
    Sarah

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    1. Oh, my goodness, wouldn’t Prague be an inspiration for your writing? Best wishes always and thank you!

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    1. Mary spoke of you with affection, Ruth. So glad writing connected us. Mary’s spirit stays with me every day, but how I miss her. Stay well.

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  5. Hi, Patti. It’s been a fun journey and you have been a faithful companion along the way. Thanks so much. Love and every blessing.

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  6. I was sad to read that this is your last blog. Your writing, your literary sharing,your photos and your personal observations of life will be missed! I wish you success in your endeavors ,I will miss you but enjoyed our short renewal of our pasts and friendship. Love and peace to you!🌿🌷🌿

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  7. Wonderful to be in contact with you, Palma. Best wishes until we meet again. Might be sooner than later.

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