Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Today, with permission, I share this delightful and thought-provoking New Year's greeting that I received from my friend and fellow blogger Gregg Chadwick (Speed of Life) and his wife MarySue.  I know that you'll enjoy its content as much as I did.  (Love that quote from Leonardo!  Wish I could reel it off in mellifluous Italian!)  Thanks to Gregg for allowing me to pass it on to you...

Dear Peter, 

Noi tutti siamo esiliati entro lo cornici di uno strano quadro.
(We are all exiles within the frames of a strange picture.)
-Leonardo da Vinci

We look ahead to the New Year with hopes for a time of great ideas, enlightening experiences, and moments of remarkable joy.

In keeping with that wish, we are sending you a photo of us in Venice, Italy in the Room of Mirrors constructed from a design by Leonardo da Vinci.

Last summer, we were in a Renaissance church (Chiesa di San Barnaba) that had been made into a little museum of da Vinci's inventions, set alongside one of the canals (Rio San Barnaba). We later found out this church was used in the film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It is also the spot where Kathryn Hepburn falls into the water in the film Summertime (a romance set in Venice).

Anyhow, we just happened to enter the place and soon we were caught up in a world of creativity and possibility. Among the displays was a tiny room of mirrors. As we slipped into the room, we passed into what felt like an enchanted space. The tiny door shut behind us and dozens and dozens and dozens of viewpoints of ourselves suddenly multiplied before our eyes. No matter which way we looked, there were hundreds of us, and the longer we looked at any one spot, the more facets of ourselves we saw. It was mind-boggling because in an instant we were seeing so many previously unnoticed aspects of our familiar selves all-at-once.

 Deepening our experience was the awareness that time, place, and history were crisscrossing for us while we stood at this intersection: imagining da Vinci experiencing this in the Renaissance when he designed it and wondering what he was thinking then; knowing we were in Venice, Italy - a place that has known so many turns of history - but feeling like we were in a kind of  wonderland; being located in our own selves but confronted with our many selves. The Renaissance-turned-postmodern experience of multiple realities was upon us.

Even though Venice has been a tourist destination since the 18th century, a deeper, more mysterious Venice - the place of art, inspiration, and ideas -  lives hidden behind the facades of knickknacks and baubles lining the Piazza San Marco. . . And it found us!

We hope many inspiring adventures find you in the New Year!

Happy New Year with love, 
MarySue & Gregg


PeterAtLarge said...

Gregg, this reminds me of an experience that Ellie and I had in a room constructed by Yayoi Kusama. For us, a great frolic in a wildly colorful space. Forget where that was...

gregg chadwick said...

I also encountered a magical Yayoi Kusama space in New York in 2003.
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