We took our time today. I woke late. Ate lunch instead of breakfast. Before we headed off in separate, no-map-needed directions on errands: John to the cantina, the Billa supermercato, the ufficio postale while I ventured to the libreria a.k.a. bookstore to score one of the fairly hot-off-the-presses Molskine guides to Venezia to use as my journal-of-record of this trip. John admitted later than somehow, mapless, he got lost on his way back from his sojourn. I, on the other hand, did my tour of the arty shoppes in Campo Carmini and San Margherita, just before everybody closed their doors for Monday’s extendo-lunch.
Afternoon brought major gray and downpour rains. John napped while I sped through Joseph Brodsky’s paean to Venice, Watermark. An odd, not entirely appealing little book. Then we suited up with string bag and Euros to head out to the Punto for more lunch fixings before an African drum and dance concert at 6 pm. We detoured into a church in an adjoining campo (of course, and why not?) killing time before the concert—San Pantalon was another obscure Catholic who saved Venetians from the plague and thus won canonization for his heroic efforts. The ceiling paintings in the church were opulent and remarkable. Sadly, their painter, Fumiari, died from a scaffold fall after 24 years working on his art. Who is the barber here, really?
I love drumming, corny and hippie-ish as that sounds to admit. I may take it up once and for all when we get back to Portland, Oregon Country Fair drumming circle be damned. What was cool about the event in San Margherita was that, indeed, novices from the audience were invited to drum on in. I loved watching the facial expressions of the amateurs as they figured out how to get into the rhythmic groove —disbelief, tentativeness, weird, serendipitous happiness. Many people on their way to somewhere else seemed to interrupt the flow of their days to stop and listen to the music. Kids and hipster teens from the university moved along with the beat. The bells never stopped.
We’re off by train to Padua to see Giotto’s frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel tomorrow. A grand day out, all of 12 miles away. St. Anthony’s tongue and larynx will also be treats in Il Santo after our art history tour. It doesn’t get much better than this!