Mille passi – a thousand steps

There is a place I have wanted to go.

But last time I was not mobile and it was not possible.

It was great to be there.

Nothing crazy, nothing fancy.

Just joy.

Stone steps, antiquities.

Religious frescoes 

(why oh why do I love them so much?).

I go to the garden.

Hydrangeas – ortensie,  hosta, ferns – felcicome nel mio proprio giardino — as in my own garden.  Beautiful comfort.

I peek in on the sculpture class in the studios.

I am reminded of how we chip away at our lives, adjusting, adjusting, always adjusting.

There is a story I have heard of Michelangelo years ago.  How is it, someone asked — that you can make that slab of stone into an angel. But ah, he answered, the angel — she is already inside.  My job is to release her.

Chip, chip — in our lives we are slowing freeing the angel.

I think it would be nice to have lunch nearby.

Mi piacerebbe tanto — I would love to, I tell myself.

I have risotto.

I have beautiful yellow risotto milanese.

Just simple creamy rice — with saffron.

Gold — like the windows of antiquity — when saffron was used to make them that color.

There is a story about the man who was in charge of the windows of the iconic Duomo of Milan in 1574.  It is said that he added saffron to every window — he said it enhanced the colors and that it produced wonderful effects.  His passion for saffron earned him the nickname of Zafferano — saffron.

So…Zafferano’s boss joked that one day he would just add saffron to everything — even his risotto — which at the time was just made with butter.

(And interesting to a nerd such as myself – small pieces of gold leaf were also added to risotto in those days – it was considered a medical treatment for heart issues.)

And — as a joke — he added it to the risotto of the wedding of his boss’ daughter, thinking it would ruin the wedding since he was secretly in love with her.   This antic backfired — everyone loved the saffron in the risotto and it became a regular ingredient from that time forward.

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