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.
Stone steps, antiquities.
(why oh why do I love them so much?).
I go to the garden.
Hydrangeas – ortensie, hosta, ferns – felci, come 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.