TIME stands still. Frozen in TIME. Transported in TIME.
Following on from my last blog post (Time Illusion – Part I), I want to share with you a different viewpoint relating to TIME, based on my recent visit to Italy. I want to take you on a journey to explore the opposite end of the spectrum- away from speed; we will take a look at slowing down TIME.
Step back in Time
OK, let’s start with a walk around Venice.
Venice truly is an incredible city surrounded by water. It was built on a series of more than 100 islands in a lagoon. It is a city to which thousands of visitors flock to experience its rich history and to witness first hand its uniqueness. No other city in the world can match it with its canals and magnificent buildings. It is a city that captures romantic hearts across the world, and a place where many lovers and newly-weds enjoy being pictured as they float through the narrow city canals being serenaded on a gondola – you’ve all seen the photos.
My first impression of the city, from the water boat, as we cruised down the Grand Canal, was one of awe wrapped up with a tinge of sadness to see the decaying splendour of what must have been a majestic city. Everywhere you looked you could see the shabby grandeur of its former past glory shining through.
Even in the midst of the thronging masses on Piazza San Marco and as we climbed over the Bridge of Sighs, I could easily imagine the city as it would have been in the past. I often find myself transported back in time. In place of all the tourists, it would have been bustling with traders and merchants – a thriving and lively place of commerce, street traders plying their exotic wears and the taverns overflowing with tales of intrepid adventures in strange new worlds.
However, Venice is a city surviving on borrowed time as its foundations slowly erode, and it some parts become submerged with high tides. That aside, it is still standing and it certainly earns its place as one of the top cities in the world to visit.
Pause – Time Out
It has something for everyone – even for a book lover like me. Take a stroll down some of the quiet back streets and you might find your way to the oldest bookstore in the city “Libreria Acqua Alta“. Step into an Aladdin’s cave of books – books piled high in the small courtyard, books overflowing in an old gondola, books in every nook and cranny. There is a small corner with two seats beside an open shuttered window overlooking a canal – take a break for a moment and enjoy the pleasure of being in such a unique setting, especially as a gondola floats by.
It is more about the journey than rushing to the destination – enjoy allowing your imagination to step in and see yourself transported back in time and view the place at a time gone by. Mingle with the ghosts and walk in their steps, seeing the place in a new light. Hit pause and take a moment or two to enjoy a unique experience and implant it firmly in your mind – a memory filed away, to be drawn upon in your future writings.
As a writer I travel through this world drinking in the experiences, moments and feelings and then storing them away, safely, to be called upon in my writing. Each moment is fuel for a story, a setting or a character. As we writers wield our imaginations, the seed must come from somewhere and travel is a great way to find many inspirational seeds.