Title: A Thousand Days in Venice
Author: Marlena de Blasi
Genre: Travel/ Memoir
Length: 272 pages
“1000 Days in Venice,” I wrote in my journal, “I want Venice without Fernando. Venice sounds lovely. Fernando, annoying.”
I suppose I feel this way because I am happily married to a man who is nothing like Fernando. But my love, or lack thereof, for the man who swept de Blasi off her feet has nothing to do with my enjoyment of the book. The book is lovely. And what follows are my journal entries from my reading, quotes that moved me and so on:
To fall in love with a face is ridiculous – at least a face with no personality. It would be as though I were to declare myself in love with Jamie Campbell Bower off his side profile. I cannot stand that mentality. A face can only be so lovely.
“full of tears and crumbs”
“I cry for how life intoxicates.” – pg. 29
In love for the first time? But she had babies…
She laments that so many people are trying to save her from a man they don’t know. Then admits repeatedly that she doesn’t know him either. I want to save her too, no matter how terribly romantic I find it that she’s sold her house, auctioned belongings off in the airport and arrived to see her fiance whom she has never seen in summer before.
Then again, arranged marriages work – why not a marriage between people who have met a few times and spent a week together?
“Living as a couple never means that each gets half. You must take turns at giving more than getting. It’s not the same as bow to the other whether to dine out rather than in, or which one gets massaged that evening with oil of calendula; there are seasons in the life of a couple that function, I think, a little like a night watch. One stands guard, often for a long time, providing the serenity in which the other can work at something. Usually that something is sinewy and full of spines. One goes inside the dark place while the other stays outside, holding up the moon.” – pg. 147
Such a beautiful sentiment. So much truth to it. Despite the fact that she married a stranger – even calls him that, stranger – she knows marriage.
Transfer? Why? I don’t want to live another version of this life. I want to do something totally different, but together. Perhaps my dislike for Fernando is that he reminds me of myself. In this moment, I love him, he lives what I want.
I give lots of memoirs away once I’m done reading them. But this one is a keeper – there are recipes. Besides the recipes, it is beautiful. I will probably read it again one day.