sandandwater: (venice)
This brings back memories...

Floods like this happened several times while I was living in Venice. Too much rain and the canals overflow. As long as it's only a couple feet deep, it's no real problem and for the most part, people carry on with business as usual, though most of us tend to wear waders over out jeans so we don't spend all day soaked through to the skin.

Never did anything as insane as try to water board through the Piazza though. That's a new one.
sandandwater: (Default)


Signore Alessandro

I was sorting through some things and found his picture on my desk so I scanned it in before finding a picture frame for it. My dear Signore, he's taught me so much and given me so much more. I suppose it's no surprise that I've been thinking about Venice again. About making glass in his studio, with him. Even being yelled at by him--no one yells like Alessandro, he has it down to its own art form. I miss that about him. He always pushes and he never, ever lets me run. I miss that too.
sandandwater: (dreamer)
I detest feeling restless and useless on top of that.

[locked to those that know what happened]

I was sick of Cait's bedroom after a few days and now I'm sick of my entire apartment. Pretty much disgusted with wandering around Ro's as well. I want to do something, anything that resembles my normal routine and yet--I can't.

I want to work in my studio but I know better. I'd only be asking for trouble at this point and I've never been one for safety hazards when blowing glass. Too many things can go wrong if you aren't focused. It's safe to say that my mind wanders a lot lately. Any little thing sets me off and I can't seem to ignore the constant worry and fear, the feeling as if I am going to jump out of my skin at any moment.

Then there's the matter of...my hand. I don't want to look at it. It's hideous. I get nauseous every time I catch a glimpse of it. Of that side of it. If I can't look at my hands, I can't work the glass. It's really that simple. And to be honest, I'm not even sure how I'm going to be able to hold the rods and pontils, the blocks...balance is SO very essential to what I do. Did. Balance and steadiness. It's the difference between excellent artwork and a damned mess. I won't spend my time creating anything less than the forms I see in my mind's eye. I just won't.

I'm afraid to go back and find that I'm not capable of adjusting.

The same can be said of work at Last Call. Mike has said time and again that I don't have to hurry back, whenever I'm ready he'll put me on the schedule. I want to work. I miss it. I miss the staff, the regulars, even most of the music. At this point, even karaoke nights sound appealing. I know, too, that Mike's having to juggle all of the things he hates about running a bar. The things I always handle. Dealing with the vendors and suppliers, payroll and scheduling. The tedium of owning a small business. All things I can pretty much do by rote these days and I actually enjoy most of it.

But then I start thinking about all the questions people will have. The stares that I know will come. And I have no idea what to say to them, should I say anything or let the idle gossip run wild? People are going to talk no matter what, I know that but I really wish they wouldn't. Staff, the regular customers and acts, the new patrons...and it's the unknowns that frighten me too. I don't feel like I can trust anyone I don't already count as a friend.

[locked from Rory]

And the nights Breaker Street play there...they have always been my favorite nights to work. Always. You'd think that having Ro there would make me feel better, but the truth is I don't think I could bear to be in the building while they play their music. I haven't been able to listen to anything of theirs since--

I hate that I can't stand to hear Ro sing. I never realized how often he hums random tunes as he does things or sings under his breath, but he does. And it's all I can do not to scream at the sound of it. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP! That's all I think when he starts and it breaks my heart as much as it turns my stomach.

I can't tell him this, I simply can't. How can I, when so much of our relationship has been built around his music, his band...he's a singer, it's what he does and it's what he's so very good at. And I'm proud of him but I just can't listen to him any more. What if I never can? And it's not that I don't think he's talented or that the band isn't amazing. Rory is and Breaker Street are and I really want to be supportive of them, I do. I just can't hear their music without remembering what he did.

I haven't even been able to make myself bring them up in casual conversation with anyone. I've tried. The words just stick in my throat. Me. The band's free PR campaign girl. And I can't find it in myself to speak about them.

What if he doesn't want to be with me if I can't share in that part of his life any more?

[/locked from Rory]

I refuse to even think about after closing. I know that Mike isn't about to let me do that alone any more. And I know Ro wouldn't let me even if Mike did. It's the thought of walking out of the bar and into the parking lot that makes my chest feel tight and I forget how to breathe. Alone or not, I'm not sure I can do it.

So where does that leave me? Not in my studio and not at work. Home. Going stir crazy.

Maybe I really should do what I was talking to Bobby about and go back to Venice for a while. I'd love to see Alessandro. I'd love to be in his studio and I know that he'd help me figure out the solution to my problems there. I've always felt safe in his capable hands and if I have to relearn anything, there is no one I'd rather have teach me. No one. Only, I don't know if I could leave Ro even for a little while. And I certainly don't know what I'd do with Mr. Beaker. I can't take him with me and subject my poor puppy to quarantine like that.

I wish someone would just tell me what to do.

[/unlocked]

Aryn, do you want to have lunch sometime this week?
sandandwater: (hot stuff)
Don't say it's easy to follow a process // There's nothing harder than keeping a promise

(Editors – ‘Blood’)

Bene, bene. Magnifico, bella.
” Alessandro murmured in quiet approval as he stood behind Pippa, absently twisting and turning her curly red locks in his hands, tucking them into the back of her shirt to keep her hair from being further singed in the fire’s heat. He was like that, gentle and quiet when she did something right. One little mistake and he’d be screaming in her ear, gesticulating wildly and cursing her into the next decade. He had a flair for the dramatic, to say the least. “
Per favore
, Pippa…keep going, do not take the time to think, just feel it,
bella
. Feel the pull…let gravity,
si. Si
, like that.
Bene
.”

She’d been there, in Italy, apprenticing with this man for nearly two years. So much learned and still feeling like so much more she needed to know. She had the basics, understood the process but now came the hard part. Learning to trust her instincts, knowing when to break the rules to let creativity reign.

Sbrigati!
Faster, hurry…” He was reaching for the pipe then, not controlling, merely assisting as she spun the heavy rod. Keeping it balanced for her, his hands so much larger and stronger. Calluses thicker. His sense of timing perfected. “Look at it, Pippa!
Davvero!
See what you make here,
la mia stella brillante
!”

Pippa laughed at the praise, laughed more at grin on the old man’s face as they worked in tandem, watching as the glass thinned and flared, fanned out from the centrifugal force they were creating in the sweltering studio. Faster, they turned the pontil, hand over hand hers and his, moving in sync. “
Sei pazzo, Signore !
You’re crazy!”

Later that evening, hours later, they sat on the terrazzo steps that made up the front of Alessandro’s home, drinking wine bottled from vineyards belonging to his sister in Tuscany and sharing a loaf of bread baked fresh by his neighbor. Between them sat the vessel she had been spinning. A platter of vibrant colors, the process of marvering it—rolling it over a marble slab layered in chemicals to add color to the glass, all Pippa’s own doing. She’d done it all herself: the initial gathering of molten glass, forming the first bubbled shape with breath from her own lungs, the following gathers, back and forth to the marver, reheating it in the glory hole. All he had done was watch. Watch and spin as her second pair of hands.

That had been her job for the longest time. Today, master handed over the reins to the apprentice and let her take control. And she’d done
well
. He was proud, she could tell by the speculative glances he kept giving the platter. It had only been in the annealing oven for a few hours, the glass so thin that it didn’t take long for it to gradually cool. Very tricky, what she had done. Avoided the stress fractures common to a piece so delicate.

Mia bella
…you have the touch. A gift. It’s not only a talent, not just a skill. A gift.
Capisce?
” He took her hands in his, thumbs rubbing over the rough skin of her palms before lifting each, in turn, to his lips for a tender kiss. “A gift.”

Grazie
, Alessandro…thank you. I couldn’t possibly—“

“No, no. You do not thank me for this, Phillipa. You thank the Mother Mary, you thank the Holy Father. You thank these.” He lifted her hands again, squeezed them tightly. “This gift I did not give to you, you had it all along. I see it. I knew. When you came around my shop. When you with that awful American Italian asked me for work. When you didn’t cry every time I yell at you. When you get burned and you kept working. I knew,
bella
.”

She smiled at him then, always picking on her Italian even as his English sometimes left something to be desired. She never once commented on it, even then she opted for, “I had a good teacher.”

“The best.” Oh, that machismo. He had it in spades. He dropped one of her hands to run a finger along the rim of her glass. “This is very good. Very lovely.”

Releasing her other hand he lifted the platter and looked her right in the eye. “But is only one piece. Promise you can do it again, just the same.”

She bit her bottom lip as she returned his gaze, blue eyes fixed on dark brown. It was a challenge; she recognized it. Pippa had been flying high all evening with a sense of accomplishment but he’d never let her get too full of herself. Alessandro was a good teacher for a reason. “I promise.”

Bene
.” He let go of her platter and watched it shatter across the terrazzo, a million glimmering slivers catching the moonlight. “Tomorrow.”

“I promise.”


Pippa Kerr//Last Call//802

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sandandwater

October 2009

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