Monday, November 07, 2005

Venice's Water

The canals in Venice reflect the sky, and imitate whatever color the sky is. No surprise there. On overcast days, you see waves of white that calm and vanish on the horizon to meet the white sky. If it was any brighter, it would hurt to look at, but as it is, it is beautiful in its blankness and motion. It is like watching undulating snowbanks.

But when it is sunny and clear, the water has a pale azure cast. It doesn't quite glow and isn't as brilliant as the water in the Blue Grotto, but it is still like a jewel to behold. The advantage is the canals are all around you. You don't have to take a bus, pay a fee, then take a rowboat to see the color for a few minutes.

It's a question of whether you want to have to journey and make a special effort to have a peak experience for a few minutes, or whether you want the less intense beauty integrated into your daily life.

3 comments:

k.c. said...

"undulating snowbanks" are way better in venice than in the streets of brooklyn, where they tend to be black and yellow.

but really, what a wonderful description. i'm glad to have a chance to read more of your writing like this.

i fly into milan tonight. five-hour layover there: not looking forward. does malpensa mean what i think it does? or does it mean "airport of chainsmokers"?

thanks for all the good stories, mr. hanlon.

the hanged man said...

"Malpensa" is actually a portmanteau word, combining "Mal" meaning "sick" and Mensa, the organization for geniuses. So it is actually the airport for evil geniuses.

But since it is in Europe, expect plenty of smoking...

Have a good time in Germany, my dear.

John

k.c. said...

I've done time in Malpensa before, so I'm gearing up now for the pain.

Thanks, Johnny, and if I encounter any evil geniuses, I'll post their photos on Flickr.