I tend to not have difficulty traveling alone. However, long flights are not for the faint of heart or the weary in body or spirit. I got to the Florence hotel safely and all – after meeting so many members of the grounds crew in Munich & Florence. (Disability builds community. I’m telling you.)
There is a special kind of silence that occurs after the door closes to a single hotel room. There is no longer the chatter of passers-by, or the hullabaloo of desk clerks and porters, or the banging of bags, or the dinging of elevators, or the sound of cars, or the thickness of exhaust-filled air. Sometimes this is a welcome silence. Other times, it reminds me that I am alone in a strange city.
That day, I took a small trip outside with the scooter (after a nap) and tried to get a sense of my environment. I traveled a small ways south close to the river, further into town. That quiet I faced in my hotel room echoed outside. It wasn’t an issue of its sonics but of its contemplative spirit. It felt gentle, far away. It did not feel like a Tuesday.
At night, I looked up on tip-toe out to Florence, the Fiume Arno to the west and wondered what the Black Portraitures conference would bring.