October 25th, 2004

Chiesa di Santa Maria del Soccorso

Vittoria said the next time she marries, she may arrange a quiet ceremony at the chapel of Santa Maria del Soccorso, an Ischian landmark. It was an Augustinian convent built in 1350, abolished in 1653, remodeled after earthquakes, and now a triumph of Greek-Byzantine, Moresque, and Mediterranean architecture. Often she summons the chauffeur to take her there, and he waits outside while she sits in the cool darkness and contemplates the bizarre turns her life has taken. While she has been given much over the years, much also has been brutally taken away. Dare she ask why?

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Hope Floats

The island, Vittoria said, is alive with mysteriousness and irony. Did you know that the bird of paradise is a native of South Africa and is closely related to the banana? Do you know why I like to visit the harbor? Like hope, boats float, and there are plenty out there. And come here. See how the sunlight on the balcony creates an optical illusion with the posts? And do you notice how darkness surrounding a color makes it more intense? It's like when Jack died. I suddenly loved him more.

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