Tropea welcomed me with an initial little cheeky challenge, followed by the most beautiful three and a half months. Leaving now is sad, but above all I feel a huge wave of gratitude to the lovely people I've met here, and who/what-ever is pulling the strings of my life lately.
I think there was a little hole in Tropea with my exact shape and size. I landed here mid-January and in no time everything slid right into place, effortlessly, simply, as if necessary. My friends Dave and Joanna kindly allowed me to stay in their gorgeous flat (highlight: the balconly with the views!), and had no problem when I asked them to stay a few more weeks at the end. Sending you guys a huge Thanks, and the wish that we all meet here sometime in the future! Every evening a new sunset, every morning a new sea for a new day. The lounge-room saw work and music, the kitchen my explorations with nduja, the shower rinsed the salt after every swim. After the Greenhouse in Berlin, this was such a luxury...
The town was also kind and loving to me. The cafe cui di sotto, the little corner food store, the neighbors, the luthiers. And the weather, the beaches, the bells, the lazy winter, the walks by the coastline.
Well, when I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I thought Italian wasn't my cup of tea. Maybe too close to Catalan and Spanish. I don't know where this idea came from, but it couldn't be more wrong. I've fallen in love with the language, with the sound and the experience of speaking, and the added twist of gestures and bo's. My Italian was better in a month than my German in, well, who knows how long I've been fiddling with that. It helps that I enjoy it so much, and that I've had the opportunity to practice every day. The patience and generosity of my friends here has been priceless. I even got to learn a bit of calabrese! Gracias Nat por el libro que me regalaste, me ha acompañado muchos ratos!
Of course, some work needs to be done... Chiusky's Co-working space was unbeatable! :)
A lot of my time here has been focused on music. I made lots of funky progress with Whole-Play (and got some new ideas that I definitely will have to implement), I recorded a couple of tracks (Gentile Welcome, Berlin non-story coming soon), I wrote some new music, I played a lot with the beautiful guitar Gigi lent me.
I thought this was going to be pretty much all I'd do in Tropea, but again I was wrong...
Friends and Chuisky's Cave
But the real gem I've found in Tropea is without doubt the fast and wonderful friendship with Chicco and Fra (and of course with Chuisky and Elliot). Which in turn led me to meet the young climbers at Chuisky's Cave, and indirectly the yoga group that welcomed me twice a week in the evening. I don't know how these things happen: no complications, no elaborations, just simple direct loving contact. It could always be like this. But I'm rambling now, what I want is to give thanks for whatever made our paths cross, and if I may, ask that they shall cross again soon. You guys are the best, and Tropea wouldn't have been the same without you.
I had fun, exchanged views and experiences, improved my climbing so much I'm still puzzled (Chicco, you're hired as trainer/inspirator for life!), learned Italian (all sorts!), got to see a bit of Calabria, shared dinners and walks and laughs, and now on the train to Napoli I'm alreay missing you guys.
I don't forget the visit up north. And if that wasn't enough, I had the lovely visit from Nico, including a quick escape to Sicily. Sharing Phonic Set, past, present and future, swims and sunsets and each and every moment.
As the end of my stay neared, I started to feel a certain unease and sadness, but even this time Tropea took care of me. A two day trip to Stromboli (grazie Fra!) helped me let it just be, relax into it. It reminded me of the importance of letting change take place, surrender to not knowing and smiling during the sluggish passages. And the wonder of invisible connections. Ah yes, it was also incredibly beautiful. :)
Climbing Stromboli was quite an adventure, but interestingly it's the people I met the memory I'm taking with me.
In the end it always comes to goodbyes. This is a less fun part of the process, but it's also the perfect opportunity to open up a bit wider. Plus trust and love grow a bit bigger. I think the only word that's fit to end this post is: thanks!
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