That labyrinth became a world whose rules I lived by, and I understood the moral of mazes: sometimes you have to turn your back on your goal to get there, sometimes you’re farthest away when you’re closest, sometimes the only way is the long one. After that careful walking and looking down, the stillness was deeply moving. It was breathtaking to realize that in the labyrinth, metaphors and meanings could be conveyed spatially. That when you seem farthest from your destination is when you suddenly arrive…
Rebecca Solnit, wonderlust
The blending of the iridescent blue of the Adriatic sea and the pale blue of the sky creates the illusion that the blue never ends. There is nothing more to be seen on the horizon today. No boats. No swimmers. Just an expanse of blue that I am pulled to look towards.
All the morning roads I take point in its direction and my walks often end at its shore. I enjoy looking into it as a mirror, marveling at all the shades of blue I had never noticed before.
The sea laps back at the city’s edges; softening them. Now it’s bringing the fisherman out and in and infusing the air with a subtle salty sweetness. In the seven weeks that I have lived here, I have slowly become familiar with the ways of the city.
I’ve been reading books about the city’s history and it’s culture but at the same time, each time I go out to explore, my intuition and imagination are also mapping the city as their own.
Because of it’s proximity to the sea, the old town of Bari is a labyrinth, built to confuse the strong winds and marauding invaders. At first, it also confused me, until I mapped it out in my mind but by that point, I also realized that I could use my wanderings through the old city as a meditation practice. The initial disorientation can act as a gateway to deep reflection on whatever thoughts arise. Between the walls, a new set of rules takes hold and as the sunlight shifts, the labyrinth changes form.
From within its narrow streets, I walk the length of myself.