15 Comments
Oct 13, 2022Liked by Belle Chesler

Always a great read, keep it up, Belle.

(That stupid Jesus! What a hoot!)

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Oct 19, 2022Liked by Belle Chesler

Appreciating all of this so much. Thanks for bringing us with you Belle.

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Oct 13, 2022Liked by Belle Chesler

I regularly pinch myself that you are my friend. You are so cool and talented. Thanks for sharing your sauce with us.

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that's how I feel too! Pinching myself!! lucky lucky us.

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Oct 15, 2022Liked by Belle Chesler

After 11yrs of private catholic schools I can confirm your sentiments on the church. Love your writing and can't wait for the next!

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Oct 15, 2022Liked by Belle Chesler

So well written! Love your insights and your language!

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Oct 15, 2022Liked by Belle Chesler

Hey there Belle, thank you so much for writing these impressions, from the daily sights to your feelings to the bigger stuff about church, culture, etc. Jill was talking to me about this last post and she shared stuff about things that Cleo is hearing about religion and the Catholic Church, etc. At the risk of demonstrating untoward chutzpah I was thinking that you have a great opportunity being there, where the very first ghetto in the world was established to lock in the Jews, in the 16th century, I think about 1516. It might not be too hard to get a Jewish educator from the ghetto to come to talk to Cleo's class about how the Jews migrated from Israel (Jerusalem) when the Romans destroyed the Jewish holy Temple in Jerusalem in the year 70. Italy was one of the first stops in the Jewish diaspora going back now 2000 years. The early church and Judaism during the first 2 or 3 centuries of the common era had a lot of cross fertilization of ideas and philosophies and I have come to learn that the rabbis of the talmud (200-600 CE) share many of the same metaphysical questions with the early church fathers whose writings are also preserved. What a fun exploration that could be---to look at their big questions and try and discover how the different groups answered. Of course after the Council of Nicaea in the 4th century things took very different directions. Bottom line observation: tons of people have a hard time realizing Jesus was a Jewish teacher first, before becoming something else.

We loved our week in Venice back in May of 2001--should I try to find our favorite little church?

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Oct 13, 2022Liked by Belle Chesler

Love reading your insights! And I’m so happy to see pictures of the churches. Such overwhelming work and beauty. Nothing like it in CA….

Someday hope to venture into conversations with you and Andy about Christianity. You’d enjoy it! Love you all!

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Oct 13, 2022Liked by Belle Chesler

Mama mia!!

Thank you for taking me along.

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Oct 13, 2022Liked by Belle Chesler

Beautiful, friend. Thank you.

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By the way - thanks for introducing me to "contrapposto". Who knew there was a fancy art term for standing with weight on one leg, hips tilted. Or that it was a remarkable new "discovery" in art that one could portray a body in that - angle of repose. When I take my flute lesson today, if trees have not blocked my way, the atmospheric rivers still rolling across our region - I can now tell my flute teacher that I have learned the contrapposto position.

In a thick, 18th century guide to flute playing, known casually to serious Baroque flautists like my teacher as "Quantz", this delicious word describes perfectly the stance Quantz prescribes, upright, relaxed and attentive, one foot forward a little.

I'll think "contrapposto" now, when I find my self hunching worriedly over the swimming shoals of demisemiquavers blackening the pages I'm trying to turn into something resembling music!

Words - wonderful words!

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The Scalzi church - so lavish and ornate - immediately put me in mind of Sacred Heart Catholic church in Freeport, the tiny town in Central Minnesota, where my late husband was raised. It's a meat and potatoes, corn and dairy farms kind of place and then there's this tall yellow brick church that you go in and it's - so unexpected - smooth pastel colors soaring walls - big altar. So totally unexpected.

I want to recommend, if you've not yet read her - Claire Keegan, Irish writer. I've read two novellas - Foster, and Small Things Like These. I forget now why I thought, reading this post, that you'd want to read these. Gobsmackingly good, I thought. Course, I like Jonathan Franzen so you may doubt my taste! Thanks for sharing your experiences as you do - so entertaining and interesting to read.

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Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Will look her up!

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I love reading about your experiences in Italy.

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Thank you so much for reading it, Sare! ❤️

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