From Spello to Orvieto


Sunday Amy and I packed up and left Spello, our home of four weeks. We so appreciate our time at the Enoteca Properzio and the hospitality of Roberto Angelini, his family and his staff. We were like family for four weeks. Since Roberto and his brother Carlo didn't speak english, they taught us Italian. We were welcomed when we came back after the memorial service in California, and welcomed back each day we returned from walking Assisi or Montefalco, or resting in Spello. We learned about each other and enjoyed times of laughter and telling stories (as best we could) and understanding more about each others' lives.

We met some amazing people over a cappuccino or a glass of wine or a late evening dinner from all over the world: Nova Scotia, Scotland, Boston, North Carolina, Lousiana, Tennesee, Oregon, Italy, Mexico, England, France, Norway, and even San Diego. On Friday we met Janet, a woman from England who is good friends with a couple in our church in Solana Beach. There were only four people on the bus to Montefalco and we both know Bob and Judy Enns. 
Our conversations were surprising, sometimes deep, always interesting and Amy and I would continually pinch ourselves. Is this really happening to us? We will always think back to our time in Spello as bello.
Sunday afternoon we arrived at the San Paolo Monastery, our home for the next two weeks, where we will share meals, take two classes, walk around Orvieto and travel together to Siena and Assisi with 24 others from southern California. Fuller Seminary has offered two week courses here in Orvieto through the Brehm Center in Pasadena to expose students to the role of art in theology and worship.  Some students are from the school of Psychology, some getting their MDiv's, others their MA's in Theology and still others are alums who are auditing the classes.
Last night Amy and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary at the Antico Bucchero restaurant. We toasted each other and were grateful for our lives together, for the opportunities we've had over the last quarter century to visit great places together, be in meaningful ministry, raise two sons, enjoy each other and live the adventure.
The class toured Orvieto today to get a layout of this medieval city. A few of us went into the oldest church in Orvieto, San Giovanale—the foundation was built in 1004 and the frescoes were painted in the 13th and 14th centuries. Awesome.

We're doing some creative assignments to get us in touch with this city and in touch with art. Today we tried our hand at sculpting. Chris Slatoff is the Artist in Residence at Fuller and an amazing sculptor. He gave us clay and the assignment to shape our own hand as realistically as we can.  (More on my Art Blog page.)















To get to know the town more personally we walked around Orvieto, observed what we saw, and wrote a poem, which we read in class to each other. Here's mine.

The Wall
Tan and gray and carmel
Volcanic, porous, oddshaped
Stacked, mortarted and straightened
To form a wall, a house, a street
But inside an artist: Anna
Born in Orvieto but dreaming of California
Too close-minded, too small, too limiting in this place
Oils and pencil create another world, a ticket to another world
That is beautiful, wonderful … better
Better than a mother who is ill
Better than thinking that is too small
Better than this is
Where?
Pomona, Ontario, San Francisco is her heart, her love, her dream.
A stone wall, or is it rock?
A wall, or a filled in doorway no longer used?
Yes.
Mortar of dark grey, then light, then tan.
Attached rings no longer needed for horses adorn the wall
It's cold and damp and quiet
Birds sing on one side, then another.
The cat sits content on the wall.

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