There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude . . . a quiet joy.
—Ralph H. Blum
I am grateful for the memory of Venice, for the week we spent there in September, for the universal pleasure it gives, for its labyrinthine ways, its churches, its beauty, its advanced age, its turbot baked whole in the oven with potatoes, the quiet lapping of its waters against resilient stone.
I am grateful too for Joseph Brodsky’s meditation on the city, which I picked up in a bookshop there, and for its profound, poetic passages.
The boat’s slow progress through the night was like the passage of a coherent thought through the subconscious. On both sides, knee-deep in pitch-black water, stood the enormous carved chests of dark palazzi filled with unfathomable treasures—most likely gold, judging from the low-intensity yellow electric glow emerging now and then from cracks in the shutters. The overall feeling was mythological, cyclopic, to be precise: I’d entered that infinity I beheld on the steps of the stazione and now was moving among its inhabitants . . .
—Joseph Brodsky, Watermark
image: Venice Rent Apartments