In Venice

We’re in Venice tonight.  For those of you who remember the last time I was in Venice, I will NOT be riding in a gondola.  Been there; done that; got the VERY wet t-shirt.

Yesterday we were in Dubrovnik where we spent a wonderful several hours at a once-abandoned Dominican monastery tasting their oils, honeys, and wines.  It’s a monastery that was destroyed in the “last” war which ended in the mid-nineties. The country is just now reopening rebuilt bridges that were destroyed in that war.  As for the monastery?  It still belongs to the Dominicans, but was taken over and rebuilt by a group of ten men—veterans from that last war—who have brought their individual talents to bear to do something to benefit themselves and their community.  It is a true community service organization!   By the time we left, I was a fan of cherry grappa!

But here’s what I was thinking about on the bus ride back to the ship.  I was thinking about Robert Frost’s poem:  Something there is that does not like a wall.

If you haven’t read it recently or even ever, do yourself a favor and read it now.  The wall in question is a rock wall built between neighboring farms.  In the winter frosts heave up and knock a few rocks off.  Or stray hunters or hikers knock down a few so they can pass through more easily.  But in the spring, the farmers from both sides of the wall come together to rebuild it, working together because, as Frost concludes “Good fences make good neighbors.”

On this cruise, all the ancient cities we’ve seen—with the exception of Venice—have had walls.  (Venice doesn’t need a wall—it has the Mediterranean.)  But the other cities have all had walls, built at great expense and huge expenditures of physical effort, not to keep their citizens locked inside, but to protect their citizens from threats from without.

And maybe with all the yelling back and forth about building a wall or not building a wall, it might do us all a lot of good to remember what Robert Frost said.  Good fences really do make good neighbors.

That’s the blog for today—short and sweet.  As of a few minutes ago my line editing job for Field of Bones has arrived, and that’s what I’ll be working on tomorrow.

So much for vacationing on vacation.

7 thoughts on “In Venice

  1. This is the first time you have brought politics into you since you came out as a tRUmp supporter .. As a personal favor please stay out of politics. Let there be one place in our lives where we can go without worrying about the outside world. When I am in your books I only want to be in the world of Beau, Joann and Ali..
    Have a wonderful CRUSE I always want to see Italy so be my eyes.. lol… Jan

  2. I’ve only been to Rome, but would love to see more of Italy. Your cruise activities sound like so much fun. When do you return?

  3. We just returned from a Viking Cruise on the Rhine River…all the old castles had fortresses to protect those within. But your blog made me think of a specific one with two castles with a wall between rather than around. Two brothers who wanted the same lady; one went off to war but she got in a hurry and married the second brother before the other’s return. Wall built to divide the land holdings and I guess they never spoke again. If I remember correctly, she didn’t stick with brother #2, so they were both alone.

  4. Frost used one of the speakers to wonder why fences make good neighbors. There are two views in this poem! Maybe that is why Kennedy used it about the Berlin Wall!! Do fences make good neighbors? Look at history . Breaking down walls is important … Studying and teaching this poem always asks the reader to look at both views! Perhaps this wonderful author is also telling us that there are two sides to the issues!!!!

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