Back in June of 2002, my beloved, more than a little weary and worse for wear, took a little trip.
For ten days, she wandered under the Tuscan sun with a tour group–the "pretty and lively girl from Minnesota…so brave to travel alone."
Many stories have I heard from this trip: from it’s original non-start on September 11, 2001, to her high-adventure train trip to catch up with the tour group after her flight to Italy was delayed, to the story of the crowd of concerned folks gathered around an injured bird in Sienna. I love hearing them, mostly because of the way her eyes light up and her whole body fills with an effervescence that nearly bubbles over when she talks about the place.
There are times, I admit, that a little pang of jealousy tweaks at my heart as she talks. Not because I am jealous that she’s gone there and I haven’t, but because I wish I had been there with her.
I know, I know…the Universe does as the Universe does, and everything unfolds for a reason, and yada yada. It’s all good. I also know that someday we’ll go there together, and we’ll have a beautiful time as we walk the cobblestone streets of cities that captured her heart so thoroughly. But you get it, right..?
One day, while noodling at my other keyboard, I was picturing Robbye clomping through fields and along dirt roads in those cute and clunky boots of hers. I envisioned her in Rome and Florence and Sienna soaking in their sights and their sounds and their essences. I played out little encounters–some funny, some frustrating, some so quiet and full of awe they’d move you to tears. I saw her in her own "room with a view", tossing open the shutters on her first morning there and standing in an open air window, basking in the promise of adventure and romance in Bella Italia. I was experiencing it all as a kind of montage…my baby in Italia: the movie.
And it struck me. What my fingers were forming was a theme. A "cue" they call it in movie composer-speak. It was the music that accompanied Robbye as she moved through these little scenelets.
So I took a few hours and finished it, this little musical cue. It was fun because I had been wanting to do something a little more "orchestral". Most significant, it was important because, for a change, I felt like I was there with her, sharing the Italian experience in some way. I felt a little less jealous and a little more present.
As usual, the thing’s got its problems. I listen to it now, and they scream out to me: Fix me! Fix meeeee!!! That is, however, for another time. When I am able to get a newer and better Mac and a new keyboard and such.
For now, it’s good enough. And Robbye likes it. When she first heard it, she threw her arms around me, tears flowing freely and said, "It’s really good! You really get it!" Equally cool, another time, when the music had popped up on my iTunes rotation, she walked into my office and said, "What’s that? It’s beautiful."
Before I could open my mouth, though, she nodded to herself.
And as she turned to leave, she smiled. Effervescent.
All that said, I present to you…
on the photo: Best Friends, taken by Robbye in Sienna, I think. Of the many amazing images she took in Italy, this is among my absolute favorites. BTW–you can see more of my wife’s amazing work at her website.