Saturday, March 05, 2005

Santa Francesca Of the Dogs

Assisi Cloister
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

What I remember about Assisi was how I would walk out onto our balcony every morning and the valley below was shrouded in fog. Everything had a kind of pinkish glow, and huge flocks of birds would suddenly lift off from one rooftop and fly in swooping, Busby Berkley-esque formations to the next rooftop. I got to see the Giotto frescoes before the big earthquake that destroyed them, and the whole few days was one big swoon. We went in January (golly, that was 9 years ago already - I was turning 30) and there was no one around but the occasional nice little group of Japanese tourists.

So I can imagine myself there this summer, even with that weird "who am I without my church" summer malaise I always get into, just soaking in some Jungian theory and happy to simply be there in that medieval setting.

Assisi is the one place in the world that I think is equally romantic whether you're totally solo or totally in love. You feel like a lover of life in Assisi. Go ahead and laff. But Virginia's not for lovers. Virginia's for right-wing nut jobs and really nice magnolia blossoms in the spring. ASSISI is for lovers, man. You're not at all surprised to learn that two major saints came from there, as you think it you only spent a few more days, you might score a major mystical vision or two yourself.

I'm seriously thinking of taking the course, although it's expensive and I've already been there, and there's that whole country called SPAIN that I'm dying to see...

I forgot to tell you how I was walking up this big hill to the Rocco Maggiore when I was there, chatting away to this little raggedy stray dog who walked the whole way with me (I have photos of him that I should post sometime). A group of schoolboys were following my progress from the bushes, shouting that I was crazy and calling me "St. Francesca of the Dogs." I know enough Italian that I could tell what they were saying.

It's my favorite nickname ever. Oh, in case you didn't know: the two saints from Assisi are St. Francis and Saint Claire.


Blogger Chalicechick said...

(((Virginia's for right-wing nut jobs and really nice magnolia blossoms in the spring.)))

Hey, naff off. At least MY state has a governor who LIKES us.

Native Virginian.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, there was some malfunction on the previous entry, so I couldn't leave my "Why is Jesus stalking me everywhere I go?" remark. I mean, aren't there a few places Jesus can just leave me alone for a little while--like in the water closet and such.

As for Virginia, never been there. I must see Assissi, though!!!

Blogger fausto said...

Yeah, there's something wrong with the Jesus comment link.

The picture looks more like Johnny Damon than Jesus, though. Maybe the guy in the dentist's chair is somebody whose front tooth Johnny accidentally knocked out with a foul ball, or something like that.

As for CC's defense of Virginia, well, you know the old story about how you can boil a frog by putting him in a pot of cold water and then putting it on the stove? As the heat rises gradually, he never realizes it and never hops out, and eventually he's boiled. Or you know how your nose gets used to a smoky room and you don't realize how bad the air was until you step outside and get a whiff of the pure stuff? It's kind of the same thing with liberals (whether political or religious) in the Falwell State.

PB, go ahead and take a course in Assisi if you want. Or got to Spain. Or just hang out on Nantasket Beach and read junk novels. You'll be closer to Heaven doing any of those things than taking a course at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg.

Blogger Chalicechick said...

Ahem In Lynchburg, there is the trippiest place ever.

It's called "Cement world" and it is a 2-acre lawn statuary store. It really looks like the world's oddest cemetary.

It's weird, kids.

I bought Mary-who-dances a Rococco angel there.

Someday, I plan to go back and buy four cement Virgin Marys, put a glass top on and call it a coffee table.

Whose college roommate was fron Lynchburg, but considers the rest of the state what one must drive through to go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Raleigh.

Blogger fausto said...

Quoting from CC's link at

Like a fable, the "boiled frog" anecdote serves its purpose whether or not it's based upon something that is literally true.

One of these days, CC, you'll suddenly grasp in your gut the difference between factuality and Truth, and you'll go, like, "No WAY, dude! So THAT's what all those spearchul folks been talking about all this time! Glory Be and Word UP!!!" and the world will suddenly look very different.

Probably starting with Virginia, already home of the "trippiest place ever" (as well as several others on the top-ten list, without even leaving Lynchburg).

BTW, "the rest of" which state is what you drive through to get to Raleigh? Lynchburg's in Virginia. Raleigh's in NC. Are you conceding Peacebang's point concerning the Old Dominion?

Blogger fausto said...

And speaking of cement Virgin Marys:

I don't care if it rains or freezes
Long as I got my plastic Jesus
Ridin' on the dasboard of my car;
He don't slip and he don't slide
'Cause his feet are magnetized;
With my plastic Jesus I'll go far.

Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus,
Riding on the dashboard of my car,
Once his robe was snowy white,
Now it isn't quite so bright,
Stained by the smoke of my cigar.

I don't care if it's dark or scary
Long as I got my Virgin Mary
Ridin' with my Jesus in my car;
Comes in colors pink and pleasant,
Glows in the dark 'cause she's iridescent,
Ridin' on the dashboard of my car.


You can buy a sweet Madonna
Dressed in rhinestones sitting on a
Pedestal of abalone shell;
Goin' ninety, I'm not wary
'Cause I've got my Virgin Mary
Guaranteeing I won't go to Hell.


When I'm in a traffic jam
Jesus don't care if I say "damn",
I can let all my curses roll!
Plastic Jesus doesn't hear
'Cause he's got a plastic ear;
The man who invented plastic saved my soul!


Riding home one foggy night
With my honey cuddled tight,
I missed a curve, and off the road we veered;
My windshield got smashed-up good
And my darling graced the hood;
Plastic Jesus, He had disappeared!

{As Refrain}
Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus,
No longer chides me with His holy grin;
Doctors in the X-ray room
Found Him in my darling's womb:
Someday, He'll be born again!

I don't care if I'm broke or starvin'
Long as I've got a fish named Darwin
Glued upon the trunk lid of my car;
God, I'm feeling so evolved
Drivin' with my problems solved --
Proclaiming what I think of what we are!

Blogger Chalicechick said...

Well, SOUTHERN Virginia, sure, I did intend to concede PB's point a bit there.

But the assumption that Faixfax County and Lynchburg are culturally or politically the same pot of water is neither factual nor true.


Blogger fausto said...

Well, okay, we'll make an exception for Arlington and "Faixfax" [sic] counties. Or as it is sometimes called in the remainder of the state, Fauxfax County.

Blogger PeaceBang said...

All right, you two. Back in your naughty corners.

Naffing off

Blogger Chalicechick said...

Oooh... Criticize the TYPING of someone so sick she's talking like Tallulah Bankhead.

Classy rhetorical technique there.


Blogger fausto said...

I thought I was punning on it, not criticizing it. Sorry.

Have some chicken soup with some single malt in it. That ought to cheer you up. You already know my family's ancient recipe for single malt. All you need is PB's for the soup. To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose, including even ethnic culinary stereotypes.

Or if you don't want her soup, try her monkey bread. That ought to move the congestion from your head down into your arteries, at least.


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