milano moment

kathryn and matt and i are in milan visiting with our uncle rich, aunt luisa, and our cousins zoe and filippo.
matt visited with david and others about eight years ago, and they made a bit of a bigger splash at the time. word had preceded them about the blonde american cousins who were coming to visit and they came and it was filippo’s 9th birthday and everyone in the neighborhood came out for a huge game of dodgeball in which the american cousins maybe injured some of the smaller bambinos.
kat and i kept a relatively lower profile. rich/luisa/et al are the consummate hosts. an immediate connection as family and so much to talk about. matt arrived yesterday, zoe and kat and i snagged him from the train station. 
tomorrow we’re taking a train to venice. i’ve contributed at points, but i’ve so often gotten comfortable with kathryn handling the logistics of things and being the person who is good with those details, and that i am the person who is not. matt coming in and keeping pace with her in booking things is a reminder to me that it just takes doing. just making the effort. he’s a great addition to the team–we’ve been a low stress high activity traveling group. it’s been good to uproot myself from my carrboro espresso and library brooding. 
milan is wonderful, of course. yes it is in many ways a run down hurting city where we are hearing each day about how the little money left has been embezzled by some pinstriped papa. but i’m an american kid, and while we have plenty of pale imitations, it’s powerful to see a cathedral or a monastery where every stone has been carved by an artist and it took hundreds of years at that to do it. it makes me slow to sit and scratch down some lines in my pad to feed my head humming. art is inspiring. kathryn can feel this bubbling up if we’re walking together and she’ll nudge me so lightly it seems like it’s my idea. talking with her teaches me how to listen. 

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