Today on the blog where novel characters exercise their right to free speech, Alexander Wainwright gets to speak his mind about Venice and his search for Rinaldo.
In Parts one and two you will find that he has been sent on a search for his nemeisis Rinaldo. This story is not in any of the three novels of the Trilogy of Remembrance.
Should you want more, you can get those novels at any online bookstore except for the third one “Night Crossing” which will be published in 2014. The first two in that trilogy are “The Drawing Lesson and The Fate of Pryde.
Click Here:Memory, Dream and Art
The more I thought about it, the more concerned I became about hunting for Rinaldo. Something was afoot. Before I flew into Marco Polo airport, I happened to get out some old photos of my last visit. Click above to see some of my photographs of my last trip to Venice.
Memory is sometimes tricky. These photographs show a Venice filled with a haunting quiet. The Venice I found on my trip in search of Rinaldo was an utterly different place—or being.
But then, why should I expect to find Venice just as I had left her? Undoubtedly, I was a different person and necessarily would see her with new eyes. It seems to me that you cannot return to relive a place, a person or a time. You cannot hope to recapture and relive a memory. That is why we have art.
Art, in each and every one of its forms captures a moment, a state of being in time. Because everything else in this world is malleable over time, art serves the purpose of capturing that moment and holding it fixed for us—as if you could return to a still, fixed point. It gives us a dearly needed sense of permanence [and resting place] in this river of time. But enough of my musings. The plane dropped from the clouds and soon I was on a water taxi bound for my hotel.
James [and Marco Polo] had been very generous with the funds for this expedition and so, I stayed at the Hotel Carleton overlooking the Grand Canal.
By the time I had settled into my room, it was almost time for dinner. Expecting to relive at least some part of my last visit, I went for a stroll to the heart of Venice—San Marco.
It was still early in September and crowds filled the Square and everywhere else.
Present reality made it difficult to recall why I had fallen in love with the city on my last visit. In fact, I preferred to deny that reality so as to carry those first images—untainted— in my heart. I sat down for some dinner in a café.
I thought about the stillness captured in my pictures which I had entitled Memory, Dream and Art. Of course, that is why writers write and painters paint—to express a moment in time—whether it is a moment within or outside oneself—or the mingling of the two.
But the crowds reminded me of a story which a friend, Daphne Bersault told me. I met her on the Orient Express and spent time with her in Venice on my last trip. She was a beautiful woman—in fact she was my muse. When she was in San Marco, she heard a story from another woman, Penelope, whom she happened to meet. Penelope had been coming for twenty years to San Marco every year on the 21st of April to talk with her long since departed son.
You see, through a moment’s inattention of his mother, that little boy was snatched from the crowds in San Marco and never seen again.
Throughout my dinner, I contemplated how one could endure such deadening pain for years on end. Yet, each year, she returned, not in hope of finding him, but just to talk with him.
My sense of loss was miniscule compared to hers. I had only lost my sense of place and time. She had lost her little child. You can read much more about my visit to Venice and all that happened there with Daphne in The Drawing Lesson.
I turned my mind to how on earth I would find Rinaldo amongst the crowds of Venice.