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Notes from Italy: 11.15.11

I’m at Spannocchia (a 900-year-old farmhouse near Siena), sitting outside on a cool, sunny day at a rickety round table, about the size of a large pizza, on the lawn overlooking the hills of Tuscany.

They took the lemon trees inside yesterday. Winter is coming. The two cypress trees and bench that I woodblock printed with Sabra Field five years ago are to my left. I have such fondness for that time in my life. The last time I came to this magical place, I’d just finished STILL ALICE. And here I am again, this time in the middle of writing my third book.

I can smell lunch cooking. Onions and garlic. And fennel? Not sure. It smells delicious. People are chatting behind me on the terrace where we drank wine every evening five years ago. We don’t drink there now because it’s November and too cold (last time I was here, it was June).

A man is picking something from a tree and dropping it into a ceramic bowl. Something for dinner maybe. I love how connected Italians are to their land, the earth, their food. Back at home, my yard is a place where my kids play or ground that I walk over to get to the car. Here, it is tended to and touched daily. It is eaten. I like that. It’s what we should be doing. Connection to the earth and what we eat, nourishing our environment and ourselves. At home, we go to the grocery store. We’re disconnected from this process.

Connection and disconnection. LOVE ANTHONY is about this. Faith and loss of faith. Communication and silence. Connection and isolation. How do we love? What do we need in order to experience love?

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