April 26, 2013
the mists of avalon
This morning downtown Pittsburgh was shrouded in fog.
And the haze jarred a memory from when I was a child in Aprigliano. It’s late October, and I am walking/hiding in the morning fog, lingering in the heaviest banks, while making my way to Za Rachela’s. I’m late, so I run down the alleys, weaving through the mists, shrugging off my long red coat and wearing only the hood I flap it like a cape, creating swirls around me. I make Merlin magic.
The memory always reminds me of the 1973 Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland film Don’t Look Now with its impressionistic imagery, often presaging events with familiar objects, patterns and colors. (The thumbnail is from the film.)
The city doesn’t have the canals or claustrophobia that gird Venice, but this morning the cold waters of the Allegheny are flat and they feed the mists that I walk through in hidden delight. They lift slowly revealing a spring landscape of blue water and green hillsides, a tugboat pushing loaded coal-barges and a golden bowstring bridge spanning the horizon. The red coat has been replaced by an 800 and the magic is now digital.