Giovanni left for Italy yesterday. He has lived now in the United States with me for over ten years.He is still not used to it--the southern accents, the guns, the wide spaces. He goes home several times a year to regroup, see his family and eat the foods he loves. And when I take him to the airport, I always handwrite a letter to him to read on his flight. It is a tradition we have, as before we married, he commuted back and forth to the United States when he lived in Italy. (Read our story in An Ocean Away).
Our love was born on the page, as we've probably related as much long-distance as we have lived together. There is somthing intimate about having words written down--to feel the paper, to see the ink and recognize the way the one you love writes an "o" that is never quite filled in all the way, to run your finger over the signature and somehow feel as if you've touched that person--to go back and read the letter again after some time has rolled by and remember that day he left it was bitter cold, and when we kissed goodbye I could feel the dryness of his lips, the chill of my hand on his warm cheek. And so the day of his departure I wrote:
Another voyage across the ocean. You have been making these quests now for almost two decades, not counting the many zigzag crossings you made as a young man when you worked for the ships. I wait for you here, knowing that you come back to me over and over. Our love is geography. And we have found there is often something more powerful than an ocean that lies between us--culture, personality, the constancy of work and the vicissitudes of life. Yet we have not backed down to continue charting the uncertainties. What a miracle. Sometimes it would feel easier to give up. We keep choosing to love each other. I think because each time we go back to this huge territory of our relationshp, we find a crevice of hope to hide inside, a sliver of intimacy that brings joy, a new discovery that we hadn't realized was there. This is the beauty of our landscape...Buon viaggio and love, Priscilla