Travelogue

Thoughts for a St. Valentine’s Day

A few years ago during a trip around Europe I stayed in Verona, a lovely town in northern Italy that is home to the house supposedly lived in by Juliet (of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet), Casa di Giulietta. This stone-built house is a shrine to love and romance, its great oak doors covered with the reds, yellows, greens, blues, and blacks of graffiti scrawled on by lovers.

The day I stayed in Verona I wrote a short poem and headed down to Casa di Giulietta in the early evening dusk. I found a small space on the right of the doors that a faded text could no longer keep as its own and took the cap off my pen.

I wrote the poem for the most important person in my life, for someone who had changed who I was and inspired feelings in me like no other had. I wanted to make a permanent record of the feelings I held for her, so that no matter what happened in the future the feelings, ideas, and hopes of these moments would be recorded somewhere, allowing them to live on.

Those words have probably now faded and been covered by others, but they are ingrained in those doors along with all the other dreams and loves written there. Those doors hold something wonderful and powerful: emotions that make you feel like you’ll explode because you can’t contain them, and I like that the oak keeps some small part of me held in stasis.