Natalie Pigliacampo

Positano Bites Deep Part I

“Positano bites deep.” wrote Steinbeck, and for me, it did. I found poetry in the still life moments of Positano, knowing that a photography workshop would be asking me to take photographic leaps of faith in Naples in a few days. Each day, I strolled along the Viale Pasitea or descended the stairs of Via S Giovani, passing by my favorite tile sign for the Albergo Casa Albertina. Twelve Positano pink tiles with the perfect lettering in two hues of ocean blue. This sign became my North Star among the maze of stairs that make up this seaside village. By day two, I no longer needed it, because all of the stairs I ventured down led me to the heart of town, where somehow, I always ended up on Via del Mulini taking me to the small piazza in front of the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta. Like a good Catholic, I would enter the church, make the sign of the cross, say a prayer or two, and admire the Byzantine icon of the Virgin. I then crossed the piazza to stop in The Wine Shop Positano Vini e Panini for an aqua naturale and lemon and orange candies for the climb back to my hotel. While not very long, it is steep; being a Colorado girl who can walk a steep grade without too much heavy breathing, I silently give thanks to sea-level conditions.  

Blessing for the Light

Fine art photography.  Floral. Flower.
Fine art photography.  Floral. Flower.
Fine art photography.  Floral. Flower.

from The Bell and the Blackbird by David Whyte

I thank you, light, again,
for helping me to find
the outline of my daughter’s face,
I thank you light,
for the subtle way
your merest touch gives shape
to such things I could
only learn to love
through your delicate instruction,
and I thank you, this morning
waking again,
most intimately and secretly
for your visible invisibility,
the way you make me look
at the face of the world
so that everything becomes
an eye to everything else
and so that strangely,
I also see myself being seen,
so that I can be born again
in that sight, so that
I can have this one other way
along with every other way,
to know that I am here.

I baptized my son and daughter, my daughter first, and a year later, my son.  As a Catholic, I am late for the show.  More than anything, I want them to know how to trust themselves, seek light and grace, and know they can always begin again.  Whether they use Jesus and God as a path for living truth, beauty and goodness is up to them.  I suspect it will ebb and flow for them as it has for me.  God, to me, speaks through poets, writers, and artists.  I find him in the flowers I create with; their colors are what give me faith.   I hear God the most in David Whyte’s poems.  His wisdom is divine truth.     

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