Our trip to Fabriano, Italy, continues...
(Here are the links to past posts, just in case you are just joining this journey: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII)
My husband, Lou, and I returned from lunch with tangled gift in hand for our museum tour guide from the morning, Claudia. We walked through the museum's entrance, again through the gift shop, and this time we were greeted with a crowd of eager shoppers. Claudia was nowhere in sight.
We inquired of the jovial, English speaking clerk who had given us the excellent cafe referral, if Claudia was available. He explained that she was giving a tour and that we could find her upstairs. "Just look for her in one of the rooms," he said.
Feeling very timid, I thought to just leave my gift, complete my shopping, and slip out. Upon Lou's urging, I agreed to brave the now crowded upstairs and look for Claudia.
We found her giving a tour to a group of about fifty eager subjects - in Italian. She was animated and in full tour guide mode. We waited in the hallway as the group left one room and entered another.
Claudia was so intensely attentive to her group, that she walked right passed us, still explaining something, that we were much to hesitant to interrupt her. We stood aside as she lead her tour group to the next room.
A bit dejected, I suggested to Lou that we stick with the original plan and just leave the gift for her in the office.
"After all," I said, "we still have shopping to do."
One step back into the crowded gift shop, and from behind the register, the kind gentleman with the booming voice and thick accent asked if we met up with Claudia.
"No," I said, "she was very busy."
He repeatedly brushed his hand back and forth in the air as if to say "Nonsense!"
"Just wait in the hallway until she finishes in one room and moves to the next, she will be happy to see you," he exclaimed, still waving his hand.
He said it in such a commanding way that we had no choice but to go. And go we did! Back up the steps to the hallways, peering in the doors until we spotted Claudia and her group again.
This time, she was finishing up in the last of the tour rooms. We waited until she closed her presentation, answered a few questions, and began to direct her charges down the stairs.
Finally, finally we made eye contact and her face lit up as she recognized us. I handed her my little gift and explained that the frame was one of my own that I designed and had made in Orlando and that my artwork was completed on a watermarked tile. (Earlier that morning when we had our own tour with Claudia, we discussed Zentangle® so she was already familiar with it.)
She excitedly unwrapped the frame, loosened the zendala from the magnet, and immediately held it up to the window to observe the watermark. "Ah!" she said approvingly.
Much like my gift exchange with Mario at Marche del Grillo, this moment had an immediate and forever feel to it, one that embodied all of the goodness of Zentangle, and kindness and gratitude, along with the joy of a shared passion. Absolutely magical.
And very quick! Lou snapped this one photo before Claudia was pulled away by a member of her tour group.
Left with our heads spinning just a bit from our brief and wonderful reunion with Claudia, there remained one last thing on my wish list - the purchase of paper. We found our way back down the steps and into the gift shop, victorious for having met up with her.
There were a handful of people ahead of me in line and it afforded me some time to consult my list of what I intended to buy and just how much would fit into my suitcase - very much a study in contrasts!
Off to one side of the room were large drawers that housed sheets of gorgeous paper. Other patrons were purchasing them and were left to figure out how to take them home. One woman asked for tape, and walked across the entry hall to a display room table, and rolled up her own precious cargo.
Little room in my suitcase, and many more miles of travel in Italy, discounted that possibility for me.
I turned my attention to the shelves on the wall on the opposite side of the room. They held small, colorfully covered, handmade books made of the most beautiful deckle edged paper.
|Book purchased from the Paper and Watermark Museum, Fabriano, Italy|
~Adele Bruno, CZT
Checking my list, like Santa at Christmas, I began to pile the books up on the counter. The jovial clerk offered to check the stock and brought out even more. When I informed him that I was taking these gifts back to Florida, to my friends and students, he held up his right index finger as if to say, "Then I have just the thing!"
From under the counter, he opened a drawer and produced glorious red envelopes of the same hand pressed paper. He demonstrated by taking one of the books, inserting it into a scarlet envelope, and then into a brown paper bag marked with the museums information.
"There!" he said. "I will give you an envelope and bag for each!"
|A few of my purchases, complete with envelopes and bags...|
He placed my treasures into one larger shopping bag and sent us on our way.