Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Timed Writing: 2/20/2012


Time: 10 minutes
Source Photo: 13 February, 12.24 by Timo Arnall

The wall of the snow and ice behind the town dwarf Sulmona's ancient stone architecture -- buildings themselves capped with white. I enter through an arch -- Gothic? Byzantine? -- cross a square, and dive into a maze of alleys, quickly losing sight of the mountains. Their presence haunts me though. Arrested by my reflection in the window of a cafe, I see a man made small by his environment. I will stay here for as short a period as can be arranged, lest, as I feel sure might happen, I shrink to utter insignificance in the presence of that geological grandeur, and disappear altogether from this earth.

After some wandering about and some receipt of information from helpful inhabitants of Sulmona, I arrive at my destination. The house is tall and narrow -- a brick and stucco building with most of the coating long since flaked away. It is squeezed uncomfortably between two larger buildings: a stone church turned museum and a newer apartment building, dating, perhaps, from the late nineteenth century. Although the house that I approach appears unremarkable, I know that this is by design -- that much effort has gone into reducing the building's impact on the mind.


(about my timed writing exercises)


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