Hello Card  -  Volume 33  -  Stuart Card Number 0  -  Fri, Sep 9, 1994 2:39 PM

Well, it's been an eventful and busy summer for me. Kathy, my wife of ten years (we were together for 14) informed me in early June that she wanted to leave me for someone new (see VC 1).

I spent a heart-broken July at an artist colony on the grounds of a Franciscan monestary in southern Indiana (about as far from Betsy's house in South Bend as one could be and still be in Indiana, I guess). Here I wrote a long series of haiku-like and not-so-haiku-like poems entitled "Songs of Separation," hiked the excellent trails that abounded on the monastary grounds (400 acres +), and watched the willowly sunsets that settled on the lilly-padded, sleepy-eyed lake.

When I got back, I spent about a week in Ohio before I left again, this time to spend two and a half weeks in Italy. Some friends, a sculptor and his professor wife, invited me to live with them and their two sons in a house they were restoring in the marble-laden country of northern Tuscany. So there I was, among a flock of expatriot marble sculptors (from all over - Scotland, New York, Taiwan, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Minnesota) in poet country (Percy Shelly had drowned a few miles away, in Viareggio, in 1822, Ezra Pound lived an hour up the road in Rapello, and of course Tuscany was the home of the greatest poet of all, Dante). I did much hard labor, helping Craig, my host, build stones walls, patios, plumbing thingemajigs, and shutters on his house; I visited Florence (twice); ate much gelatto; and did a bit of healing of a broken heart under the Italian stars.

Now I'm in Ohio, getting ready, or trying to, for the coming quarter at school, but soon I jet off to California, where I look forward to seeing many of you. See you then. Ciao for now.