Lucy Ferriss


I've called this blog "Travelin' Thoughts" in the past, because I kept it mostly as a journal to record impressions of new places and cultures. But in a way, it's still a place for traveling thoughts--ideas that move through and past me, and out into the world. Some of these are literary, some just about life. It's a good place to open up the conversation, and I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Filitosa, and a Free Day

July 06, 2016

Driving the roads in Corsica eventually becomes an intense, twisty dreamscape. Last night, after a looping midnight ride back from the village of Campitello, I dreamed that three of us from this group were playing tennis on a wide, flat beach when one of the other cars came twisting down the mountain slope and then began gently to roll over and over, and we all rushed to try to keep it from tumbling over the cliff. (You can imagine how this ended: I woke up.) Anyway, everything is up and down, switchback and mountain-hugging curve, occasionally the two-foot-high retaining wall but more likely the sheer drop off into the vast, breathaking abyss before the next mountain flinging its way into the blue sky. So you imagine the first settlers here, at a place like Filitosa, on the southern end of the island, bringing their fragile crafts to rest on the rocky beaches and looking up at the crags and the rich beauty, and deciding to stay. They began sculpting the land even back then, endless terraces for what we now think was shepherding of some kind, though they were mostly hunter-gatherers. And stelle-makers: the archeological site is sprinkled with remains of stone houses and the mysterious figured stones that you see in huge scale on Easter Island. We spent a couple of hours here before heading north to pick Don up at the airport and return to Cap Corse. I was driving Alina, from Israel, and Dagmar, from Germany. I keep thinking I speak German, but I'm having tons of trouble flipping between French and German. It's as if I have to take a detour through English first, and I get as lost in language as I do on the roads. Anyhow, there were some mix-ups -- Don's arrival was late, and then I misread the sign and thought he was further delayed, so we went out to lunch and he arrived and sat stranded fro 2 hours -- that caused us to skip the apparently priceless pink limestone cliffs on the western coast. So I'll save those for the next trip. Instead, we drove through the interior and stopped at a village deep in a valley by a rushing river.

En route north, through the Desert des Agriates

Except for the driving (always a big "except"), a relaxing day, capped by dinner overlooking the wide beach and the sunset in Nonza, just south of here.

The next day we drover around the tip of Cap Corse to Macinaggio, a small port town on the eastern end, where we sang in a bite-sized church to an overflow crowd. I have one tiny solo in this whole concert, the opening line of the Corsican Lyrie that we sing, and I had rested my croaky voice in anticipation . . . and then Patty forgot the piece! In my insecurity, of course I thought she was skipping it because my voice is so awful. Why would I think a thing like that? Because when I was all of 12 years old and at a camp for older girls (complicated; don't ask), I was given the role of Pish-Tuch in the camp performance of "The Mikado." (This was back in the day when girls' camps ran for 8 weeks and did things like mount Gilbert-and-Sullivan productions.) I don't know why I was givne the part, but I was 12 and the others were 15 and 16 and had had singing lessons, and after the first performance I discovered that I had been replaced; somehow the camp choral director neglected to tell me about it but just did it. Humiliation of a lifetime, evidently, since it still sticks with me! Anyway, I worked up my courage to ask Patty if the concert order would thenceforward remain the same, and with a look of horror she realized she'd simply forgotten the Kyrie. (We've since performed and recorded it.)

Anyhow, the trip to Macinaggio was breezy and lovely; my passengers this time were Chloe, from England, and Amanda, who'll be a senior at Yale, both wise beyond their years and also gorgeous singers. Amanda took this photo of Don & me at the harbor.

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