It was like trying to lay a negative over a printed photograph so that they coincided, so that there were no gaps -- of white and black -- and she just couldn't manage it. It was like trying to do it in a dream.
Nina Berberova, The Book of Happiness
Returning to places, to people, is always fraught. Anticipation. Expectation. The elusiveness of times past. Nostalgia and melancholy circle the impossibility of return. But places are seductive. Their call rings out over the years. And this particular siren, Serenissima ... the most serene ... Venice. And again the call comes to visit in the time of darkness, dampness, dankness. Memories remain of the last visit, low light, diffusion, imprecision. The water of the lagoon covered the Piazza San Marco and the squares navigated on raised boardwalks, as on a stage, dancing with others making their way through the city. And the water was knee deep in the Basilica, and while the visitors glided in on the board walk, elevated, in a moment of micro-transcendence, the attendants stood about in their waders - thigh-high gumboots. Profane footwear for a sacred site. The return ... the photographic memories still insistent ... but soon to float like negatives over a newly processed scene ...
Venice - The Lido, December 1992
(click images to enlarge)