The first time I ever went to Italy was in July 1972 when I had been accepted to the University of Bologna’s vet school. I will never forget that first transatlantic plane trip and the exhaustion that I felt upon stepping off that train in Bologna. Something really magical happened when the hot air hit me in the face upon walking out of that station. Immediately I had the sense that I was home. Never had I ever had that feeling and repeatedly have it whenever I return there. Bologna is somewhere deep inside me. This phenomenon makes me wonder about past lives or other types of spiritual connections. I am happiest and at my best in that city. My Italian is better and my soul is calm. I cannot explain it. I just love it. I can walk for hours in those porticoed streets saying hello to my old nooks and crannies. The bolognese accent is in my heart. Why is that? Does it really matter why? The fact is, it just is. Give me some of that bolognese accent and some tortellini and the broken-off leaning towers and I am in heaven.
I am so saddened by the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili yesterday in the Vancouver 2010 games. Things like this remind me of just how tenuous life is. My thoughts are with his family, team mates, friends and country.