Ryan Estes, Muhlenberg College
Semester Physical Theatre Program
I’ve recently been thinking a lot about the duality between the concepts of “ephemerality” and “eternity”. As I walk through the hallways of the Villa, back and forth from the living room to the “WiFi couch”, and as I sit doing readings and listening to music in my dorm room (G5 represent!), I have this intensely deep feeling within me that the Villa has always been my home and will always be my home. And I seem to sometimes forget that the actual time we spend here as students is really such a fleeting and minuscule moment of time in the grand scheme of our lives. We’re only here for three months, and it hasn’t even been three weeks yet. Less than three weeks ago, I was claustrophobically crammed in the window seat of an AirPortugal plane, flying across the Atlantic, scared out of my ever-loving mind. And now I feel at home here, and I feel like I’ve been here for several lifetimes, and will be here for several more lifetimes, whatever that even means.
When I think about the number of people over the years who have walked these same hallways, used these same performance spaces and called these same dorm rooms “home,” it really reminds me of the fact that we all are so small within the universe. When I leave in December, this place is going to go on without me, just as it went on before me, and during me. But somehow, some little part of my energy will remain here. I know it will. Whether I leave a handwritten note to future students hidden somewhere on the premises, or I slip a typed-up page of advice into the huge binder of former students’ advice that sits under the coffee table in the living room, I know that some part of my identity and energy will forever be left in this very spot.
Although our presence may be ephemeral, our energy and spirit are eternal. As I frantically type up this blog post nine minutes before it’s due, I know that it will stay on this website for all to see until the website — or the internet — is no more. These words may even outlive me. As I walked through the Uffizi Gallery in Florence this past weekend, it amazed me that, although the painters and sculptors lived and died several hundred years ago, their works of art still exist and are admired today, in just as good condition as the artwork existed the day it was completed.
Therefore, although our time here at the Accademia seems to be incredibly ephemeral and fleeting, our energies and spirits will remain here for all of eternity, perhaps wandering the halls to give future students an encouraging pat on the back when they most need it. At least that’s what I like to think will happen, because the thought of that brings me immense joy.
Stacy Jackson, Coastal Carolina University
Semester Physical Theatre Program
After taking 8 hours worth of intense classes each day, warming up in the morning, and reading constant philosophy, it’s hard to not simply plop in the bed and go to sleep, wake up, and repeat. As humans, we require release from hard work. How I have done so is heading to downtown Arezzo, with friends or even by myself. The slight breeze hitting my face while Looking at the markets always clears my mind.
The people also make your experience in town enjoyable. Even with a language barrier, so many people speak through the language of kindness and smiles. This town has made me feel so incredibly welcome and I’m glad to find this place that I can call a home. So, in conclusion, advice I have for anyone coming in is to just go into town, especially going by yourself, as a nice break from everything. We all need one from time to time.
My journey here has already taught me a lot and I have realized I am much more capable and stronger than I ever allowed myself to be before. I am trying to navigate so many emotions while continuing to keep moving forward, running ahead with these feelings and refusing to look back.