When I arrived here on the first of September, I had a lot of ideas about who I would be, what I would know, and how I would feel on this day.
Two big things I couldn’t have imagined– one, I hadn’t met my people yet. These people have mattered so much to how I’ve lived in this space. I have really loved having the opportunity to make community here, both within our program and within the preexisting tapestry of communities present in Siena. Being included in communities– such as my host family bringing me with them to meals with friends or having professors introduce me to their people– has been nothing short of a gift.
This program asks a group of individuals from vastly different personal, cultural, and artistic backgrounds to make and participate in a community. How do we show up for each other and create space when we know it will be difficult, temporary, and intentional?
Two, a hundred days is… a long time. We’ve caught a little bit of three different meteorological seasons, we’ve moved through four different astrological ones. We’ve had full moons by four different names, Mercury has left and returned to retrograde– and we’re all at least a little different for it.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been moving through the somewhat sudden awareness of all that has changed. How I think about Siena has grown. How I think about Italy has grown. There is a self I met here and will leave here, but plenty I know I’m bringing back with me. I know I will carry so much of what I’ve been given by the people I’ve met and what the city has offered/asked.
So with this said, thank you for having me, and thank you for coming.
Siena Art Institute student