364 . The Marco Polo Dialogue
picture 1 – painting by Palma il Giovane (Palazzo Ducale in Venice) „Doge Pietro Loredan Beseeching the Virgin“ (Palmina as model)
After they dreamed this Peony Gondola Vision they continued to dream like that:
Every day Palmina appeared as Pigeon in his daily life and he feels that she is helping him like an angel.
Sometimes she asked the saint virgin that sometimes on the sky there is a little heart formed from clouds.
If Palma looks up to the heaven he realizes often this fact and he smiled lucky.
Often she brings him fresh fine white breads to his working place – this year (1596) he workes in the St. Antonin Church at the little San Saba Chapel on a wide scaffolding.
Today he makes no brakes, waits till Palmina will come with her basked with fresh little breads.
At evening she will play his composition on her lute in the Palazzo Ducale on San Marco Place.
She learned all his notes by heart so she does not need to use a music score to play it.
Around midday she will make a little rehearsal for Palma in the San Saba Chapel so Palmina could feel with her heart if the tempo was correctly taken and the interpretation was perfect after Palma’s intentions.
Palma smiled as he was looking forward to hear her playing only for him in this San Antonin Church, near her flat at her mothers bakery shop on the Campo Bandiera e Moro in Venice.
And Palmina came silently in the church, Palma did not realize it, and she took her Pipa and played very soft the „Thinking on each other melody“.
Palma looked up from his big painting artwork and though „Am I dreaming, or is she really playing the Chinese Pipa lute – here in this church in Venice? – only for him – the Thinking on each other melody?“
Palma looked around in the church, if there is a saint angel playing.
* * *
Later after the evening concert Palmina came to pick Palma up.
„Palma it is too dark to paint, even with a lantern? Come Palma let us make a Gondola tour along the evening in Venice? I will play for you on your lute…“
„Oh, Yes Palmina. I will order a Gondola and will be sitting in it in 12 minutes and you can enter it in the Calle de la Pieta at the little bridge.“, Palma whispered to her and he put his painting brush down and cleaned it with terpentin.
Now he went down to order the Gondola at the bridge at Furlani which was also over the rio de la pieta like the bridge where they will meet.
As Palma entered the Gondola he thought the words „..till we meet us again at the bridge…“
The Gondola started along the Rio de la Pieta and Palma il Giovane felt like Marco Polo who is taking his Chinese princess in the Chinese city Suzhou the so called „Venice of the East“
Palmina entered now the Gondola, coming from her evening concert, wearing a beautiful expensive Renaissance cloth, which Palma bought her once.
After a while both had the same Peony Gondola Vision.
Palma transformed into Marco Polo and Palmina transformed into the Chinese Princess.
Palmina felt that Palma is dreaming from the century of Marco Polo without saying a word.
Yes they could see the Water City Suzhou, which is known as the Venice of the East.
There they have also water streets like in Venice. How amazed was Marco Polo to visit this city with a Chinese chunk (like a Gondola in Venice) and he said to his Chinese princess „Oh, my princess, will you come with me to Venice? We are both from different cultures but we are learning from each other – Tell me something from your culture…“.
Palmina and Palma looked now up to the stars over Venice.
They looked now together to Sirius-Sotis.
This star you can see from the 4th of September to the 5th of May at different evening or night time.
Both remembered without saying a word that looking to these stars this makes Palma and Palmina connected between their hearts.
Even they are separated through space, maybe thousands of Miles / Kilometers they would look every day if it is possible to Sirius-Sotis to send a smile each other.
And the Chinese princess told Palma the story of the Chinese traditional Novel of the fate of Wang Hsian Ko and Wu Schuang (a Work of Xing Jian Bai (776 – 826) at the time of Tang-Emperor Te Tschung (780-805) Marco Polo listened very interested.*
And Marco Polo said „…till we met again at the bridge…“
Palma felt very touched and the story about these two loving was this:
They could see each other only A FEW MINUTES on an ANCIENT BRIDGE.
A group of fine 30 palace ladies came in carriages this way along this bridge.
Wang Hsian Ko could see her as she lifted the curtain of her carriage and she smiled to him and he smiled to her.
Then they were separated and had to wait a long time to see and speak each other again, but they always thought on each other.
Wu Shuang tried to write Wang Hsian Ko a letter, but it was very difficult.
They always thought on each other although they could not see, could not speak, could not write to each other.
Nevertheless their „heart to heart“ – connection was stronger than the fate: THEY FOUND A WAY TO EACH OTHER…
Marco Polo was touched by the fate of this deeply in their heart loving people. But then the way was open for them to go together through their life, full of love and luck.
Palma looked shortly at Palmina’s eyes. She looked also into his eyes and smiled.
* this story is printed in its german translation by Franz Khan at „Chinesische Novellen“, p.519 („Vom Totenhemd ins Brautkleid“), Insel Taschenbuch (848), 1985 (a novelle byXing Jian Bai 白行简)
picture 2 – The Marco Polo city in China Suzhou (Venice of the East)
They looked around the beautiful Water City Suzhou (picture above) and Marco Polo counted all the bridges. They saw a lot of lanterns and light which are reflecting in the water and the atmosphere was like in Venice.
She played then again on her Pipa lute the „Spring Melody“ and had sweet innocent light red cheeks because she expressed her feelings to her beloved Marco Polo.
Later Marco Polo told her the love story of Dante and Beatrice in the „Divina Commedia“
„And there was a rose of light in the heaven they both saw in a Vision (Beatrice leads him to this vision)…“
„Oh a mystic light rose? This is interesting in my culture there are a lot of links to mystic light roses – the Lotus Rose – the Peony Rose – „The Secret of the Golden Flower“* and they are important in Buddhism, Taoism, and so fort…
* „The Secret of the Golden Flower“,
Richard Wilhelm translated this old mystic text into German Language / English
Marco Polo hold her hand and kissed her carefully, as if he wants to heal he hands (she plays a lot of time on her Pipa and has a lot of pain sometimes on her fingers:
„My Pipa- princess…“
„My Marco Polo“
„My Wu Schuang…“
„My Wang Hsian Ko…“
„Our hearts are connected…“
„Our hearts are connected…“
And during they felt to be in a Chinese Chunk they realized that they are in Venice.
And Palma holds still her hands and kissed them soft and he observed her beautiful shy shining eyes.
Slowly the Gondola moved along the San Marco Place where Palma has his flat left beside the astronomical clock house in the 2nd foor.
It is still light there because there are a lot of important special honor guests of the republic of Venice. Palmina often played (most daily) there after the evening concert as opening of the evening dinner in the big representative rooms („Palazzo“).
After that music opening ceremony Palmina was finished and could leave the event to pick up Palma from his painting work place (now in the San Saba Chapel of San Antonin).
They saw Palma’s both daughters standing at the window.
The elder Crezia, she is now 14 years old, with her younger sister Giulia, holding her on her arm like a mother.
picture 3 – (detail) Palma’s flat in the 16th century
„Oh, look, Crezia and Giulia are at the window… Let us greet them…“, Palma said.
Palma and Palmina wanted to wave to them but it was to dark for them to see Palma and Palmina sitting in the Gondola.
„Crezia is now 14 and she takes care of Giulia like a mother. Amazing she helped everywhere, as if she is the head of the family…“, Palma explained.
„You are proud on her isn,t it? You have to paint her, hmm? Paint her also as Samaritan women at the fountain with Jesus, like you paint me once.
picture 4 – Palma’s doughter as model in his painting „Jesus and the Samaritan“ (1599)
You painted me once as young lady with the yellow white cloth. I am 38 and she is 14.“
„Do you remember? Once you wanted to adopt a 14 year old girl from the orphan music school „Ospedale de la Pieta“… Now you have an own 14 year old angel!
The Orphan girl sung in the famous la Pieta choir – the most famous choir in the world – and the orphan girls did expect that you will choose a girl to marry or to adopt it as daughter…“
„Yes, I remember Palmina, I remember the eyes of all the talented music orphan girls.
They looked deep into my eyes and into my heart, asking me wordless:
»Will you take one of us to marry?..Me or her, or an other girl?
… Will you take one of us to adopt as own daughter?«
– Sometimes I was not sure which feeling I should have »Like a father or a future husband ‚in spes’*)«
*) ‚in spes‘ means in ‚hope‘ to marry
Palma looked thinking a while and said „Perce no? Why not? Wei shen me bu?“ (Marco Polo once could speak Chinese language)
Palma was lucky to make these evening walks with Palmina, like it was today.
Sometimes the representative evening dinners in Palma’s flat are a little bit taking to much energy or concentration and Palma is often very tired after painting the whole day and he needs Palmina’s lute playing to be recreated from the hard working day.
Slowly the Gondola moved to the left side in direction to Giudecca Island.
„Here you lived in the Marco Polo time, do you remember, Palmina?“
„Palmina looked smiling and nodded shy… There, over there in the gardens… and we meet in the Gondola…
Often we took the Gondola like today and, and I…
…. I remember the gondola had a little bit an other design and, and an other color…“, Palmina said like a little girl.
Palma took from his bag a music score and showed it to Palmina.
Palmina holds her lantern near to Palma’s music score and was interested to look at it and it seemed that she wished nothing more than to hear Palma’s new music creation.
Her cheeks turned again light-red color and Palma could feel this.
Both had now a vision of a mystic music light flower and it was like this:
VIDEO: The Mystic Light Rose by Gerald Spitzner – https://youtu.be/O5nJJ88P_EQ
(to be continued…)
Read also the other CHAPTERS of this story
»Palma il Giovane – The Peony Gondola« here: