Thursday, August 30, 2007
Yesterday La Bimba and I were hanging out in Piazza Plebiscito (a massive piazza with no shade, in case you've never been...avoid at high noon), when I noticed a group of people marking movement in the center of the square. One was barefoot. I asked someone what was going on and she said that they were filming a dance for a video art exhibit to take place at MADRE, Naples's fabulous contemporary art museum. She pointed to the filmmaker, a chubby gal in black standing behind a videocamera at the far end of the square. When I approached the filmmaker, she was ordering a lackey around, telling him to prevent passersby from walking into the frame. He was running back and forth like a caged animal, begging ice cream eaters and balloon salesmen to walk around the shot. Not an easy job.
The group of dancers, mostly unprofessional, some kids, began to mark the piece, to do a run-through. After some random milling about, they formed lines and began to follow a leader through a series of movements, basic, simple movements from modern choreography. I assumed the leader was the choreographer and wanted to know his name, so I asked the filmmaker.
Me: Is that the choreographer in front?
Her: Excuse me?
Me: Is there a choreographer for this dance?
Her: It's a film.
Me: Yes, but did someone choreograph the movement?
Me: What's his name?
Her: Guido something.
Woe is me! Woe is dance! A video art project based entirely on movement and the filmmaker doesn't even know the choreographer's name. I wanted to say, "Nice way to treat other artists" but said instead, "Guido something. I see."
Am I being wise or cowardly with all these unspoken sentiments?
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Do you think that image has been air brushed?
There are so many things I fear for La Bimba if we remain in Napoli: smoking, tanning, helmetless motorino riding, coffee addiction, no fiber in her diet, butt crack exposure fashion, cutting in front of old people in line... I suppose I just have to keep working on leaving town. But where oh where should we go?
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I have been enjoying the service here in Switz. Lots of friendly, smiling, helpful people behind the counters. None of that sullen Italian treatment, the deigning to look up from the paper, the look of total confusion when you ask for something in not perfectly accented, but decent enough Italian. "Cosa? Non ho capito." It's not always like that, but it is often enough to warrant a little moan.
Yesterday was Ferragosto, the Feast of the Assumption, no, not a giant collective assumption that, say, everyone makes their train that day, but rather, the Virgin Mary's assumption, body and soul, into heaven. I like to picture her in her casual blue dress with white wimple, head cocked slightly to the right, hands extended low at her sides, palms forward, sailing up and out into the Great Blue Yonder.
My friends are nominally, their word, raising their kids in the Shin Buddhist tradition, and I thought it was important for them to know why all the stores were closed yesterday, so that they wouldn't get teased mercilessly for not knowing, like, duh!, every Catholic knows about Mary and her blue outfit and how she was Jesus's mom, though Joseph could never be sure, etc. So, I sat down in front of the computer with nearly 5-year-old Divine Miss M. and her heading toward 3 years old little brother L. and took the information superhighway to www.catholic.org. There we learned all about the Assumption as well as about various saints, their feast days, what they are patrons over, how gruesomely they died.
What the Divine Miss M. got out of it was that Mary, body and spirit, was in the sky yesterday. When her father left for work that evening she shouted to him, "Don't forget, Pa! Mary's in the sky!!!" Her mom is a bit worried and somewhat confused that her Jewish friend from Brooklyn is teaching her children about Catholicism. I also taught the children that the current Pope's favorite color is hot pink and that Paul means small.
All in all I think it was a very edifying day. Hallelujah!
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
My friends, their kids, La Bimba and I have been playing, strolling, cooking, eating, and when the kids go to sleep, my friend and I talk each others' ears off. It's great. We've even done some yoga together.
On a lovely walk through the village, we came across a handmade sign posted above a doorway. The sign went something like this (my translation from the Italian): "That ba___rd who stole my boring machine (1900 Swiss francs) knows I know who he is, so he had better come clean because if I find him myself I am going to put that boring machine up his a__." Yes, stronzo and culo did not have all their letters, though they were written in red while the rest of the sign was in black. My friend said, "I have never seen anything like that here."
Then, up the ways a bit, maybe two or three doors down, past the water fountain with the freshest tasting water pouring from it, we found another door with a sign on it. This was a simple white sheet of paper with a typewritten message (again, from the Italian): "There is a man walking around town pretending to be looking for an apartment to rent. He tests doors and enters through open ones and then, if caught, makes vague excuses and then hightails it. His distinguishing features are: a rather strong southern Italian accent, around 5'10", dark hair, green eyes. If you see him, contact the authorities."
They could have been describing The Husband. But, of course, he is taller than that and we are here without him. I loved that first, and it was first, description about the accent. For those of you who understand Italian, it read: "Ha un accento piuttosto italiano meridionale." I just love that piuttosto!
I turned to my friend and said, "Not the peaceful, idyllic village it's cracked up to be, huh?"
But actually, it is. It is fabulous. And now I want to live here, let La Bimba grow up waving to the two-car trains that go by, eating raspberries she picks off the vine, sniffing the odor of ripening grapes on her way to school. The Husband could open a trattoria napoletana and get a horse and a bunch of doggies. I can be near great friends and a circus school and curse less. Who knows. Vediamo.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
I have GOT to get some things off my chest. First of all, it's hot. I know, it could be hotter, it has been hotter, and there is a nice breeze blowing through our apartment giving us all stiff necks, but it is nevertheless hot. And sticky.
Second of all, I miss my friends. The ones on the East coast, the ones on the West coast, the ones in the middle, the ones in other European countries, the ones who miss me, the ones who don't, the ones I don't speak to any longer, the ones I haven't spoken to since I was twelve, the ones I met this year, the ones with whom I have nothing in common, the ones who know everything about me, the ones who hardly know me at all.
Thirdly, I am making myself ill watching episode after episode of Desperate Housewives. I feel like a desperate housewife and I hardly ever cook or clean. The thing that starts to make me sick about DH and other series that I have been addicted to in the past is the first unconscious feeling then nauseating awareness that the characters are not growing. They never change. They repeat their mistakes over and over again, for if they were to stop, the series would be over...or at least the title would have to change, in this case to Satisfied Empowered Women of the Home.
Fourth, I hate my hair.
In sum, it's August in Naples. Not a good time to reflect on life. There is too much glare and too little shade.