Single Rose Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 16 x 11" 41 x 27cm
Doorway Modena Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 20 x 10" 50 x 25cm
Cafe Remondini Modena Blair Pessemier Acrylic/linen 11 x 18" 27 x 46cm
Painting near the Conservatory Blair Pessemier Acrylic/linen 18 x 13" 46 x 33cm
In Front of the Accademia, Modena Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/linen 13 x 18" 33 x 46cm
Artnotes: Jungle Telegraph
We are already at that time of year here when one must stay inside part of the day. It is so hot and sunny after lunch, we come inside and hole up until after 5.
That isn’t such a bad thing, really. I read, I finish my indoor chores, I paint a still life. I am adapting to the Mediterranean lifestyle, even though I am two hours from the sea.
We moved our outdoor dining table off of the grass onto solid ground in our back yard, to allow more room for badminton. Or, I should say, we hired the refugees to move the 200 plus pound table top for us. It was a comedy of errors, but in the end it was done, and we all enjoyed a cool drink afterward and swatted the birdie (shuttlecock) around, now that the table was out of the way.
It is amazing how just slight variations in language can throw us all off: between English, French and Italian, the project was delayed a day… A Malian friend tried to explain how that telephone game worked “one person tells, another, tells another, pretty soon the message is lost”. I try to tell him this is the “jungle telegraph”, but then think better of it. I appreciate the Africans for their ability to adapt to modifications: time isn’t important. Sometimes I think they are closer to the American ideal of life: they are optimistic and happy. Laughter comes easily.
When we lived there, I always felt that Tunisians were like Americans, more than they were like the French, who colonized them. And Americans, despite the roots of Western civilization, are miles away from their European counterparts in personality. Maybe the difference is the newness of a society. African countries are relatively young, as is America.
At school the sub-Saharans tell us how different their women are from North African women. The Moroccans aren’t there tonight to chime in, but I admit, on a whole, there seems to be a difference, at least in the men. There is a big discussion in how, in Mali, there are 8 women to every man. “Look at this room,” I tell the Senegalese beside me, “all the men are here”. “Hey, you are right!” They go on to say it is difficult for women to make this trip. Some have taken two years to get to Italy.
Blair and I go to the Faro Ristorante for dinner afterward. The Faro (lighthouse) looks out over the Apennines, Monte Cimone, and out to the (eventual) lights of Modena. We sit on the deck and the setting rays of the sun turn everything a coral color. Harika snitches bits of Blair’s stuffed veal, and I feel like we are living in a movie