Saturday, June 24, 2017

Artnotes: Go, Aunt Franny

 ​Sue's Butterfly Bush   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  13 x 18"   33 x 46cm   250.00

 ​Geraniums Red Gold Green   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/linen  11 x 16"  27 x 41cm  225.00

 ​Jude the Obscure Rose   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/linen  16 x 11"  41 x 27cm 225.00

Bicycle in Modena  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/linen 11 x 18  27 x 46cm  275.00​

​Really Wild Flowers   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/linen   11 x 16"  27 x 41cm  225,00

Our friend Kone(co-nay) went back to Mali.  After four years of trying to get to Europe and then two years trying to fit in, he’s gone back to Mali to his wife and child.  He was among the refugees that came through Libya, where they are often imprisoned, or at least held up for a year or two.  Kone just couldn’t hang on here in Italy another day, so he went back to Mali, where young people are regularly kidnapped (both boys and girls) by groups such as Boko Haram. 

I know that the refugees aren’t perfect.  They can seem less than ambitious, and not truthful in the Anglo-Saxon sense.   Customs in French Africa are completely different from English Africa, and the modern United States.  But to spend years striving to make a new life in Italy and then turning back must be very difficult, or a great relief.   Unlike my grandmother's generation, where people found work, and the next generation thrived, I am not sure that is the case, at least here.

It is very hot today.  Yesterday it was more than 100 degrees when we went to the Citroen dealer in Modena to get a second key for our car.  We are leaving our car in our driveway while we are away in America this summer.  With an extra key, someone can start the car from time to time, or move it if a tree falls or the lawn catches on fire.  Already I notice a neighbor’s car with newspapers wrapped around the windshield wipers to protect them from the scorching sun.   With any luck, we’ll come back at the end of August, the weather will be cooler and we can drive into the sunset.

Our house is bearable during the day, but who wants to sit in the house all the time?  Even Harika makes little forays into the yard, gets overheated and retires to the cool dark dining room.  I make a quick trip to pick flowers, then paint them in our shady cabana in the side yard.

We had wonderful guests this week, two teen-aged girls and their Dad.  They were just here for a day, but we fitted in a barbecue, a walk to the Sassi and an Italian lunch.  We talked about everything from expressing our personalities through fashion, to life in San Francisco, to the benefits of Italy.  We played badminton.  As an immigrant, I enjoy these visits and updates from the old country.  They went on to Venice, then to Siena.  Both of those places are slightly hotter than Rocca Malatina.

Kone took my Aunt Franny’s suitcase back to Mali with him.  He needed a carry-on bag, and her red rolling suitcase was perfect.  She always wanted to travel (she wanted to join the WACs), but ended up staying home, being single and taking care of my grandmother (who traveled from Poland to the USA) all her life.  I thought it was fitting her suitcase, which has already traveled to Paris and Italy, should continue on to Istanbul and Bamako, Mali.  Go, suitcase; go Aunt Franny.

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