Monday, October 09, 2017

Grateful in Italian

 Cooking at the Alpini Lunch   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  16 x 16"    40 x 40cm
 Spotted fish   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper 16 x 23"  41 x 59cm
Red Octopus  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper 16 x 23"  41 x 59cm
  Shrimp  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper 16 x 23"  41 x 59cm
 Green Octopus Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper 16 x 23"  41 x 59cm
 At via Mauro Tesi, 967   Zocca (BO) Italia

Every morning I try to think of three things to be grateful for.  This is to counteract the frustration and impatience and anger that can consume me.  Does it work?  No.  In fact, I think things just build up and then I have a worse fit.  By Friday this week, I could recall every dirty Italian swear word that my friend Sal’s grandmother used.  And I could actually understand the meanings. 

When we got back from vacation, we went to check out our “gallery” space in Zocca.  In July, we were awarded three weeks of a free store space in downtown Zocca in October.   When we arrived in September, with our camera and tape measure, we were surprised to see the place was rented to a real estate company.  We huffed and puffed, wrote to the politician in charge.

V had said to me, when we moved to Rocca Malatina, “you’ll soon see what Italy is really like.  Not good, not bad, but not anything like the Anglo Saxon world.”  I was beginning to get the picture.
Last Monday, we finally talked to the official, who said, “We’ve got a place for you.” On Wednesday we were there, shoes shined.  It wasn’t right.  Maybe Friday or Saturday.  The show started on Saturday afternoon.

On Friday morning we finally got the key and the control to operate the roll-down shutter.  I thought at once, this is something that could easily break.  She insisted we put the shade down whenever we weren’t there.  Halfway through our installation, we needed to leave for another appointment; we rolled down the shutter, and bang:  it would not open again.   So, here we sat awaiting repairs.  Over 50 paintings, our supplies, my notebook and pens, all closed up in a time capsule.   “The electrician will come on Saturday at 11:30,” we were finally told.  Show starts at 2:30.

We were supposed to hang more paintings at another place with our art group on Friday.   NOW, not only could I not hang our show, but we couldn’t participate in the group show because all of our belongings were locked away. 

Which all started the Italian cursing lesson.   I also try counting to 100, but the last thing I feel like doing when I am cursing in Sicilian-Italian is to count.   In fact we just went home to cool our jets.  I polished off the remainder of the Ballantine’s scotch.  We went out for pizza.  I felt better. 

On Saturday at noon, the electrician pried open the rolling shutter; the doors opened to the show at 2:30.  I had several customers who were delighted to talk about painting.  People recognized Blair’s portrait of our neighbor; everyone loved the vermillion fish.  I didn’t sell anything, but it didn’t seem to matter.    I am grateful.  I am in Italy.  Sto grato.

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