Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/newspaper 23 x 17″ 63 x 41cm 125.00
Today we were invited into the Stimigliano communal kitchen. It is a marvelous red enamel affair with several ovens, with glass windows; rather tall wood covered tables, and refrigerators. It smelled divine as the ladies of the town were baking cookies. They are wonderful, aproned ladies who you wish would hug you. Did I mention these were wood fired ovens? It was unworldly; iconic Italian. I almost cried tears of joy from the fabulous smell, and shoulder-to-shoulder comraderie. They want us to hang a picture for their 29 December event. We likely will.
We’ve been immersed in Stimigliano culture this week. We are having a show at the local bar. It’s not been great, but we’ve met many people. One man, many years younger than us, is so happy someone wants to create a lively culture in our little town, outside of Rome. He’s a magician and would like to be involved in other events with us. I tell him about how the future is going to be in little towns, outside of cities. This is where the real essence of Italy is. Cities are for the tourists and protesters.
Just look at Paris, our wonderful, original European home. It’s a mess – our old neighborhood boarded up against looting and violence; museums closed, people urged to remain indoors if they can’t get out of town. Crazy. And the problem is not so clearly identified: general frustration seems to be the issue, the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer as the planet burns. People from the countryside are angry Paris gets all the funds. Holy cow.
Meanwhile, I am painting Madonnas. I think about Mother Earth and her children (us). I eliminate plastic from my life. I wish my car weren’t a diesel model. I talk to people in idiotic, broken Italian about how this country has sun, wind, and the sea, and we should be using these renewable energies. Even the most simple person replies, “but who will make the money?” This week, I will switch to Mary Magdalene.
A neighbor asked us to her house for pizza lunch on Saturday. She has a wood-burning oven, which she started while we were there. A half an hour later, when the temperature reached 400F, she popped in the pizzas. We drank homemade wine, and ate four and a half pizzas along with 4 chicory-filled fallone, considered a salad equivalent. These football shaped pizza crusts, filled with greens, are a local delicacy. I needed a serious nap afterward.
Our entire neighborhood is adorned with lights and Baba Natale figures, made by the women of the town. A very modern wooden Nativity scene sits in the piazza in front of our house. We’re getting ready for our show in Rome this coming week, and look forward to snow in Rocca Malatina for the holiday.