Coming down to the wire…

It’s a misty and cloudy day this morning with nine short days before I head back to the Aegean Center, Europe and the future of my life.  Today I was supposed to go on a hike with some of the ‘Page’ editors, but we have postponed and will meet for lunch instead.  They wish to monopolize as much of my time as possible, but I must maintain balance in all things today.  There are the usual tasks that comes with every Saturday morning and there are those I wish to accomplish before I attend an arts opening this evening.  There is darkroom work today, that’s for sure.  I have 5 rolls of Ilford PanF 50 120 that I need to develop and hang this afternoon and tonight I need to print at least one, if not two, pieces for some people who allowed me to photograph on their property. If I get a chance, I’ll scan and add to the website before I scoot out next Monday.  I’ll need to tone those before I deliver them, that’s for sure.

I have run a ‘test pack’ and am fairly secure on what I am bringing and what I am leaving behind.  Since I will be in Italy for the first month I need to bring some nicer clothes with me.  Long pants, shoes, shirts, etc…One cannot dress down in Florence and Rome like one does on Paros.  The Italians frown on shirts and t-shirts in their churches and restaurants, and with good reason: it’s smacks of laziness, poverty and disrespect.

The American culture, or the ‘Culture of Death’ as I like to call it, raises this attitude to the level of acceptance.  What we consider mainstream here in the USA, i.e. fashion, music, food and general knowledge derives itself from abject poverty and ignorance.  The other day I was driving behind a large Ford pick-up with the proud emblem ‘Redneck’ on the back; the television is rife with political religious crazies espousing a dangerously medievalist and venomous doctrine geared towards the poor, the paranoid and the poorly educated; the radio airwaves are saturated with violence, misogyny and anger; I look around at the sullen faces of today’s youth and wonder who these people are that could be our future?  This can be a daunting vision, all of this.  I find light and growth in isolated pockets of humanism and spirit.  Arts communities are more important than ever these days, and of course they are the first programs to lose any outside funding front the powers that be.  That money must go elsewhere.  I am convince we are either on the brink, or already within, a New Dark Ages.  The Enlightenment is over, as is the Renaissance that preceded it.  But this is a natural cycle.  It is just our luck to be at the low end of the bell curve.

In any case I am out of here soon enough.  I’ll leave the bucolic Hudson Valley behind for a few months  while I engage in a lengthy peripatetic lecture through Italy and Greece.  I’ll try to update this as I go along, I hope more than I usually do.  Next post: Florence, Italy.



, , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.