Tuesday 7 April 2009

Italy on my mind

Well, I thought about blogging about Lent, Jesus of Nazareth (even though I did before), or Mozart's music, but these entries usually don't get much of any attention. Okay, to be honest this blog is not getting any comment these days anyway so it bugs me, I am wondering if my Muse (Calliope? Thalia? maybe Clio?) is faulty, or abandoning me. Anyway, actuality forced me to blog about something else. The recent earthquake touches me as I have many Italian friends, not many of whom I kept in touch over the years, but I still have a few "active" friendship with Italians. So I got very worried when I learned about the earthquake that struck the center of Italy, even though my friends mainly live in the north. That said, the Italian community I was hanging with in my younger years (of a decade now, or almost) was made of people from all around the peninsula, and of course they had friends and relatives all around the map too. Adding to this that one of them could have been in the center for one reason or another, and you have fairly good reasons to worry. I have been through an earthquake myself, of much smaller intensity, and it was still not fun.

My proximity with Italians reminds me that I am not far away from tragedies like this one: I can be touched by it on a personal level. It saddens me that such a beautiful country (even though I sometimes find its people insufferable) is in suffering today. Earthquakes of such magnitude, you think it could happen to a far away third world country, not in a developed country where long ago Western civilisation found a second breath and developed (after it started in Greece). But it is true that Italy has never been safe from nature's irrational wrath. It not only had its share of earthquakes, but it also has a couple of volcanoes and a few cities in danger of sinking. Which reminds me that I want to see Venice before it gets swallowed in water and mud. The land of Italy is beautiful even in its most humble village, but its soil will never quite forgive it for it. And, in a way, neither will its people: the country has of course a history of violence and corruption that they are unable to get rid of. It reminds me of what Orson Welles said in The Third Man (which I have never watched, ironically enough), which I will put here as a conclusion to this post:

"In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

1 comment:

holly wynne said...


You know, you really shouldn't worry yourself about your readership. I know I'm a loyal reader, I just usually read from Google.

Write about what you want to write about. Do it for a while, and then, when you least expect it, you'll blather on about something you think no one cares about. That will be the post that gets you ten new commenting readers, and your audience will grow. Trust me on this one. I talk about a whole lot of nothing over on my page, and I never dreamed I'd have as many readers as I do. Not that I have a huge fanbase or anything :), but it does sometimes freak me out that more than 5 or so people read me!