Thursday, September 22, 2011

Picking and Pulling in Tuscany

Regardless of the political or economic situation in Italy, there are some certainties that the Italians will faithfully address: When the grapes are ripe they will be picked and when the sheep are full they will be milked. Though many of us are dreamers, Italians know when it is time to pick and pull.

That’s one of the wonderful things about this country that my family emigrated from over 100 years ago. Yes, the political scene is a disgrace. Giving a lifetime stipend of €3,000 Euros a month to a hard-corn porn star or giving the country away to a failed torch singer who treats it like his own personal bordello is an ineffable shame. But to neglect the grapes or the sheep, where I took these photographs, in the Tuscan countryside, that would be a bigger shame. And so the harvest proceeds. And the milk is drawn. And wine and cheese are made. And Italy sustains herself for another day, to fight on the moral grounds. I do not doubt it for a moment.

I know it looks like a hopeless battle, from inside Italy. Much like it often seems inside the United States, when one looks at the divisiveness of the people who live side by side. Acrimony, hatred, fear, loathing, all the negative emotions that are fueling this current state of rage. But this is not sustainable. We must eat. And we must drink. And we look to the Italians to rise above their current situation and move forward. Proceed.

Are we stuck? Some of us are indeed. People close to me are hurting; some of them refuse to come out of their manufactured world. Some are trapped inside labyrinths that their mind has fashioned. It kills me to see it, especially for ones I love. But life is a force to be reckoned with. And Italy knows this force as well as any place on earth.

I revel in the knowledge that while I am sleeping, my Sardinian friends in the scraggy hillsides of Tuscany are getting up before the sun to tend to their flocks. Likewise all through Tuscany, and Italy, men and women in their 30’s, 50’s, 70’s and older, and younger, are also heading out to their fields and picking the grapes off the vines, taking them to the crush pad and making the miraculous liquid we call wine. This is a magic time for wine and cheese makers. This isn’t a time to be sad or to lament the foibles of politicians or to even fear the temporary depressions. We must make cheese! We must make wine! We must lean forward!

We have all eternity to be dead and gone. Now is the time for life and for living. Hand me a bucket.

Let's get busy!

Happy Birthday to my big sister Julie

1 comment:

Do Bianchi said...

Now is the time for life and for living. Amen to that!

Real Time Analytics