(A series of personal observations recorded as Italy takes action against the spread of Covid-19,
first published March 13, 2020)
The first thing in the morning he reads out the numbers. There are many numbers and whether they’ve climbed or fallen since yesterday, they’re not good numbers.
In our house there’s no fever. There’s a jar full of coins by the front door. We don’t count them but I guess €3.53, our “rainy day fund”, the “financial cushion” I've heard people talk about. He wants to invest it in seeds for the garden. I know what goodness grows in the woods and think we should save it instead for our first caffè and cornetto out in the piazza when we’re finally allowed... we’ll have to split the cornetto (unless there’s more change than I think in the jar) but we’ll have had a moment of blissful civility.
I find it hard to settle down and work. My mind wants to go and follow thoughts like “Who buys art in a recession?” “How do I get home?” “Wait, am I home?”
Go down in a blaze of passion and beauty, neckerchief flapping behind you.
In the forest there is less drama. There’s excitement.
It’s spring! I walk and everything whispers “you’ve got your seasons mixed up is all... don’t worry for the autumn you’re feeling now, for the falling and chaos. Look! It’s just transformation.” It spreads it’s hands with that charming southern nonchalance.
And I look, and what was dead just yesterday is dressed in green and wildly waving flowers; is a riot, a choir, a caution thrown to the wind and caught in the updraft, flying heedlessly over the mountaintops, shouting: Nothing is forever!
As if this is a calming thought.
And yes, it is a calming thought.
I added this blog as a way to share some thoughts and experiences around the impact of Covid-19 on my life here in Southern Italy. These posts have been a near-daily practice during this time and are largely unedited, most having been first posted on Facebook. They are of course in order with the most recent entry on the first page. I invite you to explore previous posts or even start from the beginning.