mercoledì, settembre 03, 2014

Rainbows and shit

In Calabria, which has been suffering from the same resource curse for the last 3,000 years, and is therefore still saturated in some sort of primordial Hellenic, Mediterranean stew from which not only my patrilineal family emerged, but from which big old swathes of European culture emerged. Being from this part of the world gives one a special perspective on our foundation "classical" culture. One of them is how boring things were most of the time, which is probably the same all over the world in cultures without uncloistered women, widespread literacy and universal horse ownership. Another is how easy it is, because of it being so boring, to initiate and maintain vendettas, from the catty to the deadly, just to fucking well give yourself something to think about.

And the third is how all those great big religions came out of here. Partly because of the boredom - not so much because religion is something to do, as because when life is crushingly fucking monotonous, already fascinating things like sickness, war, orgasms, childbirth, death and fertility must feel like the fucking Guardians of the Galaxy. It's also because of the beauty.

Example: I was having a rainy run on the Lungomare this morning, looking across the Straits of Messina at Sicily, and dapples of sun were hitting the sides of the mountains there as Mount Etna disappeared up into the storm clouds. And those sun-dappled vales were full of rainbows. It was fucking ridiculous, how beautiful it was. Now, thanks to grade-school science projects, I can give you a reasonably cogent explanation for how the sun, volcanoes, clouds, mountains and rainbows work, in technical terms. But as I was looking at this fucking retardedly beautiful sight and all those technical explanations were spilling into my consciousness, my logical mind was the part of me that was saying "Don't be stupid, Jessica, that's obviously because of fairies or some sort of God or something like that."

If I hadn't been raised in a religious environment, I would have had to make up some sort of religion right there. And probably an agonistic one, since on one side of me there was this fucking ocean-green-sloped-mountain-volcano-sun-stormcloud-buncha-rainbows extravaganza of unbelievable beauty, and on the other side of me was Reggio, the murder capital of Europe that has never really recovered from its utter devastation over a hundred fucking years ago. I've made my feelings about Reggio clear before. I've seen more dumps since then but this place is still pretty much vying for top spot on the list. Pretty much the aesthetic opposite of rainbows and sun-dapples. Especially when the weather is as shitty as it is right now.  

2 commenti:

Erik Bartlam ha detto...

God's handy work on one's frustrated attempt on the other.

Dread Pirate Jessica ha detto...

One of man's poorer attempts, frankly, which got clearer when we saw Messina, which had also collapsed in the quake and wave, but was rebuilt by a slightly less absolutely corrupt population.

BTW the Italian word for tsunami is "maremoto" - "waterquake", like "terremoto" for "earthquake" - which I would really like to have catch on in English.