Monday, May 21, 2012
I usually write up my blog posts at least a few days or even a week before I hit the publish button. And I had a completely different post planned for today. One that was (as is my wont) a celebration of all that is good and delicious and Italian.
But after the events of this past weekend, it just didn’t seem right to post something as banal as a recipe for grilled scallions.
We spent the weekend in Bari, so were far away from the epicenter of the Earthquake that struck Emilia Romagna over the weekend. We were, however, unnervingly close to the horrific bombing that took place on Saturday in Brindisi.
So today’s post is just some photographs I took while walking through Bari Vecchia. Life there hasn’t really changed much over the course of the centuries. Much of the daily existence - the mundane as well as the spiritual - takes place right on the street. Homes open out on to the narrow, stone-paved alleyways as house wives cook dinner, men gather on the corner and boys play ball. While the towering bulk of San Nicolo' casts it’s protective shadow over it all, there are smaller monuments to faith - and to life - on almost every block.
Even though I’m not by any means religious (and certainly not Christian) I find these small altarpieces - some lit with candles, but most with glaring fluorescent tubes - fascinating. Yes, I’m attracted to them from a design standpoint. But this weekend - amid all the horror that was packed into two days - I found them comforting as well. The brightly colored, plastic-flower-bedecked and weirdly lit saints seemed a fitting counterpoint to the tvs and radios that continued to report the tragedies on an endless loop.