|Candles at the Festa della Salute|
|Bobo Ivancich & Mary De Rachewiltz|
daughter of Ezra Pound
bbcc EXPO (il Salone dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali) and Restaura convention that takes place next week on December 2, 3 and 4 at the Venice Passenger Terminal, or Venezia Terminal Passeggeri. For three days you can wander around the terminal and be inspired by a panorama of projects, round tables and conversations that examine new horizons and technologies, all with the theme of encouraging CULTURE. As the speakers were talking, it struck me how I have gotten so used to living immersed in culture, art, music, food, history, etc., and what a rare environment that is these days in other parts of the world. There is so much precious art in Italy; it is a huge national resource which must be developed wisely, with an eye towards the future, and protected, with an eye on the past. Admittance to the Expo is free, and what is even better, if you go over there, you can also get a voucher that will allow you to go inside all of Venice's municipal museums on December 2, 3 & 4 FOR FREE. And another other great thing is that you get to ride the new People Mover to get there! After the press conference, the journalists were given a mysterious burlap bag upon departure. I opened it while waiting for the vaporetto, and discovered it contained coffee, a coffee spoon and sweet coffee beans. This gift from the Venetian company Torrefazione Marchi worked very well with me because I made some coffee immediately, and on such a wet day, it was excellent and they deserve a plug.
Le Bistrot, for the vernissage of one of my favorite Venetian artists, Fernanda Facciolla. Since I know both the owner of Le Bistrot, Sergio Fragiacomo, and Fernanda, I didn't know which one had invited me, but it turned out to be Fernanda, who didn't know I knew Sergio, and Sergio didn't know I knew Fernanda. The exhibit is entitled, Dioniso e il vino, or Dionysus and Wine, and Fernanda definitely knows her myths. The synchronicity can get overwhelming sometimes, because the next thing I said was, "Fernanda. I have written about this very same topic when Sergio had the wine people here from InOLTRE called Those Who Drink Our Wine Know They Will Never be Betrayed." So, there I was in Le Bistrot back with Dionysus again!
Later that evening, some Venetians gave me a proper Thanksgiving dinner, just like the American Indians gave the pilgrims -- only I was the only American there -- complete with a 6.2 kilo female turkey and some good red wine. I made the stuffing, and found two tiny jars of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce for 3 euro each over at Antica Drogheria Mascari. There were even roasted chestnuts afterwards, roasted right on the spot!
"Shun Li and the Poet" relates the romantic and difficult friendship between a Chinese illegal immigrant and an old Italian fisherman, on an island of the Venetian lagoon facing economic changes.
After working in a textile factory in the suburbs of Rome, Shun Li, a woman in her forties, moves to the small provincial town of Chioggia; she works as a waitress in an "osteria" to pay for her freedom. Bepi, also called "the Poet" by his friends, has been coming to the little bar for years...
The film tells the encounter between two worlds in a crisis: the world of Shun Li who has been forced to abandon her own roots and the world of Bepi who sees his roots transforming deeply because of the social changes of the region.
I haven't spent time in Chioggia for a very long time, but the fishermen there are so tough that when NATO denied dropping bombs into the Adriatic Sea back in 1999 during the war in the Balkans -- NATO scoffed at the accusation and fabricated a story that the bombs were left over from WWII -- the Chioggia fishermen actually fished up the bombs, proving they were real, severely injuring themselves. Click HERE to read the Washington Post story from long ago.
Now, to start back at the beginning: on Sunday, again through the wind, rain and acqua alta, I went to the Salute Church for the Festa della Salute to light my candles of gratitude for health for the year and get a dose of high energy from the Black Madonna. I couldn't find a single photo of her dressed in all her finery on the net, and I began to think that no photos of her are allowed. Someone did take a photo, however, of the postcard that you can buy at the Salute Church; that is the image you see.
From Italy Heaven:
Click HERE to read the entire article.
Theories about Black Madonnas from Wikipedia:
Interest in studying Black Madonnas revived in the late 20th century. Some scholars of comparative religion, particularly those with Afrocentrist, feminist, or neo-pagan backgrounds, have suggested that Black Madonnas are descendants of pre-Christian mother or earth goddesses (Moss, Benko), often highlighting Isis as the key ancestor-goddess (Redd, McKinney-Johnson). Some psychologists have discussed maternal and female archetypes, often from a Jungian perspective, as well as themes of feminine power, as they find them expressed in the Black Madonnas (Gustafson, Begg).
Whatever the Black Madonna stands for, I always find her inspiring, and joining the throngs and the ceremony and celebration of the Festa della Salute, always fills me with gratitude and joy.
Ciao from Venice,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog
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