You have to marvel at a culture that while is one of the hearts of Christianity, celebrates such a pagan custom in such a big way, Pan e Vin, as it is called in the Veneto. This was one of probably 5,000 fires (falò) last night throughout Northern Italy.
It’s what I’ve always loved about Italy and the Italians, their ability to bow to the institutions, while living their lives as they see fit. Thus the lowest birth rate in Europe.
As America becomes ever more about rules, the fight to whom writes those rules and intolerance for those who break them, Europe and Italy in particular, are still about life. Life as we have always lived it, for thousands of years, well before the church or various political institutions came into being and decided they know better how we should live. They tolerate those institutions and yes, even give respect to the new gods, yet know better than to clutter their lives with the minutiae of this and that, and understand that just as the old gods were replaced, so will be the new.
This tolerance is what first attracted me to Italy almost 40 years ago and as America has become more intolerant to virtually everything, except for lawyers, Italy and Europe continue living life as they have always, and thus the witch got burned last night, so we are safe for another year.
I’m an eclectic person, who grew up in New York, lived overseas for many years and have a boat, Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen trawler yacht. Dauntless enables me to not only live in many different parts of the world, but to do it in a way that is interesting, affordable, with the added spice of a challenge.
Dauntless also allows me to be in touch with nature. As the boat glides through the ocean, you have a sense of being part of a living organism. When dolphins come to frolic, they stay longer if you are out there talking to them, watching them. Birds come by, sometimes looking for a handout; sometimes grateful to find a respite from their long journey.
I grew up on the New York waterfront, in the West Village, when everything west of Hudson St. was related to shipping and cargo from around the world. For a kid, it was an exciting place of warehouses, trucks, and working boats of all kinds: tugs and the barges and ships, cargo and passenger, they were pushing around.
My father was an electrical engineer, my mother an intellectual, I fell in between.
I have always been attracted to Earth’s natural processes, the physical sciences. I was in 8th grade when I decided to be a Meteorologist.
After my career in meteorology, my natural interest in earth sciences: geology, astronomy, geography, earth history, made it a natural for me to become a science teacher in New York City, when I moved back to the Big Apple. Teaching led to becoming a high school principal to have the power to truly help kids learn and to be successful not only in school but in life.
Dauntless is in western Europe now. In May and June, I will be wrapping up the last two years in northern Europe, heading south to spend the rest of the year in Spain & Portugal.
Long term, I’m planning on returning to North American in the fall of 2017 and from there continuing to head west until we’re in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, where we will settle for a bit.
But now, my future lies not in NY or even Europe, but back to the water, where at night, when the winds die down, there is no noise, only the silence of the universe. I feel like I am at home, finally.
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