The forced stop when customs prevented you continued your travel from Hong Kong to Europe… I could barely stand it.
How did they dare?
What were they thinking?
What should we do?
Your dad, Lou, suggested a very practical solution: “shoot with your camera”, he wrote to the European group. Whatever it is, it’ll be fine, and the project will keep going.
I struggled with the idea. Yes, but… your “physical” travelling around the world conveys an entirely different meaning than a bunch of photographers using their own tools.
I thought we should be the tools lent to you.
So, I did what your dad wouldn’t ask: adopt a Victoria jr. to send her off to Europe.
Not a Canonet, actually. A Yashica Electro 35; I saw her in a movie once: she was in the hands of a handsome Spiderman, and I thought you would watch that movie and like that young actor playing Peter Parker.
Yes, you now have a stepsister travelling Europe.
And then… oh my goodness, then it came to me: what to show you, where to bring you? I live in Rome, you know: should I carry you on one of those open busses and let you digest postcards? But then, couldn’t you simply purchase a bunch of them on the internet for a few cents?
Should I point you at the “grandeur” of Baroque Rome, at the ancient ruins, at the arts, at the churches? But then, which ones? How could I select among the thousands of beauties we face everyday – almost without noticing their beauty anymore?
I asked your dad: “Lou, would you tell me something more about Victoria?” Silly me, what a question. I got an answer, though – Lou, how patient must you have been!
And finally, I understood what I would – I should? – do: I would bring you with me in my everyday life. I would make you look at my everyday landscapes, raising or lowering your eyes on my everyday’s skies and paths. Maybe boring, for a young lady: or maybe not.
There’s beauty everywhere.
In the dried flowers sitting on a Chinese cupboard in my dining room,
In the ray of light peeping on the peephole of my neighbor’s front door,
In the disregarded exedra overlooking the garden of a museum nobody ever visits.
I loved how you looked at the humble patterns of branches naked by winter,
At the nothingness of a bird’s shape waiting for the sun,
Even at people, who smiled at you, and someone asked: “do you really shoot film?”
One day, at the beginning of March, we woke up and winter had struck a backlash at the front door of spring.
Someone daringly would try to hit the road, just like the two of us…
There’s beauty in lending a hand to those in need, like this lady whose car wouldn’t move…
And maybe a reward for doing it… Look at the view from the meeting room’s window of my empty office today!
But that was short. The sky would soon open, and out we went again. Surrounded by a silence Rome would not know otherwise.
Younger statues would invite us to play snowballs in Villa Borghese…
Yeah! You got him right in his right eye! Lol…
And girls would smile friendly while being photographed skiing on the snow-covered lawns,
while my dear friend Serena’s children, Pietro and Marta, would make snow angels for you.
Under the sky, again that blue, under the glowing branches.
It all lasted but a couple of days. On the following Sunday we went out with my daughter, Greta, and our dog, Ala.
Greta would do some jogging, notwithstanding the mud left by the melted snow: I’m sure you would be with her…
in this spring that came back to repossess the park.
Could I avoid showing you our little haven in Sardinia? No, how could I? A few years ago we set up two Mongolian yurts: yes, we had vacation there, before building our house. I believe you would rather like “glamping” here…
even being woken up by these dudes singing their verse. For food. For company.
There’s beauty everywhere, even in a misty sunrise.
Later in March we traveled to Milan with Greta: she would take the admission tests to the University. Can you believe, she would study medicine! We would nervously wait in the parking,
And as soon as the test was over, it started raining! Nothing much to do, we tried a museum, but they wouldn’t let us in: too many people, the cloakroom was full, and one can’t enter carrying a photography bag, how foolish!
So we went back to our rented apartment in a new, modern neighborhood. For a moment it stopped raining to allow us to look around…
… And up…
… And through…
With the hope in our hearts that summer won’t be too long in coming.
Yes, there’s beauty everywhere, and I know you know it all.