I thought I was a fairly relaxed person, till yesterday at the market in Taranto. I was fairly relaxed about not selling any paintings and we were packing up in no particular hurry . Then a guy near us came over and stood in the shade nearby. "I am not packing up for another hour," he said " In an hour the shadow will have reached the other side of the street and then I will pack up. It's not good for your heart to work in the hot sun." He pointed to his heart to make sure we understood and then went off to sit in a chair in the shade to wait for the shadow to reach his side of the street.
By the time we left , the shadow was half way accross the street and he was just dozing in the shade and waiting.
I think that is so impressive and I am envious. I never ever sit and wait without feeling that I have to be doing something to justify my existence. Taking an hour to myself just to take care of my heart and not work in the sun is completely foreign to me. (This was not someone who was just lazy. As far as I know he has a shop he works in during the week and still does markets on sundays as well.)
I decided to go for a cappucino this morning, as it's monday and it's nice thing to do and I work better after having been out. (Not that I am justifying myself!) So went off on scooter to town and my favourite cafe was closed , on holiday, then my second favourite was also closed for holidays , the third one had too many men in it, (they all stare and I get a bit embarassed), the next one , where you cant sit down, but I really wanted a coffee by this time was shut too. So frustrated, I set off to the next one on my scooter and riding by, saw too many men again, so I decided enough was enough I was going in the next one and that was that. I drew up to a small one I hadn't been in before and hurray, although there were no seats , it was not full of men either. The guy serving was friendly and I saw a painting on the wall by someone I did an exhibition with and we talked about it . It was nice to talk and the cappucino was good. I will go back. Its a great combination cappucino and chat.
On my search for a coffee I passed the art shop in the corsa and there was one of my portraits, framed. I had to go past it again for another look. Even after all this time I think deep down that actually people just take my paintings home and put them in a cupboard out of sight. This is not logical ,as why would people pay for them and then put them away, but I am always ridiculously pleased when I see one of mine on someones wall.
I am almost always happy when I am out on my scooter. There is just something about whizzing along in the open air , not so fast that you can't see everything, that feels good. It helps obviously when the weather is fine and the surroundings are lovely. I think it suits my personality as I am more of an observer than a participator. And you can see and experience so much from a scooter. And now that I sometimes hang my handbag on the handlebar I feel so casual and Italian.
Can't help noticing that I have managed to justify my taking an hour out to go out on my scooter and have a coffee by writing this blog, but what the heck! If I spend the next twenty years gradually becoming more like the guy waiting for the sun that would be ok. (It may take 20 years!)