Retaining walls made of volcanic tuffa have drainage openings, into which passersby often stuff trash, rather than disrespectfully throwing it to the ground. When the winter rains come, narrow roads leading down the mountain become small-scale whitewater torrents that carry detritus to the sea. Winter rains linger. A huge low pressure area gets stalled directly over Napoli and remains in place, slowly churning clouds counter-clockwise, week after week, until you doubt spring will ever arrive. You stare out the window, looking for a break in the overcast, some hint of change. Nope. Not today.
Here a woman on her knees gives to a standing man a child, perhaps her own. An abandonment, a betrayal. Iacta alea est.
Above the scene of abandonment, a shining star moves through the firmament, and an angel’s banner says glory in Latin. Sic transit gloria mundi.
I retreat into intellectualism whenever I encounter something that has deep personal significance. I find it easy to hide behind Latin, a supposedly dead language. You see, I want you to know something important about me. But then on the other hand I don’t.