Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Venetian Faces 1
There are afternoons when I get on a vaporetto and feel like I've stepped onto a ride at Disneyland--the old Monorail, perhaps, or the Jungle Boat. Every single seat is occupied by a tourist, and while an individual tourist is an interesting as any other individual, an uninterrupted boatload of them is generally quite suffocatingly dull.
It's not really their fault. We must travel light as tourists; no matter how many bags we may bring along we leave behind our ordinary life: all those weighty things and daily demands we typically labor beneath. This is one of the great things about going on vacation--but it can make a mass of tourists feel, well, lighter than a mass of other folks going about their daily "real" lives, less individuated, less differentiated, less detailed.
Of course it doesn't help that in Venice a boatload of tourists is often a boatload of people poring hopelessly over maps, whose conversation is often necessarily limited to some version of the following: "Where are we now?" "We might be here." "No, I don't think so." "Wait, I'm pretty sure we just passed that place--whatever that was." "What do you think they did there?" "I don't really know."
In any case, when one steps onto a vaporetto full of Venetians, as one usually does in the early morning, it feels and looks quite different. It's a wonderful experience and one, I fear, that is becoming harder to come by with each passing year of declining and aging population.
But that's not something I want to think about right now... Better to post the above image taken this morning while Sandro and I were on his way to school, and marvel at what a wonderfully expressive instrument the human face can be. Why anyone would want to botox its capacities into paralysis is beyond me.