Archive for June, 2015

Greener Pastures


Adda River, Italy © Jim Korpi

L’erba del vicino è sempre più verde. (The grass of the neighbor is always more green.) Italian proverb

The yellow brick road to America is an Alitalia flight. The choice of Hollywood movies on the seat in front of Liviana is endless. She watches American Sniper and then Godfather on the 9 hour Atlantic crossing from Milan to New York City.

For Liviana the United States is OZ. Her whole life she has dreamed of living in the place she saw in movies.

“I feel so free here,” Liviana says after a few days in the North East. She is wooed by the open space, the abundance.

In the few days she has been in the US, Liviana is introduced to several families who have been divorced. She is fascinated and excited by how easy it is for people to separate. “People are so free here.”

Lost in Translation


Changing Advertisements, Italy © Jim Korpi

There is no context I can imagine where the shirt this woman is wearing would be appropriate. Even if she were not pushing a baby in a stroller, the words in big, bold letters written on the front of her shirt would still be vulgar.
The context is a tourist filled lake region in the north of Italy. The cobblestone streets of this once Roman-owned city are filled with woman from Milan who stumble in high heels behind their chesty strutting men, as well as the vacationing from around Europe who heard this was a place to visit but seem perpetually unconvinced this is the place, and those with enough spare time to drive an hour to sit beside a lake and have a coffee.
“Fuck Me. I’m single,” her shirt says.

White Bread and War


New Mattress, Milan, Italy © Jim Korpi

Lunch is served. A spread of simple foods lay at the center of the table. As always, a basket of white rolls accompany the meal.
“You always eat white bread with your soup,” I half ask and state to Paolo. Today I add a loaf of wheat bread to the meal I thought he might enjoy, but instead he goes for the loaves of white. “After the war,” he explains, “There was a shortage of white flour. Only the rich people got to have white bread. They made dark bread from what was left over. That is why I will never eat dark bread. Only poor people eat dark bread.”

Dream of Man


View of Monte Marrone, Scapoli, Italy © Jim Korpi

“Men come and go, cities rise and fall, whole civilizations appear and disappear – the earth remains, slightly modified. The earth remains, and the heartbreaking beauty where there are no hearts to break….I sometimes choose to think, no doubt perversely, that man is a dream, thought an illusion, and only rock is real. Rock and sun.”
― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness