Posts Tagged ‘world’

Italian Bicycle Thieves


Protected Motorcycle, Isernia, Italy © Jim Korpi

The metal rims of Buzzino’s bicycle clanged on the rubble of road, an out-of-tune banjo plucking a hurried song.
You could hear him coming for a mile. The roads were quiet. The Germans shot most things moving along the road and British planes bombed from the air.
Dusted in a thin coat of flour, the apparitional form of the partisan baker Buzzino rushed from one part of town to the next.
Since the occupation by the Germans in Florence, keeping possession of your bicycle, your horse, or any mode of transport proved difficult. The Germans stole what was needed.
Buzzino reckoned he would hold onto his bicycle by making it less of a convenience. He removed the rubber tires. It was a rough and loud ride, but no German ever stole his bicycle.

beginning of the world

Picnic, Edge of the World, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia © Jim Korpi

“Here,” Sayeed motioned to the white man standing on a rock outcropping not far enough out. His hand gesture was Saudi, like sliding coins across a table top with one’s finger tips. He has lived in the Kingdom so long he feels Saudi even if his wife and children live with his father in Bangladesh.
The heavy noon sun, the breeze carrying sand off the pale desert floor, and the spiraling smoke off the glowing red tip of his lipped cigarette weigh down on his eyelids, and he squints. He squints at the expanding landscape as if to focus on something in the distance, some closer truth. The white man makes his way to where Sayeed had beckoned him to stand beside.
“We’re on the edge of the world,” the white man states with an American accent as if to punch a stake in the ground and claim triumph and possession. Sayeed knew the accent well. He has worked at the American embassy for the past 15 years as a driver. He has driven thousands of these fortunate ones on excursions to places like this, the Edge of the World, so that they could climb along its sandstone ledges, state “we’re on the edge of the world,” and then he would drive them back to their high-walled compounds.
Sayeed pulled a deep inhale off his cigarette and patiently exhaled. Smoke left his body in the same direction and flow as his loose blue shirt’s movement in the wind.
“It starts again over there,” Sayeed declared pointing to the landscape below. He didn’t smile although he knew his words to be witty. He always said this when the white man claimed to be on the edge of the world.

new traditions

Black Friday © Jim Korpi

It’s in the air like a plague ready to wipe clean the weak, trite, and false smiles. There are whispers of a new world order, a world where we recapture our lives and restart anew, and where the past only guides us around the follies of the future and holds us not to some false beliefs and meaningless tradition.
A disillusioned populace in warmer climates wonders how it will endure a Christmas without snow, reindeer, and all the nordic decor to accompany as if these hand-me-down customs will fit the waists and tastes of a world so distanced by time and geography. A comedy ensues in their imitation.
Nostalgia is as murky, thick and suffocating as mud during the holidays. Oh what it was to have the whole family together. Memories hold us hostage to the blossoming potential of new beginnings. We hold on tight to what was as if what will should be a tainted version. Why do we so dread these traditions that have for so long not fed us the sustenance required of such important human behavioral repetition?
Families so torn up by the times must begin the lengthy process of collecting the odd shaped fabrics and sewing it into a new and useful quilt. Let us throw away, with it’s wasteful wrappings, that which drives us further from completeness and fulfillment. Let us relish more the time and relations which bring us closer. Let us renew our vows to each other and to the earth that so thanklessly provides for the very existence we squander.
Let us build new traditions.