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  • I am sorry for what follows Alex. Why? Because I lovelovelove your writing and its lucent imagery. I so hope that, in its contemplation, I will achieve the inner peace necessary for the 'agitation' - in revolutionary terms I DO NOT see myself as the new Mme Defarges... that the society I find myself living in has desperate, so desperate, need of.

    An example, only the other night, at the local supemarket, I noticed a porcelain piggy-bank at the checkout. I asked "What's that for?" And I was told that two days before a boy from our 'rione' - i.e. town area - had drowned, bathing in the sea. The cashier, a chatty soul, went on to specify that the boy's body had not been removed from the nearest 'obitorio' - sorry, here my English deserts me - because the family has no money to pay the undertakers.

    In shock, and very near to tears, I asked "Well, what's going to happen now?".

    The reply [by this time quite a litte queue had formed, all of us intent on what we were about to hear]: "Well, the Comune will pay a little something, but we, and every other shop in 'rione' have set up a collection box to help", and then - and this is what set me off in tears (and others in the queue, and total embarrassment of my eldest, who's so very very 'British' at times), "He's still there. He's lying there, unclothed."
    l I apologize, right now, for the stye here, which is anything but polished, but I am writing in REACTION. I know, oh how very much do I know, that emotional reaction is the very last thing that will help. But maybe if there is enough emotion, not shrugging 'and so it goes' [I'm sorry for that Vonnegut, oh light of my eyes..] which response is so very common here, maybe, just maybe, something will change.

    My hands tremble as I write.

    We are so so lucky to be able to 'listen to the sound of our own voices, and to take long walks by the sea', aren't we?

    Image:Hogarth, 'Gin Lane', engraving from The British Museum Archives (free access), The British Museum, London U.K.
    No 'flowing tapestries' here, are there? I know the period is out, but images of the poor and dispossessed that I found for that period, medieval times, were too much for even to bear. Remember, Alex, after all this, that I love you.
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