Thursday, October 13, 2005

My Third Career

This photograph is a road on which I live, nestled in the hills of Tuscany, Italy.

Statistics show that most people change their careers at least two or three time. I am on my third. The last war I photographed was the war in Iraq and the Intifada in the West Bank of Israel. For 5 years I photographed poverty, suicide bombings, tears and pain. I do not know how a person can live under such conditions for such a long time, without the hope of it ever going away. I had to leave and live in a “normal” place to re-energize my spirit. I chose Italy. I have always thought that the language was beautiful and the men “hot”.

I live in Tuscany, just outside of Florence. I live among rolling hills of olive trees and grape vines. I live in the country where it is quiet and one can only hear the birds chirp among each other. There is a small coffee bar about ¼ km away from my home where the locals gather in the early evenings to catch up on the latest of the local gossip. During my daily walk to the coffee bar, in the attempt to see some civilization, I see the farmers (the Italians call them Peasants) tilling the land and picking their fruit of their labor.

Their skin is tight and wrinkled due to the high exposure from the sun. Their hands are like leather and their smiles are bright. The men dress in baggy pants and the women in dresses that come below their knees. Most of the time, the clothes look well warn and are soiled from the Tuscan mud. Most of the women wear an apron over their dress; this is because they spend much of their time in the kitchen or picking vegetables from the garden.

When one goes into town, that is Florence, everyone dresses up for the occasion. The older folks wear clean and crisp clothes and the younger look like they just came from a fashion show. I call Florence the “Small American college town”. I heard that there are 68 universities in Florence. The students come from America to learn of art, history and the language for a semester or a year. If you sit at a coffee bar and watch the people going by you can say that the students dominate the city and the locals keep a low profile.

Those who live in Florence make their living either from Tourism or the students. The economy is not so good, as anywhere else in the world at the moment. I am here, to find my new path and direction. My dream is to write books and photograph culture worldwide. I want to photograph and compile the people and their lives, their faces and their special moments. This is my dream and I spend this time trying to make it happen. In the meantime, I am trying to figure out where I belong in this world, and what am I supposed to do to make a viable living.

My next post will give some background.

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