Taormina of Sicily is the most famous resort in southern Italy. The scenery
is spectacular. You see the perfectly symmetrical figure of volcano, Mt.
Etna. And you can also see a beautiful arc of coast line stretched far
away to Catana city below your eyes.
I had been there for a couple of days. And one morning, I came out from
a "pensione" to buy some "panini" for breakfast. I
walked down the pavement of the main street. When I was passing the square,
I saw two men were quarreling in front of the two cafes. They seemed to
be the owner of each cafe. However to me, it's quite usual scene in Italy. I worried all panini would be gone if I waste time here. Breakfast was
much bigger deal to me. So I kept walking to the bakery.
When I passed by them next was on the way back to the pensione. The quarrel
was more heated up. But it's also typical progress in Italy.
In the afternoon, I was walking on the street. Far ahead of me, I saw the
anger red faces again. They had argued for more than 3 hours.
Then I had a trekking to the neighbor village on the hill top, and returned Taormina around 3 o'clock.
I sat on the bench in the square, and glanced the street. I couldn't believe
that. They were still quarreling hardly. "No, No, No, It's not like
that.""No, You are completely wrong"They denied each other.
What they are arguing about? Whatever it was, they had argued 7 hours.
I could not say "it's normal"any more even in Italy.
However, the Italians were some warrior. At 9 o'clock in the evening. I
was passing by there. Even famous resort, Taormina was small town. So I
couldn't skip the street. "Oh my ..... The marathon quarrel was still
going on. The tone was not reduced at all. Families, couples who's passing
by and guests at the terrace of each cafe, the two men didn't care about
them. They looked using their entire energy to argue down each other.
At the restaurant, I got to know the Japanese professor and had talked
over the dinner so long. Past 11 o'clock, I nervously stepped up the stairs
of square. My anxiety "If the argument would be still going on .....
" was turning into some expectation in mob spirit. "I wish for
it to be going on"
In spite of my expectation, the two men was not there any more. After 12
hours argument, finally, they got to the agreement or one guy accept some
fault? Maybe no.
As I know, their argument had a short break just once. It's the moment
when a funeral procession was passing through the main street of Taormina.
Flower wreath, father, hearse, under the insanity blue of Sicily, the procession
was marching slowly and quietly toward the white cross on the top of the
hill. And in front of the cafes which had bright afternoon light, the two
men watched the line in a silence.
"This might be the thing that we called <Living in every single
moment>" I thought.
"Funeral procession" Taormina, Sicily, Italy 1994
Dining table of Italian family Ukrainian never smiles vol.1
| Post Script
Recently I remembered the words in this issue "Living in every single
moment". It must be at the time when I saw my favorite football club
lost the game without catching up in the score. Physically a minute in
the beginning of game and the one in the end is same length. A minute is
long enough, to even get a goal, in a football match. Although people are
often affected by past minutes or think about the remaining time too much.
So the definite one minute will be subjectively shorten, And people lose
their presence of mind. Same thing for an examination or even life.
However for the person living in every single moment, current minute is
independent. It doesn't get any effect by the past minutes. And after the
current minute, a brand new minute comes up. I'm not saying you should
live hard every minute. If you do so, you must be exhausted. Simply picture
the independent minute at anytime.
At some point, time will be over. Another minute will not come to you.
A final whistle of the game is blown, a chime ring at the end of exam and
your funeral procession is started. But as long as it cannot settle yourself,
it's nonsense that you become so nervous for it. It's possible that the
person who lives in every single moment get better results than the one
who worry about the future too much. They would be satisfied with what
If people are so reckless or irresponsible all the way, the society could
never run smoothly. However I think it's not bad idea pretending Italian
from time to time.