Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Dancing with shadows.

It was 1995. Italy.
A couple of hours from Rome.
Gran Sasso.
By car. Alpha Romeo, red.
Roads winding up the mountains.
Ending at a small hotel.
This is where Mussolini spent his last days.
This is where they hanged him.
His room and toilet are still there.
Left as a sort of miniature museum in
a hotel renting out rooms as if nothing really happened.
Sparse. Cold.
The dictators room was.
The whole place was cold and sparse.
No other guests.
Late fall.
Hans and Cat. Spring. Love.
Or so it seemed. Probably was.
Now it's over.
It ended on another trip.
They were in Italy not for romance. It was work.
Why else stay where Mussolini hid
and got caught
and brutally paid the price for his sins.
They stayed where it was closest to next day's work.

The picture shows two people embrace.
Happily, smiling at the camera. A frozen moment.
A memory to savor for ever.

Can a picture tell more than the camera knew at the time?
A cross on the building.
Angular. Unfriendly.
Impenetrable walls of stone.

The nature, stark and naked.
Wispy clouds? Light spirited, dancing across their heads?
Or ominous, ghostly, foreboding, the calm before the storm?

Smiles for the camera?
The pose restrained?
An embrace not as close as it seemed?

Dancing. But not forever.
Is that what the picture tried to tell us?
More than ten years ago.

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