18 May, 2010 - we go with what we have (or, we do not want what we haven’t got). on the road heading east, Valentina will be on her foldable tricycle, which she uses to sell fresh orange juice, and I’ll take the vintage bicycle I found in the trash and rebuilt (without gears). I’ll document our travels entirely with a film camera – my Leica M6 with one 50mm lens. I was tempted to buy a digital but fortunately, came to my senses realizing that on the road without electricity, without protection from the weather, my Leica is the practical and philosophical solution in accordance with our objective. we’ll ask people we meet to take fotos of us and email them for the blog. if we make it Ukraine as planned, I’ll then process all the film and see what I have. shooting black and white and color slide film I hope to get enough material to do justice to the documentation of the trip.
our life here in Siracusa, Sicilia (Italia) is very modest, simple. we do without hot water, refrigerator, washing machine, heating or air-conditioning, automobile or motor scooter. we recycle our dish water and laundry rinse water to water our many plants (even though our water is included in our rent). perhaps some would call our life-style austere but in reality nothing is lacking. we live very well. we have everything we really need.
when I left America five years ago I sacrificed a lot in the way of material comforts. I rented a four bedroom house with a big yard in the quiet Chevy Chase neighborhood of Lexington, KY. I had a beautiful hard-crafted German grand piano and a big, well-equipped darkroom for my photography work. in making the transition to my new life here in Sicilia I moved my mind-set from thinking ‘what new thing I might afford to buy’ to that of seeing ‘what I might do with out’. it’s sometimes difficult for one to separate ‘wants’ from ‘actual needs’. my life-long desire to make a life for myself in a foreign country was my motivation for sorting it out. everyday I give thanks for what I don’t have as well as for what I do have.