Painting With Light ...

My photography always returns when I have some free time ... or is that, I return to my photography.  

My head needs to be a little clearer than it has been lately.  Last week was particularly chaotic as I pulled off a few minor miracles ...

Today is Sunday, and I slipped out into the morning searching for coffee and ended up with a camera full of photographs.

I found the light exquisite and ended up staying out for hours, wandering in the medieval heart of Genova.

Fascinated ... by this 'gift-wrapped' building

I love to go walking in the city.  Sometimes in the early morning light, sometimes just before nightfall.

I noticed this 'gift-wrapped' dome a few weeks ago and photographed it, enjoying the surprise of it there on the skyline.

Last night though, my eye was caught by the way the setting sun seemed to be lighting it from inside.  It almost appears to be on fire. 

I've been busy, too busy to post it seems.  Paperwork like my codice fiscale and a bank account, had to be organised.  Then my work here, and the horror that has been moving my stuff from the UK.  I learned a lot.  And finding a new place to live.

However it's a blue-sky morning, here in Genoa, today.  I must go out.  There were puddles and reflections last night but it was a wee bit dark when I found them.  And coffee, I am in need of good coffee.


Ilaria ... her story.

I recently met, and photographed, a remarkable young woman called Ilaria.  An 18 year old woman who lives with a rare genetic disorder called Friedreich's ataxia ... a disorder that requires more research that is currently happening. Research that requires funding, and so ... there is a Facebook page where you can donate for ongoing research, or sign up to attend fund-raising dinners, here in Genova.

I asked her to write of herself, so we could share her story with you.  She wrote:

Let me introduce myself: my name is Ilaria. I suffer from a rare disease caused by a genetic abnormality which inflicts progressive damage on my nervous system.  This damage will eventually lead to a loss of control of all the muscles in my body.

The abnormal gene was present at my birth however the disease was only diagnosed in August 2014.   Up until that moment, I played many sports, experiencing difficulties and frustration in certain exercises but taking part anyway.

My mood was often affected by those difficulties, and when my disease was finally diagnosed, I decided I did not want to see anyone anymore.

However time passed and I began to understand that, in order to move forward and overcome the difficulties created by Friedreich's Ataxia, I needed to react and fight. 

These days I am happy. I have made a decision to face the future with courage and determination. I have decided that each of us is different and that my genetic disorder is not a defect but a special feature. I need to be simply, and uniquely, myself.

That this disease should not be approached negatively but rather understood, accepted and, if possible, one day, defeated.  


Mi presento: il mio nome è Ilaria. Sono una ragazza affetta da una malattia rara, causata da un'anomalia genetica che comporta nel tempo un danno progressivo del sistema nervoso e di conseguenza una perdita del controllo su tutti i muscoli del corpo. Il gene anomalo esisteva fin dalla mia nascita ma la malattia fu diagnosticata soltanto nell'agosto 2014. Negli anni precedenti la diagnosi ho praticato numerose attività sportive notando però alcune difficoltà, specialmente svolgendo determinati esercizi. Molto spesso subivo crolli di morale e appena scoperta la malattia decisi di non vedere più nessuno. Successivamente mi resi conto che per andare avanti e superare qualsiasi difficoltà, è necessario reagire e lottare. Adesso sono serena con me stessa e sempre sorridente. Affronto la vita con coraggio e determinazione. Vado avanti con la consapevolezza che ognuno di noi è diverso da tutti gli altri. Nessuno è uguale a nessuno. Il mio non è un difetto ma una particolarità. Non devo adeguarmi a nessuno. Io sono semplicemente ed unicamente io. La malattia non deve essere affrontata negativamente ma anzi, deve essere combattuta, compresa, accettata e se possibile, un giorno, sconfitta.


Raffaele Kohler ...!!!

Yesterday ... M.U.R.A was happening, here in the centro storico, in Genova.

It was fantastic!  I kid you not.  They promised 2 days, 16 hours, 30 locations and 40 events.  

I don't know if they kept their promises but I can only presume they did because ... the quality of the artists performing was so high that there was no way to see and hear everyone.  I wanted to linger and listen everywhere I went.

I heard Raffaele Kohler, play trumpet at a concert a few years ago, here in Genova.  I never forgot being completely stunned by his performance then and had looked for his CD.  I didn't find one.  I have one this time.  Grazie mille.

And the delicious thing is that he's not just musician but he's an entertainer too.  He's hilarious, if the audience response to his stories was anything to go by.  Then there were scenes like the one above ...

It felt like he gave us his all during the two hours of free concert out in Piazza Lavagna...

But wait, he was part of a trio and honestly, the other two were truly superb musicians too ... it's only that I wanted, so much, to hear him perform again that I am so focused on the delight I felt in catching his performance.

Ottavo Richter gifted us two hours of beautiful music, laughter and joy really.  

Grazie mille to M.U.R.A for organising this beautiful 16 hours, and for finding so many talented artists.  It was a magical night, one where I wandered alone until midnight.  

And, finally, I got to hear  Raffaele Kohler play again.

To Die Rich In Stories ...

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. God Himself is not secure, having given man dominion over His works! Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. Faith alone defends.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

Helen Keller, extract from “Let Us Have Faith”

And so ... a few years ago, I began changing my idea of success.  It has finally become more important to reach the end of my life 'rich in stories', having lived an interesting life, full of good people and different places.

This City ... ! I Love It.

I find Genova quite the magic city.  I suspect I could go walking here, every single day, and find something quietly exquisite.

Sometimes it's an object, other times it's the light.  

I had never noticed this part of the fountain before.  And I have photographed the fountain, so many times.  It was the light I think.

I saw the reflection first, then climbed up onto the edge of the fountain and chased the image created by the buildings in reflection.

There were more ...