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the tomato growers

Summer was winding down, which meant that there were millions of tomatoes that needed something done with them if they were going to be of any use after the season had passed.

This couple, whom we met walking through their village, was going to spend the afternoon canning their tomato crop, saving the flavors of summer for winter pasta.

This is probably a good place to mention that the food we had in Sicily was so, so good. It was all fresh, all things that were in season. I tasted – and loved – things I wouldn’t have even considered prior to my visit. Octopus salad? Delicious. Mackerel on couscous with mint sauce? Delicious. Caponata (a regional favorite of eggplant, tomatoes, celery, olives)? Delicious. Pasta with pistachios? Delicious.

You get the idea.

And the thing is that if I’d been there a month later, two weeks earlier, or literally any other time that that very moment we visited, the menus would have been different, as they continually shift to include things that are fresh.  I wonder what deliciousness I missed? Obviously the only way to find that out is to go back and stay for….say…a whole year. For research.

Caltabellota, Sicily
photographed 9.5.2022

to catch the sun

Now I don’t know for sure that the resident up there on the second floor hung out the laundry when they did in order to get a shaft on sunlight on it while it dried. All I know for sure is that when I saw it hanging there above my head, the sun was shining on the clean clothes and was not shining on much else.

I have to say that my town seems really boring after experiencing the vibrant life on Palermo’s narrow streets. The dullness of it makes me miss Sicily. It makes me miss Sicily quite a bit.

Palermo, Sicily
photographed 9.3.2022

Sicilian cherub

We stepped into this church to look around, but there was so much going on that it was hard to really see anything. And harder still to get photographs that conveyed the Baroque details, the Catholic imagery, the oldness of it all.

But there WAS a particular cherub that I liked.

Chiesa dell’Immacolata Concezione
Palermo, Sicily
photographed 9.3.2022

behold the man

In addition to seeing a lot of wall-mounted shrines in Palermo (as I mentioned yesterday) I spotted some larger ones as well, like this one on the side of Chiesa di Sant’Antonio Abate. Walking around Palermo was a visual delight – there was something interesting/new/photo-worthy at every turn. If I’d stopped to think about it, it would have been overwhelming. Instead I just kept looking, kept shooting, kept immersing myself in everything the city and its residents had to offer.

As I write this, I’ve been home for eight days; I’m still writing in my travel journal every day because so many things happened on the trip that I couldn’t get it all written down in real time. That journal started out real organized, with things documented chronologically. It quickly descended in chaos, which I tell myself will make it more interesting for future reader(s) who will be treated (if that’s the right term?) to a stream-of-consciousness telling of Important Things I Just Remembered.

Palermo, Sicily
photographed 8.31.2022

wall shrine, with flower

I got my start as a photographer by way of a long project where I documented roadside crosses and other memorials; I think all the years of being always-vigilant for those locations has permanently set my brain to seek out similar things. I don’t think I am actively looking for them, but there were numerous times in Palermo that I’d glance over at a wall and there’d be a shrine right there, as thought it had been expecting me.

Palermo, Sicily
photographed 8.29.2022

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