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Gap Term: MidLife (part 1)

January 20, 2009

Eight weeks ago, we departed Italy for HomeLeave, recently informed that we will be staying there for the duration. So, we must find ways to make our place, to build a satisfying life there. With this in mind, I am touring my homeland with an eye toward the possibilities for that life. Italy, not being my place, my people, nor my identity, will never be home without conscious effort to make it so. And not just the effort to do it, but to determine what that means. Few of the default settings there ~beginning with the landlord’s grandmother’s cast-off furniture in our flat and ending with frightful fashion and la bella figura on the street~ are anything I’d choose. But default settings remain until someone decides what would better suit. Without exposure to the rest of the world, it’s easy to have creativity stifled, to forget originality and individualism, to become mired in the status quo.

So now, it is a smorgasbord of forgotten wonders to be back in San Francisco, to see people’s self-expression, to feel the freedom to be whomever and however one wants to be. . . let your freak flag fly! A friend commented, and I marveled, over how anyone can wear anything here and probably find a group which fits like a glove ~leather, fingerless, or silk. Many places are full of people unlike those in other places, but San Francisco is full of all those people and more. Chutney and I held a micro-BurningMan in Via Poggi; why not a San Franciscan colony at Lerici? I will never fit in, will always be la straniera. La straniera the better!

Maybe SantaConItalia is far in the future, but it sure was fun here! Imagine roving hoards of Santas all over the City, with a few Grinches and the odd elf thrown in. Santas on the subway; Santas in bars; Santas cropping up everywhere! Here is the Duboce Park stop of the Haight group of SantaCon 2008. R to L: Renata Foucre, her friend Santa, and myself. This group was on its way to Union Square to meet up with the other 2 groups of Santas. Non-Santa people’s reactions were the best. They would see one Santa, “Pff, so what?” Then the magnitude would begin to sink in. Perplexity would give way to smiles, laughter, and pointing.

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