Quarantine Life

CA Lockdown – Day 20

The Decameron is blazing in our gestalt.

How Can Boccaccio’s 14th Century Decameron Help Us Live Through COVID-19?

These Sacred Cycles are eternally repeating.

Would that we all had a charming Italian villa to escape to.

Meanwhile in modern-day Italy, the situation is intense. Italians have one of the highest COVID infection rates in Europe. To follow the drama in Rome through the eyes of a visual artist, I recommend the painter Cynthia Korzekwa’s blog:

Art for Housewives

Ballpoint pen drawing: drinking tequila with Frida Kahlo in a Mexican cantina – © 2015 Cynthia Korzekwa –

A Tejana Ex-Pat, Cynthia Korzekwa‘s poetic observations and vivid paintings are a powerful way to experience the eternal city. Before moving to Italy some 30 years ago, the beautiful Cynthia was a part of the legendary Chicano art collective Con Safos in San Antonio, Texas. She is an all-around fascinating mujer!

Korzekwa also featured me on her blog:

Coronavirus, Conspiracy & Pocharte

I met Korzekwa in the flesh over a decade ago, while I lived in Rome. It was a beautiful summer of working on an opera and exploring the city’s treasures. I loved the Spanish Steps most of all, with its Keats Shelley House and Caffe Greco.

I can hardly wait until travel restrictions are fully lifted. My wanderlust is in overdrive.


Quarantine Life

CA Lockdown – Day 11

I have Plague Poetry on my mind.

This morning I read an article about folks that are fleeing metropolitan centers to gypsy around in vans:

This reminds me of the 14th century novella, The Decameron, which details the lives of 10 young men and women who flee plague-stricken Florence to the safety of a country villa.

Every night, the group would gather in the evening to take turns telling stories, so after 10 nights, they had 100 tales shared among them.

The great Italian director Pasolini did a trippy cinema treatment of this classic:

Here’s a video that talks about Coronavirus commonalities with The Decameron:

After so many centuries, it’s interesting to see how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Plagues will come and folks will run. We’d do the same if we could.