What a day. We traveled to Orvieto to see the art, then to Todi, mostly for cocktails. On the way from Orvieto to Todi – I’m really not sure how it came up – but Hitler was brought into the conversation. We are 6 women from around the world. We are culturally diverse, and differing opinions about politics are par for the course. Generally, we try not to go there. But when someone says, “I am pro Hitler”, well shit, I’m not sure how I’m suppose to react. I am not a history buff. I don’t know the details or the dates of all the wars. I don’t know a lot of things. What I do know is that the elementary school version of “Hitler” was my first introduction to the capacity for intense human cruelty. Until then, I had never imagined that such evil really existed. Perhaps I was sheltered. For a short time, did not believe that such atrocities were real. I questioned my teachers. Then I cried for the dead. It was not the last time. I have never fully recovered. Imagine that…with my experience of “Hitler” being completely peripheral, I still cannot read Ann Franks diary.
“I am pro-Hitler, he was a great leader for his country”. She is sitting in the same row with me, in the mini-van hired by the school to tour us around – tour us ARTIST’S around. ARTISTS – PRO-Hitlar… artist…how can there be such a thing????? Mother of God, how can there be such a thing? I took a deep breath and looked out the window. 10 minutes went by and I contemplated how I could get off the bus and make my own way home. “Don’t judge me” she said. I turned my head and tried to explain that there was no option. I tried, but I could not contemplate any other action.
When I met my husband his many talents repeatedly amazed me. He could fix anything, and he could accommodate any personality. Being from the east coast, I had a tendency to be defensive and vocal. Over the years I have absorbed one of his common phrases – “Now… I know what I am dealing with.” Today it rang true. I cannot change her mind. I cannot argue historical facts with her. She says I need to watch some documentaries. I say she needs to read some books. She is too young and passionate to really listen, and I don’t have the tenacity to fight with her.
I do, however, have the chutzpa to create art, art that sings of peace and the power of love. I doubt my work will ever translate such a history of hatred, and I can only wish that it will help a few people avoid it.
We drove home in silence, my stomach in a knot.
On a technical note – I’m working on flesh tones that are full of color. As soon as my subjects stop looking like circus clowns, I will send them along.