June 29, 2010
Assai megghiu addivintirai si a la morti pinsirai, goes an old Sicilian saying. You’ll be a better person if you think about death.
The walls in Sicily are bulletin boards of death, so there’s ample opportunity here to think about it.
The black-bordered papers called necrologie are everywhere. Ciao Nonno Salvatore one reads. Bye Grandpa Salvatore.
A guy with a brush and a pot of glue rides around on his motorino plastering necrologie around town.
My Sicilian-American friend Mary, who has lived here for twenty-some years, says she was “freaked out” by the “morbid things” when she first arrived, but I find them endearing. They celebrate you all over the neighborhood for months, even years, while all we Americans get is a tiny newspaper blurb for a day.
Li morti aprinu l’occhi a li vivi, say the Sicilians.
The dead open the eyes of the living.