If you are receptive enough to all of the stimuli around you, and experienced or wise enough to filter out the white noise and focus on things of substance, you will frequently find yourself in contact with people of extraordinary personality or character. This morning, for example, I was visiting our friend Augusto in the hospital, where he has ended up for the third time in the last 2 years (he is 85) for heart problems. His biggest concern? That we need to keep pushing to find a publisher for the illustrated book that we all wrote together. He is the illustrator, Erica and I the writers. At 85, he hasn’t lost a step, nor a crumb of his stubbornness, tenacity, or artistry. As he said, he’s not going anywhere until this project has been completed.
We recently had the opportunity to meet another such person, the man who will be the boat captain for our package tours starting next spring. Having abandoned a secure but unsatisfying job for the State railroad company, he has dedicated himself to living a life based on the sea, on nature, on sensations, and on the heart and soul of man. He offers trips along the coastline of Levanto that are unparalleled for the emotions that his clients experience. As he puts it, if the people on his boat don’t feel anything, then he’s not doing his job.
Along the way, he’s sure that he made any number of mistakes, and that he could have certainly sacrificed quality for quantity, bringing greater financial security to his business. But he hasn’t. He’s still enamoured with the sea, and with the ideal of simplicity and authenticity that the goals of contemporary life, in particular money, make more and more difficult to atttain. It is a return to the lifestyle that he knew growing up, and that is receding far too quickly into the collective memory.
He too is an artist like our friend Augusto … but Marco Scaramuccia‘s medium is nature itself.