Gaining Perspective in the Piazza Rivoluzione
Sipping on a cappuccino in the Piazza Rivoluzione, the place where the 1848 uprising against the French began, I came to the realization that despite my angry mood and annoying stress of everyday life, things could be worse.
“I hate this! Stupid laundry, do yourself. I don’t know why I’m even here, who cares if I wear clean clothes. What a waste of time. And now I have to wait thirty minutes for the dryer. It’s not fair! Stupid life. I want to kill myself.”
Such were my thoughts as I sat down, flustered and petulant, at a café in the Piazza Rivoluzione. It was a sunny day, and I ordered a cappuccino. “Stupid sun”, I thought. “Gonna burn me. Too hot for my stupid jacket! And my chair is wobbly and I bet my stupid cappuccino will be gross”.
But my cappuccino wasn’t gross. It was delicious. And as I drank it, the wrinkle-folds scarring my forehead began to smooth themselves out. My tensed shoulders relaxed, and the sheet of blood-red through which I had been perceiving the world began to raise like the curtains in a theater, revealing a reality to which I had been present, but strangely unaware.
I was in Piazza Rivoluzione, where the 1848 uprising against the Bourbon rule had commenced. An historic corner of the world, today bathed in sun. I was sipping on a cappuccino and reading a newspaper. Sicilian life was in full gear around me, with kids playing soccer in this corner, and a lively discussion between two old bench-sitters in that corner. In the middle of the plaza, a strange fountain supported the statue of the Genius of Palermo, one of the city’s mysterious symbols.
Starting to blush, I realized that my anguished mood was more than a bit indulgent. After I had finished my coffee, I lingered in the plaza for a few more minutes to take in the sun. When I returned to the laundromat, the attendant scarcely recognized me. “Who are you? Where is that angry red-faced gentleman? And why are you whistling?!”