I have traveled to Italy on a wonderful garden tour in Tuscany. To this day I revisit memories that I relish. I’ve researched and used both Lucca and Pienza, my two favorite cities, for locations in my second novel, Facing East. The tour did not include Venice, but I’ve spent hours there through the mystery series written by Donna Leon. Over time I have come to consider the intelligent and capable Police Commissioner, Guido Brunetti as one of my most interesting and likable friends who waits for me on the pages of Leon’s books. Brunetti and the ensemble of characters never fail to deliver a satisfying mystery. In each book, Leon explores Venice and its wide spectrum of issues. In finishing the latest Leon read, Through a Glass, Darkley, I found an interesting corollary to help me think about Councilmen, Knight, and Blackwell who persist in maintaining control over everything. If challenged, asked questions, their deflection is the predictable accusation of racism that motivates scrutiny. I continue to look for answers on how this is allowed to go on. Brunetti was helpful.
Brunetti is an erudite man. In this case, he is thinking about Dante’s Inferno. What category would Dante have assigned the villain? To the hoarders, who are condemned to push their heavy stone, for all eternity? Thinking about these categories, Brunetti remembers a report in a science column in La Repubblica on experiments done with people suffering from Alzheimer’s. Many of them lost the use of the brain mechanism that told them when they were hungry or full. If given food repeatedly, they would eat again and again, unconscious of the fact that they had just eaten and should no longer be hungry. Brunetti finds this applicable to people afflicted with the disease of greed: the concept of ‘enough’ had been eliminated from their minds.
Frustrated, amazed, and baffled, I keep waiting for justice, that does not come. Without shame, Council meeting after meeting, the ‘My Will Be Done’ agenda persists. Mr. Blackwell’s seat is available. His Ward may reelect him, but at a great cost to the city. After twenty-plus years, what started out as good intentions and energy to serve, has become skullduggery on steroids. It is never ‘enough.’ This is what happens when greed takes over. Case in point, The Unity Cemetery project by volunteers that represent the U N I T Y that is possible in Rocky Mount. That fact sent two councilmen into orbit. Scroll down to read any comments that may be left on each blog post.