Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wind beneath my wings

I must admit that I've always been easily impressed. But the qualities that impress me have changed dramatically over the years. Of course, I've always loved to meet people who were famous and powerful. Then that took second place to people with integrity. Now, although I still 'gush' over movie stars and royalty, and integrity holds more weight for me than wealth, the people on the top of my list, get there by their acts of kindness and decency. People don't necessarily get on the list by kindness towards me, but of course, it doesn't hurt.

Living in Florence, and having my position at the newspaper has given me access to more than my share of magnificent people. I'm easily moved by others, and I prefer to trust people's intentions. Maybe I'm naive, but it's a condition of choice.

So I have decided to randomly share in my postings my experiences of 'acts of kindness', and about my 'heroes'.

I get most of the credit for starting The Florentine. My name is on the masthead as editor in chief. People are amazed at what I have done, my guts, courage, determination, etc. And though, I was the 'instigator', the execution was achieved by a magical and wondrous synchronicity. My partners in crime: Marco is the magician, Giovanni is the rock, Leonardo is the genius, Antonio, the master, and Giacomo, my angel in 'grouch' clothing.

Today I need to talk about Marco.
Though no one in Florence infuriates me more often than Marco, it is because of him that I am still here. Not because of his inexhaustible enthusiasm, not because of his ability to dream of the possibilities of the paper, not because of his inspiration, not because of his millions of 'ganzo' ideas, not because he will do anything to make things work financially, diplomatically, and organizationally, not because of his intelligence, knowledge and humor, nor because of his amazing handsomeness, or having the best laugh I've ever heard. I'm still here because Marco loves me.

Living in Florence and working on the paper, is the farthest thing from a hardship. At least once a day, I am stunned with amazement that this is my life. Yet, if I didn't have my foundation in my marriage and family, if I wasn't in touch with Tony, Montana and Jordan all the time, I wouldn't be the adventurous spirit that I am. I'm willing to risk, try new things, make mistakes, only because I am 'grounded' by them.

Marco is the one in Italy. He is the one who knows if I'm frustrated, knows if I'm sad, knows if I don't answer my emails, that he needs to come into town to see me. He doesn't wait for me to call him if I need a friend, he calls me. And Marco isn't just this way with me, it's how he is with everyone he loves and cares about. This is why Marco is my hero.

If you're one of 'his' people, whether you like it or not, you're going to get 'Marco'ed' to death. You'll be challenged to be your best, to learn more, do more, feel more, see more. Your success and joy will be his joy, and your pain will stab him in his heart. I get most of the glory and 'perks' from The Florentine, but not once has he shown jealousy or resentment, but the opposite, because my thrill and happiness is a success for him.

Like all human beings, Marco is a package deal, so if he loves you, he feels free to to lash out at you also, and I have been profoundly hurt by him at times. I don't like this part of the deal, but so far I haven't met a perfect person, so I'll take an imperfect Marco any day (almost any day).

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