Years ago I mentored a young Italian girl Alice. Just encouraged her. I love photography deeply, so it’s easy to do.
I didn’t see Alice for a few years and by this time she had established a career for herself. She told me a wonderful story of photographing in a very remote region near the Italian Alps, a small village called Villero, and how she returned the following year with some prints for the villagers, a four hour drive from Rome. She dutifully delivered these portraits until the last home, where she enquired after a certain old fella, Francesco (Ciecu). The woman who answered the door was haltingly apologetic, and carefully explained that Francesco had died just this last night, and almost as an awkward after thought, asked Alice if she wanted to see the body, which Alice dutifully, did.
What to do with the photo portrait thought Alice? Would the people be further upset seeing Francesco’s image? She had come all this way and was returning that afternoon. She must at least show them, and, so ever tenderly, handed over the portrait
Suddenly there was an extraordinary shriek, the woman ran off with tears streaming down her cheeks and within minutes returned with most of the very delighted villagers all crowding into her little room.
Francesco, the much loved village elder, had never before been photographed, and now they had a photograph to adore and remember him by.
“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”