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October 2013, vol 9, no 3

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Bruce Ross


I've long been haunted by the lively disposition of gypsy music and the gypsies themselves. Despite their rascally behavior encountered in public spaces, there is an endearing quality to their vitality. In public markets the women sell strands of garlic and bouquets of bright flowers with enthusiasm, the peasant dresses making them a kind of Earth mother out of our mythic past. Most are Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox and they sometimes radiate a kind of natural faith in life and its daily occurrences:

Bucharest gypsy
for every eighth popcorn kernel
one for the sparrow

They decorate their horse drawn wagons with flashy designs reminiscent of the decorated cars in the psychedelic 1960's of the US and contemporary graffiti and tattoos. William Blake said that one should respect the person with the most energy. Gypsies seem to be in that category as they go about their business in their own emotional center of gravity.

cart load of sticks
one of the gypsies
rides on top