I look at my vacchetta bag, stuffed as usual beyond reason: wallet, keys, books, notebooks, painting equipment, diary, pencil case, glasses, cigar boxes, pipes and tobacco and a Neapolitan lucky charm, a gift from a friend of mine who died, Professor Umberto Fiore, a man with great humanistic culture.
My vacchetta bag has been leant everywhere, over my head to protect from the rain or hanging from a tree branch on the beach directly in the sun. My bag has been scratched by my cat, tied to the luggage carrier of my bike for thousands of kilometres, brushed on every possible surface and used as a pillow during my afternoon cat nap away from home.
It’s beautiful, aged like a Lady with a true and interesting face. The face of a person who lived and can tell a story with first-hand knowledge and not relying on hearsay. It has changed, it’s more shiny and darker, with unique colour shades and a natural transparency, and tells about itself with pride.
It’s so different from those plastic containers with no soul and memories, incapable of telling anything but the logo they are branded with. My vacchetta bag could be compared to a book or a photo album where, turning pages, you can find the sign of “that time when…”.
There’s no one like that, even among its sister bags, because everyone has lived in a different way the same stories, just like us. Maybe that’s the meaning of the word “uniqueness”: something alive that interacts with the world over time and with the time in the world.
My bag has a good relationship with time; over time my bag gets better. Our society, instead, has a terrible relationship with time. It’s afraid of time and for that is more and more poor. Many people try to cancel artificially their wrinkles and signs and they simply turn into grotesque caricatures. Other people assume to cheat time with a more and more hectic pace of life where the time to stop and think is not an option.
No, my old vegetable-tanned leather bag it’s not like that.