GIOVANNI TOMMASINI

GIOVANNI TOMMASINI

With each new year in one way or another, we find ourselves with the thought of “beginning.” 

I would like to quote Mary Shelley’s phrase
The beginning is always today.

At the beginning of the KCDC journey I could not imagine that I would have met you, perhaps we would not have had the chance to connect without the help of the web, or perhaps we would.

The network of virtual connections also led me to a very special ‘home base’: Giovanni’s concept of home base and baseball metaphor, which I suggest you discover directly from his words.

The KEEP CALM & DRINK COFFEE collaboration begins with this first article.

“The perfect setting for a chat: coffee” this is the presentation of this blog in which thoughts, comments, suggestions are collected and reposted, as if each of us had our favourite cup to show along with our passions and life stories.

It seems to me a good opportunity to start with a presentation of the beginning of the path that led me to get in touch with this reality, whose motto is ‘the site that gives you this opportunity’.

It is not every day that one hears these words.

In fact, when I read them, I could hardly believe the beauty of the willingness to create reciprocity and collaboration.

So I sent a message via social pages to return my enthusiasm for the proposal and opportunity for reciprocity.

After a few messages of first acquaintance, here I am to tell you my ‘writer for home’ story.

It started with the purchase of a laptop on special offer back in the winter of 2012.

It all started like this…

…….

“Gian I bought a laptop, I’m bringing it all down”.

That’s how I announced my desire to put my personal stories into story form.

Not only to tell them, but also to make them a road to follow, experiences to propose, to share, to relive together, each in his own world, in his memories, on his own emotional tone.

I set out to write…

Three pages on the ‘little unaware heroes of baseball’, I sent them to various publishing houses that dealt with sports, sports culture, sports education.

Fabio Mancini of G. Danna of Florence, Edusport.it website, called me.

“Tommasini, we really liked your way of romanticising reality, can you send us the whole story, we would like to publish it on our site as article of the month and we would like to make a DVD on the teaching of baseball in the physical education class in high schools.”

What had I written?

I’m going to review the e-mail, “I send you the first three pages of my story Little Unknowing Heroes of Baseball, fifteen teenagers who, in 1976, having just celebrated their age entering double figures, they were introduced to the art of baseball and nothing was ever the same again.

I forgot to write that the pages were the first but also the only ones…

The story was still to be written.

But the whole story was required for the edusport.it site.

I found myself in the same condition in which I had to do my homework for the holidays.

So I set to work.

They published it on the site as the article of the month of July, and on 1 August it was reported by the FIBS – Italian Baseball and Softball Federation on the official federal site.

Various sites, online editorial offices, especially baseballmania, began to contact me, as if electrocuted by the story.

“Something ravishes, the words go deep, those who read them do not forget them, indeed it is as if they rewrote them in relation to their own experience and emotional state”.

My name is Giovanni Colantuono from Nettuno, editor of the online site Baseballmania.

“Tommasini you’re the first one to tell baseball like this, there’s everything in your story, not just the batting, there’s all of us, our passions, the way we live life and sport, I can publish it, tell me about yourself, I want to know more, I’ll do a feature article on you, write others, let’s do a column dedicated to Giovanni Tommasini’s baseball stories, on the Little Unknowing of the Tomato baseball club.”

A few days after my debut as a writer, for the first time I was referred to as such.

What is going on, and how is my way of narrating my personal events re-enacted in a narrative so intimate that it elicits reactions in the reader that are also deeply personal, which are in the reading translated into a universal language, whereby the reader sees himself again, relives parts of himself and his own experience?

The first comments from readers arrived.

They would be of the same tenor as the comments of my first proofreader, once I had collected all the stories that in three months were written by me almost compulsively and which, within a few weeks of publication on the sites that requested them, would go on to form my first book.

I notice a common denominator.

My words excite, my description of the realities returned touch the emotional side, “the text possesses the quality proper to works of art, it excites” is how my text is commented on during editing.

You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.
George Bernard Shaw

I begin to wonder why this ‘effect’ as I think of my writing?

Why did I start writing, where did the urge come from, the need to express an experience of mine, what need moved my will, led me feverishly to the keyboard, as if there was nothing else to do.

If the world were clear, art would not exist.
Albert Camus

In THE ART OF BASEBALL, the proposal, the requirement, the starting point was:

The story of the experience of some fifteen children who, starting from the basement of a car park in the centre of spectacular Sanremo, at the ‘mercy’ of two passionate, visionary personalities, will live an ‘adult’ experience at a still tender age.

The need to emphasise the beauty and depth of an adventure that will change them forever and teach them the pleasure of doing something well, with passion, curiosity, without thinking about results, but only to be able to fully express themselves, get to know each other better, grow together.

The articulation of the broader concept of growing up having the good fortune to be involved in an adventure disproportionate to one’s age, and the great value of passion, curiosity, friendship, healthy craziness that will lead these children to live an experience that will give them an indelible formation and imprint for their entire lives.

The memory of those years, places, feelings experienced, contexts, humanity, lived will be the sub-concepts that allowed the articulation and restitution of the stories told in the tales that make up THE ART OF BASEBALL.

Among the stories, one in particular totally involved me and was written solely by involving my emotional being.

For some time now, the concept of ‘addiction’ had been reverberating in me, the memory of one of our teammates getting ‘pierced’, our living through this drama, not knowing what to do, hiding our suffering and love for our beloved teammate.

Linked to the concept of dependence was that of our helplessness, that of our being too small in the face of such a big issue, our emotions that we could not express, dominate, live.

Which exploded in our worst nightmares, fantasies, suffocated suffering.

It was all a mixture of these ‘themes’ and I could not understand how to describe, return all this humanity, so intensely felt by all in inaccessible depths.

I was in the supermarket queue and like a flash of lightning ripping through the sky and clouds the story came to me. All the concepts that had grown up until then only created unexploded ordnance in me.

It was shocking and in me it began to rain, thunder, hail.

Arriving home in a hurry, I stood at the keyboard weeping and in twenty minutes, as if overwhelmed by a real ‘storm’, I wrote the story….

Now in play.

I asked myself, what to do?

Enjoy this first unexpected, never planned, unthinkable until a few months before, book or try to write something else, and what?

And how?

Everyone asks me one thing. Write Cesare.

Your story with the autistic child you have lived with for fifteen years.

I decide to go ahead. To stay in the game.

The project of giving back my first experience as a home educator is born.

I begin to ask myself questions and catch a glimpse of the path already unconsciously taken in writing the stories of THE ART OF BASEBALL.

The first answer to be given.

In the future second book, I AM CESARE …., what is the ‘experience’ to be returned?

Thinking back to the good fortune of having experienced the relationship with Cesare, a child suffering from a severe form of autism, an urgent and pressing need arose in me to represent concepts deeply rooted in this extreme experience, well ingrained in me, but to be brought to the light of awareness.

The first step other than the first three pages…

Now I am beginning to plan the path, a method is emerging, making clear the starting points, the roots of the story, long before I get in touch with everything else, which is still unclear in me, but on this occasion I am beginning to ‘see’ in the slow construction of the book.

On this occasion there is no longer occasionality, but a real ‘constructive thought’.

An awareness.

Being a project and not an accident, I begin to truly understand whether it will be possible to put myself forward as a writer or leave it at that, considering it a fortunate experience, my narrative debut and nothing more.

Pinning down what I want to express regardless of the story I am going to give back.

Art does not reproduce the visible but makes visible.
Paul Klee

And here I am at the keyboard telling you about the beginning of my journey and why I call myself a writer.

And here I am at the keyboard telling you about the beginning of my journey and why I call myself a writer by chance.

In the next few articles, one by one, I will introduce you to all the books that grew out of those first three pages.

Because from that story born by chance, ten years later, this past August, my twelfth book came out…

Below is an introduction written by Antonella Giordano during an interview for the release of one of my books following those first three pages…



Giovanni Tommasin
i

He likes to describe himself as a ‘writer by chance’ Giovanni Tommasini, more precisely’Writer by chance’ since 2013. Surely he is not just any writer, judging by the resonance that all his books have achieved, whose narratives indiscriminately follow in the footsteps of social and civil themes, especially concerning the ‘building of a helping relationship’.

For Giovanni Tommasini, social commitment is not a casual mission. A native of Sanremese, born in 1966, after graduating in political science from the University of Genoa, he has dedicated his life to bringing help to society’s neediest contexts.

A registered professional educator and seminarian, initially working as a collaborator in neighbourhood family counselling centres as a home help, since 1994 he has been an educator in the day centres and family homes of the Genova Integrazione Cooperative, under the Anffas brand. His professional experiences gained in the field make him an authoritative voice for understanding the panorama of the ills that afflict the many social realities of our time.

In his seminars, he offers debates and workshops on autism, emotional writing, internet addiction, sports culture and the new generations. He is the author of several books, among which the essays “Dad will you connect me?”, “Virus is us”, “Emotions and words. Emotional Writing’.

No less important and intense are the fiction texts ‘The American Dream of the Tomato Baseball Club’ ‘The Musicality of Silence. Our autism and that of the world around us’, ‘A life without. A story of everyday resilience’, ‘The last letter to my first girlfriend’, ‘Beaten earth. Being alive and going down to the net, that’s happiness’.

In the summer of 2023, the latest publishing endeavours of this prolific author produced the books ‘Well-Tempered Panic’, ‘Cinema and Sport, 12 Unforgettable Films’ and ‘Opposite World’.

All of this prolific author’s publishing endeavours have been produced by him and published on Amazon.
Antonella Giordano.

Giovanni Tommasini  Stories of life lived in a forgotten world where the only social platforms were the Other and reality.

Blog: here.

Amazon: link.

STAR WARS DAY

STAR WARS DAY

Star Wars day or May the fourth iconic data that represents the mythical motto May the Force be with You.

The Star Wars day 2022 in Vigevano took place not on the 4th but on the 7th of May: that is the first Saturday next, and the force was in all those who love the Star Wars saga.

At the event organized by Diapason for Medium Size in collaboration with Bottega dei suoni more than force I felt happiness flow through me when I saw these children

Isn’t it wonderful to see them play so free in a meadow

Of course I also congratulate a lot with all the extras of the international costuming groups officially recognized by LucasFilm: 501st Italica Garrison representatives of the empire and the Sith, Rebel Legion Italian Base  representatives of the Rebellion and the Jedi, Ori’Cetar Clan representatives of the Mandalorians, Saber Guild Trento duelists with lightsaber together with  the section dedicated to children under 18 Galactic Academy Varykbellino.

 

Unlike some very characterized genres, which often either love or hate each other, I believe that Star Wars is universally known and even appreciated, albeit to different levels.

As usual, by now you know me, even in Star Wars I arrived later, with one of my usual trains late …

I remember very well the amazement of Massimo, who was not yet my husband at the time, choosing a film to watch together: “You’ve never seen Star Wars ?!”

At the time there were only the first three movies, released in May in the years 1977, 1980 and 1983, which then in reality became the fourth, fifth and sixth, that is the Sequel Trilogy, after that starting from 1999 George Lucas returned to give other “episodes” that made up the Prequel Trilogy.

Obviously it was love at first sight, or perhaps I should say a lightsaber stroke: a lot to learn I still had

And you?

Needless to say, the soundtrack immediately impressed itself indelibly in my mind. Standing ovation for John Williams

Speaking of impressions… what do you think of these cappuccinos

The dark side of coffee …

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger to hate; hate leads to suffering ...

In the comments the picture of a native character particularly radicalized in fear: Darth Anxiety 🙂

https://www.keepcalmandrinkcoffee.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Chewbacca-roar.mp3
ONE MORE CUP OF COFFEE

ONE MORE CUP OF COFFEE

 

One more cup of coffee is the Bob Dylan song that Lorenzo recommended me.

One more cup of coffee in this case for me represents the symbol of a new pleasant meeting, albeit online.

Before talking about it, a premise is necessary: when I wrote about Keep Calm & Go Volunteering in the comments Olivia asked:
Not wasting food is a very good idea. I never heard about this project before. How can young people be stipulated to waste less, to lead a more natural lifestyle? Could you tell us a bit more about it?

And Laura wrote:
Beautiful idea. I have the feeling that young people are victims of consumerism and therefore not inclined to recycle and recover. We hope that initiatives of this kind can break through.

So I turned the question straight to them, who were kind and nice enough to invite me for a chat.

In this way I was able to meet Ariela, who is the coordinator in charge, Edisona, Sophie, Veronic, Mehdi and Lorenzo.

“The” Lorenzo who recommended me Bob Dylan’s song as well as other interesting and precious tips on cinema, books and theater, mentioning Questi fantasmi

as Laura also told us .

And these young people, volunteers from the Europe Area of the Belluno CSV, also taught me a lot.

How to promote anti-waste culture in young people?

Going to schools, as they do, talking to children and teen-agers to spread not “lessons” but workshops, and returning several times to follow and see that the concept sown grows.

Stimulating to invent special recipes that have as a common denominator the idea of cooking without wasting based on the concept of giving, but also receiving advice.

Planning to create a blog where to publish these recipes to increase the interchange as much as possible.

Organizing events and celebrations on the occasion of international days.

By proposing linguistic tandems, or great opportunities thanks to their multiculturalism: informal conversations in English, French and Spanish, free and open to people of all ages led by Edisona , Sophie , Mehdi and Hamudi . with the aim of meeting the community, socializing and practicing languages.

And still broadcast their work through a web radio.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really excited and one thing is certain: there will be one more cup of coffee.

C’ERO ANCH’IO SU QUEL TRENO – THERE WAS ME ON THAT TRAIN TOO

C’ERO ANCH’IO SU QUEL TRENO – THERE WAS ME ON THAT TRAIN TOO

In thanking Giovanni Rinaldi once again, I am happy to tell you about his new book There was me on that train too  The true story of the children who united Italy published by Solferino.

There was me on that train too is published exactly twelve years after Happiness trains, years during which Giovanni Rinaldi never interrupted his historical research which, with his tireless human commitment, has turned into a real mission to bring together the protagonists of a chain of wonderful solidarity.

In the post-war years, thousands of children were hosted by generous families who pledged to offer them what they had been deprived of for various reasons, welcoming them and treating them as their own children.

Giovanni Rinaldi’s essay starts from the tragic consequences of a strike in San Severo in 1950 following which more than a hundred people were arrested: mothers, fathers, leaving many children in the middle of a street.

A song recorded by Giovanni begins like this

The venditré of March

Succèsse ‘na rruìna …

I know, I have already written it, but for me the dialect, as well as the oral tradition, are an absolute heritage that, if it were not for people like Giovanni, we would lose.

And instead with his persevering efforts, Giovanni continues in the collection of testimonies that extends to children forced to work in Naples, to children who survived the bombing of Cassino, and to many other cases in which conditions of extreme difficulty have made the help to parents providential, since they were unable to support them.

The organization, transfers, communications between families of origin and host families took place at the initiative of the Communist Party but in particular by the UDI: Unione Donne Italiane.

In this regard, with my love for Christmas, I read with particular emotion the part in which Ida tells of her commitment to collect from various shopkeepers, the necessary to make a Tree set up with candies, biscuits and gifts.

The magic, however, breaks to the point where Ida remembers how the secretary, annoyed at this initiative of hers, even scolded her with a slap …

Women.

Women and Mothers who weave their lives in function of the good for the children, managing to put themselves in each other’s shoes, understanding, working, sacrificing.

I particularly want to remember with affection Americo to which I am grateful for the great teaching on maternal love that he has given me.

The letter from Umberto’s mother is also enchanting:

The hearts of us mothers of the tormented Frosinone greet all of you who come to meet us, and we greet this beautiful work organized by our Communist Party.

I hope to receive more news, and if the Lord will provide me before Umberto returns I will come to see you.

Not that words to thank her for what you are doing for my son, but may the Lord give you back all the good you deserve …

She thanks the party and hopes in the Lord and yet I find no contradiction, on the contrary I admire the wonderful coexistence of thoughts that have the heart as a common denominator.

Heart that I found on every page.

Among the chapters of There was me on that train too, dedicated to each of the children he managed to track down, Giovanni Rinaldi tells us how he managed to trace the families who offered generous hospitality, starting from fragments of memories, names often lacking of references, photographs of a very distant time.

A meticulous work but above all a strong sensitivity combined with the noble intent to realize the desire for reunification of these people who life has inevitably led to distance themselves.

I don’t know if you were able to follow the interview on Rai Uno, otherwise you can retrieve it here at approximately 1 hour and 1 minute.

I advise you to see him to realize how Giovanni’s attitude towards the people he met is: while Severino and Diego tell their experience, he observes them with a smile that says more than any word.

And this is the feeling of extreme respect that runs throughout the book. Giovanni himself tells us that “these elderly gentlemen, when they speak, are the children of the time who tell … and it is also a therapy: going back to those moments means bringing out both the traumas and the joys.”

On tiptoe listening first.

And as much as Giovanni acts as a channel that allows memories and stories to flow that are faithfully reported, he also gives us descriptions of the context so precise as to make us feel transported to the same place, enveloped by the suggestion that the scope of enormous loads of emotions encloses.

I conclude by leaving you this beautiful metaphor about Benedict:

opens the door: a beam of light illuminates the darkness. Outside and inside, as on a border, they all remain still, suspended ...

AVANTI, PARLA – COME ON, TALK

AVANTI, PARLA – COME ON, TALK

Come on, talk! About an order or a peremptory invitation?
Changing the pitch can be both.
What if the request comes from a longtime friend and the tone is simply curious?

As happened to me when reading Giulia Caminito‘s book, also in this case I found a completely unconventional way of writing, even if I have not been conquered in the same way.

When Porci con le aliWinged pigs came out, Lidia Ravera‘s debut book, I was still reading Mickey Mouse but the echo of the sensation generated remained impressed on me, as well as the post-1968 wave that brought with it an epochal change.

This book brings back to those years, however, in a slow and alternating way, more like an undertow that laps slowly.

And slowly one realizes that the story was built specifically as a system on a very specific foundation: the base, the true fulcrum of the whole story.

If on the one hand I was curious to deepen a page of Italian history of which I have never read, but which I have lived through news stories, on the other I found myself questioning my way of thinking.

Is the constant effort on myself to eliminate judgments and prejudices really effective?

And again: would I have had the same point of view if I hadn’t found myself in front of a perfect “grandmother”?

How often have we said then that it is not enough to give birth to be mothers, but if life offered a second chance?

I firmly believe that children and young people teach us constantly, and that they are saving.

The food for thought also ranges from the controversial question of knowing how to forgive oneself, to the survival instinct.
From the intrinsic power of silence to the benefits of music.
From consistency to hypocrisy.

All this is a portion of what emerged from the conversations with Monica: this time too I owe this reading to her, just as I owe to her the enrichment on a human level that I was able to draw from it.

What do you think about it?
Do you prefer a book to reveal a story or a reflection?
Come on, talk …

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