I WAS BORN ON THE DAY OF THE PIAZZA FONTANA MASSACRE

I WAS BORN ON THE DAY OF THE PIAZZA FONTANA MASSACRE

I was born on the day of the Piazza Fontana massacre, and I defy even those who are not superstitious not to see ominous signs in it.

I was born at home, on the kitchen table, like a fresh loaf of bread in the early morning

When my mother shaked my father telling “it’s time,” he just turned on the other side and went on sleeping.

How could I blame him? I was coming to dawn as importunate as an alarm clock.

I was born in Cilavegna and I am one of the last people to be able to say this: as of January 1970 it was no longer possible to use a midwife, and it became mandatory to give birth in a hospital. Since there were no hospitals in Cilavegna, from that date on, new babies saw the light elsewhere.

I was born in Lomellina, land of fog and mosquitoes, but my father is of Venetian descent and my great-grandmother on my mother’s side was German. I am basically a mixture.

I was born into a simple family, Ihad simple things and a happy childhood.

My maternal grandmother, who looked after me from the time my mother resumed her job as a clerk, had swollen knees from all her mondina days, and, unable to move nimbly, entertained me by telling stories.

The result was that, before I began to walk, I spoke perfectly without the classic infantile mispronunciations, and I knew nursery rhymes, prayers and numbers.

Words were my first games, my first friends, my first nourishment.

Nevertheless, the kindergarten debut was quite traumatic: my shyness was relentless.

I had not yet understood the pleasure of chatting and socializing, a concept I largely recovered after the middle ages of adolescence.

But let us proceed step by step: for the nuns who conducted the kindergarten, my interaction defect was not a noteworthy aspect, quite the contrary. Rather, the problem was created by my inability to fall asleep after lunch.

Standing still in my cot, I would silently weave the bangs of the rough plaid under which I was supposed to fall asleep instead.

I did not feel that I was creating a disturbance, but that was one of my first errors of judgment: I still have clear memories of the reprimand from Sister Antonia, who among the sisters was the better and quieter one.

Thereafter rather than the bangs I took to interweaving my attempts at intentionality with my grandfather’s big heart. He would work night shifts and in the morning, exhausted, instead of going to rest. he would accommodate my requests, effectively endorsing the intent to skip kindergarten.

A tumor took him away when I was only five years old leaving me a huge void and an unfulfilled desire in return.

He used to tell me “as soon as I retire I will teach you German.”

During the war he was used as an interpreter after a German officer, striking him, heard him reply in his own language.

I thought I would learn easily, that I would listen happily as with Grandma’s stories, but instead he could tell me no more.

When elementary school time came, there was no school on Thursdays, but by then I didn’t care much.

Some people still called us remiges: lined up in rows of two, hand in hand, with our overcoats over our black aprons from which sprouted the big blue bow knotted under the white collar.

It began on the first of October when the desks were still desks, and the folders contained a checkbook and a ruled notebook, small ones, with the blotting paper for the ink of fountain pens: witnesses to a writing that no longer exists.

… TO BE CONTINUED.

Pic by Massimo

ELENA AND LAURA

ELENA AND LAURA

Fifth day of the Advent calendar with Elena and Laura: two sisters and a room of books

I find the sharing of this strong passion for reading between two sisters fantastic.

Elena and Laura make me think back to the times when my brother and I exchanged books,  in our case the preferences were a bit different, but this was an added value for me: in some way this helped to complete.

My brother writes very well, even though he doesn’t want me to say it.

So I will say that Elena and Laura are really good and talented, I followed their The house of souls  published serial on the blog and, in case you haven’t read it yet, I absolutely recommend that you retrieve it!

I also report their novel The secret of the trees  of which I anticipate only one name: Endelaman Crosel who struck me not only for the particularity, but because it was invented by Elena-child-version

The Christmas story by Elena and Laura instead is called Christmas, snow and chocolate:

A snowball hit the mailbox just as Ella was closing the shop. She turned abruptly and met the eyes of two children intent on a battle: they seemed mortified. She smiled and waved at them. The two smiled in turn and ran towards the park go on here

ITALIAN YARDS IN TBILISI

ITALIAN YARDS IN TBILISI

Lela is teaching me a lot about her country and their traditions, topics almost unknown to me up to now.

A few days ago it happened that she tagged me in a very funny tweet that can only make you smile, but even then I learned something.

Did you know that the courtyards of old Tbilisi are known as Italian Yards?

Italian courtyards.
I find it simply fantastic!

So, now fascinated by this thing, I started looking for information.

The result was an exploration in the literal sense since obviously the institutional sites are written in the Georgian alphabet.
Which by the way is composed of three systems: Mrgvlovani, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli and has very ancient origins.

 

Oriental languages, my always dream.

Lela, you know it, indeed sorry again for the question of the pending books, and always correct me if I’m wrong, but I have the hope of being able to slowly learn a minimum of these characters that I find harmonious, almost as if they were able to communicate to me a sort of melody together with the words.

It is no coincidence that the three writing systems of the Georgian alphabet have become UNESCO heritage.

But let’s go back to the courtyards!

First I would tell you to look at the photo of this tweet because it looks like a painting.

So far I honestly have not found an immediate resemblance to the courtyards we are used to seeing.

But I found a first explanation here:
people often name this type of courtyards ‘Italian’, but it were rather Persian caravanserais which influenced to Georgian tradition structure of houses. Unlike the both of them mostly square shaped and surrounded by solid stone arcades, the Georgian ones will impress you by unpredictable shapes, light and elegant wooden arcades richly decorated by carving with unique combination of Classicist and Oriental motifs; crazy combination of numerous superstructures, overhanging bridges connecting houses , spiral staircases, glazed loggias, patches of various materials used during renovations, picturesque bunches of pipes and wires, riot of greenery (thanks to the wet Georgian climate) the effect is breathtaking.

And I would say that we are all in agreement on the breathtaking effect.

Here there is a series of photos by Ksenia Vysotskaya to reconfirm of the intrinsic beauty that transmits life lived at first glance.

Having established that the splendor is undisputed, however, it remains to be discovered how the parallel with the Italian courtyards arises.

Ask any Tbilisi local, however, and they’ll tell you the city’s much-loved architectural treasures are its charming “Italian” courtyards. What makes them “Italian” has less to do with the architectural style than the relaxed way of life that flourishes between its wooden facades. “There is a lot talking, arguing, gossiping that happens here. Georgians are very emotional, just like Italians.”

So it’s not about aesthetics but about essence!
What unites us is the way of life, isn’t it wonderful?

And it reports exactly to Lela’s tweet.

By a curious coincidence these days commenting on “the consolation of the willow” by OREAROVESCIO I found myself remembering the courtyard of my childhood.

The speech then continued with the memory of Bianca also on her blog

So I’d like to continue with memories but also anecdotes of the present: how do you live or how do you see Italian courtyards?

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