Friday, May 15

Tribal Life

I realized that since I last wrote a blog post, blogging has really become a "Thing"and it is highly unlikely I will ever get back to having a faithful group of "followers", or better, "people to virtually exchange thoughts with"who wouldn't rather be reading some blond super fashion blogger or the blogging reincarnation of Martin Luther King meets Ghandi meets Malala. Nevertheless, for the past few months I have started to feel the increasing urge to write my thoughts down and perhaps to share them with the world. I am pretty sure there are a billion people out there better trained, infinitively more talented writers and with much better thoughts than I but these thoughts are mine right now and I feel like putting them out there.

The inspiration for this blog post is the concept of shared life. Our time, Western culture, technology at every level, have increasingly isolated us, making us feel more and more independent but, quite frankly, more and more lonely. On a day to day base this actually works to our advantage by making us more productive and efficient. The world has changed, perhaps our makings have changed too but when it comes to pivotal (both "physiological" and "pathological"), key times in our lives, we remain at the core of our being not too far removed from our ancestors, perhaps closer to our prehistorical forefathers than to our robot-alien-fantasy posterity.

My sister is currently pregnant. My "baby" sister, that is. I mean: there are still at my parents' house dozens of pictures of her in frames as a wee infant - and now, she is about to become a mother. FYI, she is no teen-mom, aging a socially acceptable 26 and married. As soon as she found out she was pregnant she demonstrated an unexpected level of maturity like as if she had made an invisible instant shift into adulthood. It is bizarre to me that I menage to remember so vividly things from my childhood yet I struggle to pin down how I was at 26 (which ain't that long ago, y'all!). But my sister, despite being a grown woman at every level (working, married, pregnant, doing the dishes, hosting dinner parties, etc..) has always conserved some sort of child like characteristics to her character yet, with the announcement of pregnancy, it seems that all those were swept aside to make room for Motherhood. I
was pleasantly surprised. But then, out of the blue, over the past few weeks (when the physical changes really started to make themselves apparent and the realization of the baby actually coming soon) something started to drip out: a little scared girl who had no idea on how to face the enormous transformations taking place before her very eyes.I mean: I am a medical doctor, I am older, I have seen this before but, believe me, I would be scared shitless myself. Thinking back to adolescence when I was outraged when at 12 my mother bought me my first "training bra" and handed over in some sort of weird-awkward-solemn-right-of-passage "now that you are a WOMAN" shit - I had never felt more embarrassed or humiliated. That happened in October. Up to the previous summer I had been flanking my lanky "Moogly" from the Jungle Book physique in a one piece (aka only bottoms) and jumping from boat to boat, rock to rock, swinging from trees (literally), playing with the boys (I had no female friends up to the age of 14) and now, out of the blue, my kind and attentive mother had handed me over this beige - pink-blue-yellow polka-dotted piece of equipment I was supposed to put on under my clothes? Horrified. I was horrified. And, ok, I do acknowledge I may have been a tad melodramatic about it. However, if you think about it adolescence (as much of a physiological phenomenon as pregnancy) is a much more lengthy process, ideally designed to allow one the necessary time to process the small and grander changes that are about to occur.
With pregnancy, no matter how well-read, educated, prepared, cool, mind-strong, determined, you are, your brain and body will have the hardest time adjusting to the fast paced changes taking place meanwhile you are still required to being a functioning human being...which leads me to the subject of "what the heck do people find so fascinating in superheroes?" - being "normal" (whatever the hell that means), my friend, that is the powerful stuff.
Anyhow. My sis, bless her heart,  is naturally stressed, struggling to make sense with her mind and anatomy and physiology of what is happening inside of her and in the context of who and what's around her. I am reminded that part of this struggle is a direct result of isolation, the isolation our society has forced onto us. An old Nigerian adage recites "it takes a village to raise a child". True that. It also helps to have "a village", "a community" (whichever sense your cultural context imposes to the word), a family: the old, the younger, the professionals, the wackos, those you admire, those you despise, a well of information, a continuous dialogue of shared experiences (mistakes included!) even to grow a still unborn baby!
Within tribal communities in remote areas of the world in as much as within smaller urban areas it is still possible to find this kind of mentality. It does not matter then if at age 30 you still have never held a baby. Someone will show you - women raising women, by proxy, by example.
One last brief mention to the new up-rising "virtual" communities. There is a lot of comfort (and BS, mind you, to be found) and, like EVERYTHING IN LIFE, they require discernment, contextualization, critical approach.

Ironically I spent the best part of last night browsing the internet for maternity bras. Karma is a bitch. 

Sunday, June 30

What Defines A Generation

Today another extraordinary Italian woman, out of the ordinary canons both academic and morally, Margherita Hack. She is only another one of the numerous extraordinary Italian ladies who have been passing away since the start of 2013: first there was Rita Levi Montalcini, then Mariangela Melato, Franca Rame, women who have inspired me whilst growing up and kept on inspiring me until and beyond their death. Women who were not afraid to fight for their morality, dignity, respect of the human life and of its beauty. Women who had ambitions, determination, hope, resilience, courage, opinions they were never ashamed nor unwilling to share. Today another extraordinary Italian woman died, age 91, and it all got me thinking to the fact that there is no equal in amongst our contemporaries who I equally admire. All these women, extraordinary individuals, did, however have something in common: the common denominator is war (both literally and figuratively).Rita Levi Montalcini, Jew by birth and female at the beginning of the last century had to fight persecution, prejudice and blatant opposition in order to rise and become a Medicine Nobel Prize graduate, Senator of the Republic and, undoubtedly, one of the most respected and estimated scientific minds of our time. Margherita Hack, a free thinker, resistant until the very end to profess her own ideas and ideals, had lived through a war, through the Iron Curtain, through the '70's, through the decline of this country she so much loved and fought for.
Today, 48 hours away from a momentous birthday (my thirtieth!) I cannot help but wonder what has made and is making me and, on a larger scale, what will define our generation of men and women. If the war created such amazing representatives of the human species, will this deep and despairing crisis make us a more mindful, profound, committed or will it just render us so harmless and depress to then be mouldable into corporate puppets  too disillusioned to fight, too blind to see a brighter future, too afraid to soar.. I fear what future generations will say of us and I dream of, one day, being considered and held into someone's high esteem and considerations as these ladies who have inspired me. 

Thursday, September 15

Big Teeth Travel Log:

My New Blog about Food, Love & Life

Long time no see...Did any one miss me? Did anyone even notice? Probably not. But if you have or you are merely passing by and you would like to read what the Wee Italian Chick has been up to, then read on!

After a fair number of years blogging I have noticed my time for introspective reflection has decreased immensely; nonetheless I still try to make time to enjoy what's good in life. My boyfriend and I love gourmet food and travelling and we are ever so gutted when we visit a new place we love (or hate) and don't remember exactly where it was because we ne
ver bothered to write it down somewhere. That's why these days we write it here. We hope you enjoy exploring the world with us as we eat and see and love.

Bon apetit!

Monday, May 30

A New Day Has Come?

A famous Italian philosopher from the 17th century, Giambattista Basile , once wrote that history is like the wheal - what goes around comes around, cyclically, and if only human kind were cleaver enough to acknowledge this we would live in a perfect society. Nevertheless, his words imply that people are not smart and that we are bound, collectively, never to learn from our mistakes. Many a time my nation and my hometown, Napoli, have gone through some radical governmental changes which have brought about new waves of expectation and enthusiasm - with some, short-lived results. Today is a new dawn for Napoli. In "the city that does not sleep because it's too busy stealing", where the official government is only second to that of the mafia a new major has just been elected by 65,7% of Neapolitans - a young, determined ex judge who has infused this almost dead, semi-comatose, city a newly found sense of hope.
Has a new day come? I pray it has - and if it really has, I pray even harder we will have learnt at least something from our mistakes of old and make change a long lasting occurrence.

Wednesday, May 18

Growing "Big"

Every phase in life has its choices and its challenges. At 5 months we switch from an exclusively liquid diet to processed solid food - it involves painful teething and a lot of mess!
At 5 years of age we move from the playground of nursery to a big classroom with big chairs and big lonely desks with our minds filled of numbers, letters and increasingly more difficoult information..and it so goes on for the rest of our natural lives. Change is imminent and inevitable. It makes us grow not necessarily "big" or "old" but become better, more equipped and skilled people - with no need for losing our child-like enthusiasm and excitement for life.

[letter to a scared wee potato head!]

Tuesday, April 26

End of the Day..

..and than it always ends like it always ends: us holding each other tight whilst falling asleep..and I miss you when you are gone.

Monday, April 25

Happiness is only real when shared

I must have used this quote by Tolstoj from "Family Happiness"many a times. In the whole idea of God, community, self discovery, emotions, love - I have always found the concept of shared life ever so captivating. Having spent most of my teen-age years as a misunderstood-self-condemning little nerd, I discovered in the deep sense of community an incredible release of warmth and energy. Needless to say, those years of solitude taught me invaluable lessons regarding self-management and contentment under all type of circumstances. However, in as much as it taught me of to be well by my-self, it also showed me that with other(s) it is better, everything is better.
There are times when solitude and asceticism are still to be preferred and sought after - like fasting in preparation for an event which requires higher levels of commitment than our routine life - but on our day-to-day life having someone by your side caring and sharing, and loving and looking after is so precious. And for all this, I am truly grateful. Everything is more beautiful with you.

"I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor--such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children perhaps--what can more the heart of man desire?" - from "Family Happiness" L.N. Tolstoj.

Friday, December 31

Life Is What Happens When You Are Too Busy Making Other Plans

I am beginning this customary 'end-of-the-year-entry' with an incredibly commonplace quote by John Lennon. However, rhetoric has never been an enemy to me plus I the more I grow up, the less I find this quote to be far from being banal.
I seem to have spent way too much time during my adolescence worrying about what was right and what was wrong and, out of what I now perceive as legalism and stubbornness, doing my outmost to stick to those principles and ideals I had decided were worth pursuing. I was unhappy, always struggling just to get by, fighting to push through, never having a mental place I could call my own. I then seem to have spent the following few years waiting on someone else to tell me what to do, how to be. That didn't help either as I was always being used and disposed of emotionally as soon as they had used me for their personal gain. The day I finally managed to unravel myself out of my cocoon, to make decisions for myself, trusting what I loved, what I felt I was born to do, following my innate calling, I began to sore. So even on a day like this, when the whether outside is gloomy and the future is uncertain, I look upon life and feel God's sparkle in me leading me on and startling me to push forward with joy. Stop making plans, stop idealizing life, stop living in a standardized box. LIVE.