journal

the journey

June 26, 2022 2022, diario/journal
to distance ourselves from the terrain of the usual

and to walk, to search, to journey

Yesterday, I found the website – monastero sant’Agostino – of a small group of cloistered nuns in Rossano, Provincia Cosenza, in the Sila Mountains in the eastern part of the Calabrian providence.
The website has a Note di Vita – word of the day – section and some of the writing is absolutely elegant. So far my favorite is the entry for transumanza – the seasonal moving of livestock to greener pastures.

And I have to admit that I like the Italian better than the English translation. The Italian has flow; it has cadence; it has great word-choice.

Una sapienza antica, tramandata di padre in figlio e tuttora viva in queste terre calabresi, conosce il tempo della transumanza: quando è bene far migrare il bestiame. Alla ricerca di pascoli diversi, di un clima migliore, di un terreno più adatto.An ancient wisdom, handed down from father to son and still alive in these Calabrian lands, knows the time of transumanza: when it is good to migrate livestock. In search of different pastures, of a better climate, of a more suitable terrain.
Si tratta di percorsi a volte non brevi, lungo disagiati tratturi; le mucche salgono lentamente, mansuete, oppure attraversano in fila indiana il centro dei paesi montani della Presila.These are sometimes not short routes, along uncomfortable steep tracks; the cows climb slowly, meekly, or cross the center of the Presila mountain villages in single file.
Transumare: fa bene non solo agli animali.Transumare is good not only for animals.
Prendere le distanze dal terreno del consueto, alla ricerca di uno diverso e che ci renda migliori.To distance ourselves from the terrain of the usual, in search of a different one that makes us better.
Dal terreno della rassegnazione alla terra della speranza.From the land of resignation to the land of hope.
Dal terreno della pretesa alla terra della gratitudine.From the land of claim to the land of gratitude.
Dal terreno della fatica alla terra del riposo.From the land of fatigue to the land of rest.
Ogni stagione è buona per queste transumanze.Every season is good for these transumanze.

spring – 2022

May 11, 2022 2022, diario/journal

Last year, I reduced the number of pots and minimized the entire planting configuration on both the east and west sides of the backyard. On the east-side – the two images above – the simplified rock-garden with its ribbon of red geraniums looked really good. This year, I again got rid of ‘excess’ pieces – 3 extra-large pots and several ceramic pots (ceramic may look good, but man! a ceramic pot full of soil is not easily moved). The result is a simple line of blue plastic pots in front of two flower-beds and a large pot containing a clematis -flowering in the right image.

Also, for the first time, I did a spring planting – filled all the pots with violets (that is what is in all the pots, in the left image). Don’t know why it’s taken me all these years to figure out a spring planting. I suspect it had a lot to do with the need to clean and reorganize everything and by the time I did that work, it was May and I could plant for the summer season. But with a more streamlined and fixed planting arrangement there was no need for a lot of prep work; and with everything all laid out, I just added the violets and all of a sudden the backyard was no longer a place waiting for summer flowers. And dreary, cold spring was brightened up by yellows and purples throughout.

Here are some other changes:

  • the wisteria trunk, located in the back corner, and visible in the pic of the right, is now wrapped in nylon rope and off the fence post that it was tearing from its cement foundation; I pounded 3 steel posts into the ground as anchors for this mighty trunk
  • also, that same back corner is now accessible and free of rocks and plants; I can go back there and remove all the suckers that the wisteria will throw out
  • the Frank Lloyd Wright statue is now free-standing and featured; and the left-over 4X4 post acts as a pedestal in the simplified rock-garden
  • in March, I cut the grasses, in the back planter – currently sprouting the Bleeding Hearts – down to the soil so as to give the Bleeding Hearts a chance to grow and bloom; wasn’t sure if the grasses would come back; they have, and the Bleeding Hearts are beautifully displayed 

galanthus

February 24, 2022 2022, diario/journal

Another list

there are two words that are much more interesting in Italian than in English – the Italian for sunflower – girasole, and the Italian for snowdrop – bucaneve
girasole literally means – turns with the sun
bucaneve literally means – cuts through the snow
and staying with the theme that some things work better in their Italian versions; I like Sececa’s quote on fortune/luck in its Italian translation. La fortuna non esiste: esiste il momento in cui il talento incontra l’occasione. (fortune or luck don’t exist: what exists if the moment when talent meets an opportunity) 


don’t know if I’m remembering right, but it seems to me that other years, the bucaneve were already out by now
and when the snowdrops do come up, there are never as many as I thought I planted
in Europe, you can buy snowdrop plants and that way you know where to put them in a garden
winter will be done in 23 days, 21 hours, 8 minutes and 19 seconds
February has been a volatile month – we’ve gone from temps in the 60s to temps in the low teens
it’s hard to believe that spring is closer than it’s ever been

– the image above was taken by Gabriele Bistoletti
– the featured image for this post is from online

the gloaming

February 9, 2022 2022, diario/journal

…..

remember me when the candle lights are gleaming
remember me at the close of a long, long day
it would be so sweet when all alone I’m dreaming
just to know you still remember me

The lines from John Prine’s version of Remember Me, are soft and demanding.
They’re about memory bathed in gloaming; memory situated in the mundane;
memory intimate and fatal.

 

the sweetest days are the days that used to be – Narragansett, RI, 1968
– thinking back to that first summer – us walking to Scarborough Beach; us riding the waves; your parents’ tiny summer home; the rickety wooden chairs, the kids behind us necking, the chaos that was the Newport Folk Festival; in the stifling humidity, us lifting our robes to catch a breeze, but revealing forbidden shorts – all these images, all these vids still fill my head
– thinking back to the December of our fist year – the snows on the golf-course and making angels in the glittering white-light; the kiss in front of the windmill house, in the glow of the full moon; the orange juice, in the stainless steel pitcher, that you brought to my room that kept me hydrated – all these images, all these shorts still fill my head

the saddest words I ever heard were words of parting – Portsmouth, RI, 1969
– I left for Canada, sick as a dog; we wished each other Merry Christmas at the Providence airport
– in the new year, in the gray winter light, we smiled, we laughed, but went walking with new friends. I couldn’t tell you, I had fallen in love
– in the silence of Compline, you cried because he was going to Vietnam; in the silence of Compline, I held you and prayed
– in August, we went for our last dinner; you were going down to DC; I was heading up to Windsor. the restaurant was a restored stone-house; in the back, there was a pond and willow-trees that swayed above the silent waters

good bye
good bye sweet New England
I’ll miss you

 

and we will never be the same, except in memory

The image is from Dezeen 2364 – Christmas Card 2021.

passings

January 25, 2022 2022, diario/journal

there are 3

Apriglianesi

left

 

Yesterday, a cousin posted that her dad – Franchino Barberio – had passed away on Saturday, January 22. With zu Franchino’s death, there are only three remaining Apriglianesi of my parents’ generation – my mother, Cum’Amalia, and Maria Capisciolti – in Northern Ontario.

All my life, the Apriglianesi in Sault Ste Marie and my cousins Rusaria-and-Franchino Barberio of Sudbury were a very close group of Italian immigrants all from Aprigliano, Cosenza. Rusaria-and-Franchino (Franchino’s mother and my dad’s father were siblings) came often to Sault Ste Marie. They visited with my parents and their other cousins the Capisciolti. The Barberios came in January to make sausage, in the spring to celebrate Easter, and in the fall to gather mushrooms, make tomato sauce and make wine. And let’s not forget that they also drove in for all the important family events – baptisms, weddings, funerals.

The Apriglianesi of Sault Ste Marie and the Barberios of Sudbury, numbered about 12.

birthday

January 3, 2022 2022, diario/journal


This is going to be a list

  • as of this writing, winter will end in 75days, 18hours, 24minutes and 33seconds
  • I hate winter
  • the featured image is a painting – Winter Sunset – by Shirley Netherton; the above image is stock wallpaper from somewhere online
  • today I’m 73years old
  • it always shocks me to remember that my family left warm, sunny, but poor Calabria for winter ravaged Northern Ontario and NO, I never made peace with it
  • and now I live in the city with the second most number of days with NO sunshine
  • my friends have labelled the following text as dark – in 1914, the British upper classes sent their young to die in the trenches of France; today in America, corporations recruit and then charge the young admission to go to sports venues that are infestations of COVID; but not a problem, the cost of hospitalization, therapies and missed workdays will be paid by the American taxpayer
  • winter marks the return of the crows – a murder of crows flies over my house every day around 5:00pm. I think this murder is coming from across the river; the crows roost along the hillside above the Strip District