Thursday morning – yikes that’s domani – we will be in Naples starting the first leg of our journey home. For the past few days my chest has been caving further and further into my core. Each day the depression and sadness pushes on my heart chakra. We have been in Pontelandolfo for six months integrating further and further into village life. Today we are closing up the house and deciding what we leave behind to languish until we return. Suddenly, all the things I didn’t do starting hitting me in the face. The list I made – what list you ask? The list that seemed so important in New Jersey. The list that made me feel like I wasn’t some pensioner with nothing to contribute to the world.
The list that made me feel vital to myself. I didn’t complete the list –
I didn’t take the autobus from Piazza Roma to Naples – just for the hell of it. Folks say it is two hours of curvy mountain roads and worse it leaves at 7:15 AM. The return bus leaves at 2:00 PM so what could you really do in Naples in 5 hours? I don’t know because I didn’t take the bus.
I didn’t finish my family tree. Armed with the latest version of Family Tree Maker and printed reports to share with family and strangers here, I added about 6 things total. My grandmother’s side goes back to the 1600s – thanks to Antimo Albini. ( Read that story at – http://wp.me/p3rc2m-9P) But what of my grandfather’s side? It was his search that I started 20 years ago and the line only goes back to 1820. It is bis-nonno, Salvatore Guerrera’s extended family that I spend time with here. Are there others for me to meet? I don’t know because I didn’t contact Antimo this year to help me finish the fakakata tree.
I didn’t write a sexy romance novel based on “Divorcing Daddy”, my graduate school thesis screenplay. Since I couldn’t figure out how to sell a screenplay and have read Nora Roberts entire canon as well as all of Janet Evanovich, I figured I could take my romantic comedy and turn it into a comedic novel. I even started – came up with the concept and through line – and spent a day musing over the ins and out of novel writing. I don’t know if I would be successful because I didn’t spend a second day on the project.
I didn’t seriously continue studying Italian. Oh, I can get us fed, put gas in the car and chat with folks who speak Italian – not dialect – very slowly. But we had car problems and I didn’t have a clue what the mechanic was saying. I still don’t completely understand the medical system because my vocabulary ain’t there. And, frankly, I sound like what I am – a middle aged plus American who isn’t studying everyday to improve. I don’t know if I can get better because I didn’t hit the books daily or even watch Italian television.
Cazzo – you are probably bored with my rant. Jack – who I hate when he is right — keeps reminding me that we are in Italy and I don’t have to accomplish shit. Just live il dolce far niente – the sweet life of doing nothing. My ever-loving crazy family and friends here, in London, Ecuador and in USA have reminded me what I have indeed accomplished and suggest I buck the heck up. Alexandra Rose, my worldly London based niece asked, “Do you realize how unique you are – how many people do you personally know who leave their home towns and live outside of America?”
Well I sputtered you, Marie and Jan, George and, and… She had me. I bucked up.
I may not have taken the bus to Naples but did explore other parts of Italy that I hadn’t seen before.
I may not have finished the family tree but I did discover and became friends with a cousin and his wife that I hadn’t known. I hadn’t met them before this year and truly enjoy hanging out with both Dominico and Suzi.
I may not have finished the novel but I did finish two plays – Mamma Mia La Befana and Flagtown Fem-Militia. During September I committed myself to sending scripts to over thirty theaters and competitions. One LA theater actually asked for the full version of Flagtown Fem-Militia after reading a ten page sample. Please send a prayer to the theatre goddess. (Anyone know any theaters in towns with a high concentration of Italians that would love a play based on La Befana?)
I didn’t, I coulda’, I shoulda’ – hell time to toss those words in the trash and just remember that I’ll return to my Italian home next year. Today I made the rounds in Pontelandolfo hugging the folks that I love. Joyfully, tomorrow I will start hugging the family and friends that I love dearly in New Jersey.