Monday, September 29, 2014

Beautiful Marks

My grandmother, Liberata Crugnale Berarducci

 “Travel changes you. As you move through this life 
and this world you change things slightly, you leave 
marks behind, however small. And in return, life—
and travel—leaves marks on you. Most of the time, 
those marks—on your body or on your heart—are 
beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”
~ Anthony Bourdain

All day long, I've been trying to decide what to write about today.  There are so many things I want to cover, but I'm going to save them for when I get home.  Tonight, I might just throw out some loose thoughts.

I saw that Anthony Bourdain quote recently, and it hit home with me.  Travel of any kind can change you if you're willing to let it do so. I think it teaches us so much about each other and about ourselves. Five years ago,  I wrote the first essay about my grandmother's journey from Italy to the USA, and since that time, learning more about what she experienced has been an obsession for me. That obsession led to the love affair I have with Italy.  No matter our ethnicity, Americans know something about the culture of our ancestors, but we know a sanitized version of it, don't we?

i have wondered if I could survive what my grandmother survived.  My little game of living in Italy for six weeks showed me that I could live there, but I had a lot of conveniences she didn't have.  I also had a ticket home, and a loving husband who supported me.

My hero
 Speaking of my husband, I thank God that he is supportive. I don't know anyone who would push me to follow the crazy, nutty dreams and schemes I have. I know it was hard for him to be alone while I was gone, and I thank every single one of you who invited him over for dinner while I was gone.  I think he gained some weight.  ;-)

Due Torre in Bologna
 I miss Bologna. In a lot of ways, I'm glad we are coming home from Spain instead of Italy. It's made it easier for me to come home.  I'm afraid that if I were still in Bologna, Mike might have to push me onto the plane.

I have developed such a fondness for Bologna even though my history is in the Abruzzo region. I  find the people in Bologna to be among the most genuine and kind that I've come across in any town in Italy.  I miss Bologna a lot, but I know I'll be back soon, so that makes it easier.

Down the street from my flat in Bologna

 My friend, Bob, asked me a few weeks ago if Italy had been as fruitful for writing as I had hoped.  Yes, it has. I wrote some very difficult essays about my other grandparents and father that might never go anywhere, but I got them out. I also thought a lot about my book, and I decided was that the stories about those horrible times were not meant for the book.  I found its focus on this trip, and the stories in it are the happy, funny stories that speak to what my grandmother taught me about life.
 I hope some of you might want to read it when I finish it.

Finally, I want to thank those of you who have read this blog. I appreciate the comments and personal notes a lot of you have sent. I'm going to continue writing it when I get home because there is so much of life to share.

So, I'm leaving here with a heavy heart, but it's also a happy heart. 

I'll see you on the other side of the world tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Love your writing - can't wait to read the book! Bon voyage!