Una volta Apòrte pensò
che in un’isola poteva esser nato
ed era assolutamente sicuro
che se ne sarebbe appaurato.
Peggio ancor della guerra
dove un nemico si vede
e può andargli addosso con forza
chi ci crede.
Peggio che capitano d’industria
frate fornaio o pompiere
peggio che giovane onesto
o domatore di fiere.
É difficile stare in un posto
dove si sa che bisogna
voltare la testa
23 May 1992
In many languages the familiar way for father starts with a T.
Tata or Tad, Tatay, Tay, Taica or just Ta.
My father was important to me. He was a good man.
He liked to speak with people, especially simple people.
He was very close to the impoverished farmers in his remote birthplace.
His life was not simple and he resented the difficult circumstances of his delivery, but he did not show this openly.
He had a very nice smile and feet very similar to mines.
For some reasons at a certain point I stopped talking to him. Actually for no reason, he was very kind and we never doubted, I never doubted about his love and care.
This is the most sorrowful of my regrets. I do not have too many, probably because even if apparently eventful, my life was quite plain.
Once, while I was a child, at the beach, he convinced me to set free a little fish I had catched, and he tought me many other lessons without being pedantic.
He explained to us about the chlorophyll photosynthesis that he considered the secret of life.
I would like to meet him again, to talk a bit, to see his smile.
People with power are often not nice.
And I wonder if they are not nice (with other people) because they have reached a power position or if they got where they are because they were not nice. Not caring about others’ sensitivity, focused on their own success, keen to step on others’ interests, not available for compromise (unless they have no other mean to get what they want).
Memory is a problem and yet one of the reasons for this blog. Today I thought I had lost a precious memory: the first name of a friend that I could remember. For many years I had very clear in my mind just two elements: this name, the name that I linked to the first idea of a friend, and a push scooter. That he had and I hadn’t. But I did not recollect envy or regret. Just a push scooter.
It was a big loss, for a moment I was concerned. But then I knew that the letter T was involved and soon enough I could remember the name. I did a search and I even got a photo and a birth date, quite suitable.
Memory, names and friends, powerful ingredients in the life of a man.
I was born in the South. As I use repeating to foreign acquaintances, exactly there where the Italian boot split in two, just in the middle, in a quite remote area.
And I worked in the South (of the world) most of my life time starting from 1992. Sometimes from Europe and more often directly based in or visiting a country: Cambodia, Southafrica, Mozambique, Guatemala, Palestine, Chad, Togo, Botswana, Peru, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Madagascar, Indonesia, Malawi, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Congo RDC, Venezuela, Niger, Pakistan, Mali, Honduras, Guinea Bissau, Nepal, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, Ghana.
Of course South is not an exact categorization. In some countries the North is the actual South. Others may be geographically South but are rather (or consider themselves) North.
But everywhere there is a Southern dimension, in the wide sense.
I prefer being a Southerner, don’t have any characteristic of one from the North.
Don’t know if by choice or by destiny.