It doesn’t matter where you come from; a little bit or a lot of your heart will stay in your home country…
It’s exciting, living in a foreign country where the language is not your own, where things are different & new.
When one thinks of a life in Rome, they may think glamour…fun…but realising that home is so far away can take it’s toll…
If only for a brief moment the young lady wanted to be herself away from the scrutiny of eyes she did not know and those who judged her regardless. Was she from eastern Europe, a babysitter, a secretary or a rich man’s lover?
Only she knew the answers, only she knew who she was as the eyes and taunting faces questioned her and mocked. Some of the women perhaps, were even envious of her and that she’d left her country, family and friends to settle in a new one…she looked different this is true and she dressed differently too and of course she sounded different, Italian was not her mother tongue.
Why had she come here, why had she left her home so comfortable and secure? She had been to university, she was clever. Wasn’t she? Doubt filled her thoughts as the countless faces trudged passed her as she made her way home, hands laden with bags of groceries. Only servants trudged kilometres with bags in this city. They were heavy too and she’d had to park so far away.
She wanted to be home, in the confines of her appartment where the eyes could no longer see her and she could be herself.
All paths lead home…don’t they?
A journey always starts somewhere…
“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.”
― Isabelle Eberhardt, The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt
The travel bug is contagious & thanks to my Dad who has been travelling for as long as I can remember, I too caught the bug.
I can distinctly recall sitting at the window as a little girl, waving Dad goodbye as the taxi driver whisked him away to the airport. I would remain behind the festoon curtain until the car had sped out of view and for moments after, I’d sit crying.
This is me ‘The teenage mutant Greek ninja turtle’ ready for action in Athens, Greece at the beginning of my journey.
This is me two years after the start of my journey…
Yes, I’m on my way to the altar…
The happy couple…
I was to learn that the pull & drag of home would never leave me…no matter how strong your love is…
My novel memoir is the story of how a young Australian girl came to marry a Roman and live in Italy for 10 years. It is a story inspired by an old box of letters I found tucked away in a cupboard.
I hope that once published ( hopefully :)) it will encourage other women and men to chase a dream and live vicariously, for we are given but one life…
Mum & Dad were left waiting at the window for 10 years until I came home…
Thanks for taking the time to read.
A sea of cobbled streets
The gypsy’s perspective is one that is not acknowledged on the cobbled streets of Rome.They are regarded as beggars and thieves. Maybe this is a fragment of what their lives might resemble if we were to walk in their shoes:
Mother of four children
Lives in a caravan in the outskirts of Rome.
Gravely ill with MS (undiagnosed)
” I can hardly take a breath under here. The black hood covers my head as I inhale the filth of the cobbled road beneath me. The winter chill has possessed my bones and I am chronically sick. I have walked kilometres in the last few days. What I own is on my back, my feet are worn and dirty. They jeer me you know, they think I am vermon, they don’t know where I have come from and how much sufferance I endure. To them I am faceless, the beggar with no identity. Some toss me a few coins, others ignore me and one or two tut-tut as they pass. I hear them beneath my layered rags. I hear the words, the blasphemy. My numb hands rolled into fists are practically lifeless but my hearing is faultless.
When approaching footsteps hasten I know they will not stop or look my way but when the footsteps hesitate and then slow to a halt I know there is a chance the odd coin will be thrown my way.
They don’t know where I have come from and how much sufferance I endure”.
Santa Prisca, the Aventine church in Rome
“If I stood in one spot for this long there was a reason. Studying the oil painting, in the small and humble church of Santa Prisca in Rome, was mesmerising. I was transfixed, the detail in his cumbersome hands, the pain, the anguish and the solace in his virtuous face. How could it be that there was pain and solace? Broken fingernails caked with dirt and hardship. Yet his face was serene, perfect even as his head tilted upwards. I was the intruder as I stood unable to shift my gaze from the beauty before me.
The chatter of a group of tourists broke the silence. The adolescents whispered and sniggered behind faces that quite simply were unable to appreciate the significance or majesty of what was before them, juxtaposed by the modesty of the tiny church the oil painting was a masterpiece, hopefully one day they would recall the importance of their brief visit.”
He has an honourable stance, respected among his own kind.
This has been my dilemna of late. To share one’s thoughts, ideas and emotions with complete strangers and not just one or two but opening up your toolbox of thoughts to the universe. Today, however, I have decided to share a snippet of a short story I have written. I welcome your feedback, thus I throw my words out to you to be critiqued by those I do not know.
‘The stallion, now settled, stood still. His frame was strong and muscular, the sweat had turned into dry white foam covering his muscles. John began to walk him quietly to the small paddock he’d had the farm hands prepare today. The sun’s last ochre rays lit the darkening sky as John cautiously took off the purpose made noose. One of the rules in the horse industry was never show fear, as a horse can sense it a mile away. John had been breeding race horses for years and was well accustomed to this rule, he knew the beasts like the back of his hand. Once freed from the rope the stallion galloped off with fury and mounting confidence in his stride. He pranced; he swayed his head back and forth and put on a spectacular show. He pawed the grass and overturned the fresh soil, glad to be out of the confines of the float and away from human hands’.
Words there are so many and so much we can do with them, oh,the power of words…til next time…
Big discussions are deliberated over a cup of strong brew. Doctors and nurses discuss patient care outcomes and orchestrate positive plans of attack whilst sitting unitedly around a table, take away coffee cups at the ready.
Mmmm, it’s time to sit on a chair at your desk, or on the floor or on the sofa or maybe you do it lying on the bed. Quite possibly you’re doing it with an added tit bit.
I’m talking about having a cup of something while you write, contemplate or ponder. A diverse train of thoughts is conjured up while you sip away. I personally love a cup of hot strong coffee with just a dash of full cream milk. I write and jot whilst savouring the warmth and flavour of my favourite drink. For the duration of that coffee I relax and think or sometimes relax and write. I know others who are fine tea lovers who consume copious cups each day and find solace in each one.
“There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sipping, thinking, pausing, contemplating and dipping.
“Espresso is to Italy, what champagne is to France.”
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand
Yes, sometimes I like to dip a couple of shortbread biccies. If I’m writing in the afternoon I might like to indulge in a cuppa with a donut. It’s very naughty but the caffeine fix collaborating with the forces of the sugar reinvigorate the slowing thought processes and provoke the ability to think again.
If on a Friday evening and at the end of a fulfilling and jam packed week I still feel the urge to write, I might pour a glass of red vino or a chilled glass of white. Procrastinating, sitting at my desk and sipping I begin to dawdle, jot down quotes, formulate sentences and string phrases. It’s amazing how the writing seems to pour out as the glass of wine diminishes. Is it coherent? I’d have to check on that tomorrow. I flick off the switches, hover the cursor over ‘Shut Down’ and click on the mouse. The screen goes blank and I turn off the lamp.
Good night my electronic friend, until tomorrow.