Monday, November 29, 2010

hira: we all float on alright

current location: SAA library, at uni. blogging in increments, in-between writing essays and practicing my italian conjugations.

a new week brings a chance for mending relationships--relationships with others, but just as vital, relationships with oneself. rites of passage. new chapters. closed doors. this last week was officially deemed 'birthday week, version 21', and it was filled with wonderful surprises, dinners, and late-night renditions of classic hits (i.e. spice girls and oasis), and plenty of long walks, writing, and a trip to sardegna. yes.

before i leave you with a slew of photographs from the birthday festivities, there is one last thing for which i am grateful. something that i did not post about in my previous thanksgiving post--that of community. community in italia--because when surrounded by a group of friends with the same information, the same passions but differing means of achieving similar goals, you are moving in the same direction. you not only make yourself* but also tap into a stronger and swifter current; a current that has moved past the great thinkers behind you and surely will move those who come later. i am grateful for running into strangers on the other side of the world, looking for the same things and are willing to keep me company. italians love their routines, their regulars--regular customers, regular bars, regular markets. i have definitely found this in my neighborhood gelaterria, pizzeria, pane e amore cafe, salon, palestra, pub, uni, etc. we are all telling each other's stories.

fifty years ago, Simon and Garfunkle produced a chart-topping album retrospectively described as "a meditation on the passage of life and the psychological impact of life's irreversible, ever-accumalating losses". this last week was just that. a long, drawn-out and active meditation. that's how i like it. I just finished a book called Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco, a nonfictional account of Paul Rabinow's time in Morocco in the 1960's, and I came across a ringing bell: dépaysement. this French word was similar to an Italian word I'd discovered with delight some days before, spaesato, in a magazine article about the plight of Italy's current youth generation. I noted paese, or country, and the prefix s, which usually indicates an opposite like un- or dis- in english. un-countried. the electronic dictionary told me it meant 'out of one's element; uncomfortable.' a state of unease for lack of being in one's own homeland. Rabinow, describing the various personal and historical reasons for setting off for North Africa, was compelled by Lévi-Strauss's obscure concept of dépaysement, a "paradoxical call for a distancing that would allow one to return more profoundly home."

yes, that sounds about right.

anyway, so i turned 21. i celebrated with friends here in torino, and then flew south to italy's second island Sardegna--to it's capital, Cagliari. here is evidence.

pizzeria on genova. my favorite.

nelli and valentina.

an after-uni surprise on my bed--balloons, a card, and an apron from venice. they know me well.

this is awk.

insert about three hours of sleep, and exam, and then...

boarding pass for cagliari, passport, and a side of pasolini's A Violent Life

views from atop the bastione di saint remy.

there are lots of stairs and hills in cagliari.

beautiful streets in the city's Castello region

piazza porta palazzo, Castello region, views from the duomo

three days of an un-lonely solitude. it was an adventure.

oh, before i forget: my coffee in the cuneo airport on the way to sardegna--a heart.

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