‘You notice as it first as April ends and May begins, a change in the season, not exactly a warming —in fact not at all a warming— yet suddenly summer ends near, a possibility, even a promise’. When those blue nights are finished is not anymore a warming but a warning of darkness, of solitude, of silence. This is how Joan Didion explains the title of her book, it is an opening to a heart wrenching story. The story of a mother who sees her own child die, slowly, painfully, in an ICU for twenty months. This is a story in which Didion also analyses carefully and to the detail whether her daughter showed signs of dying, emotionally dying, way before, and her own involvement as a mother in such a cruel destiny.
‘There isn’t a thing in the world worth fighting for except peace of mind’. All his books are autobiographical and interconnected between them, from ‘Tropic of Cancer’ and ‘Tropic of Capricorn’, to ‘Plexus’, ‘Sexus’ and lastly ‘Nexus’. All have the same main character, the same author, Henry Miller and his exhaustive struggle to become a known writer, despite the innumerable difficulties that seem to attack him from every angle. A childhood with a toxic mother, followed by a total incapacity to overcome poverty and finishing with a wife that possesses so many prisms and fake stories to every question that not even the same Miller can decipher.
I love autumn terracotta colours. Yet, when winter approaches it comes by the hand of a cold whitish whisper. Both like to settle softly around the whole island. I resent them, I resist them as much as I can.
Words are changing. Some resist the waves, saying that the language is already inclusive and should not be messed with. No matter what we think. It is mutating. Young people are looking for ways to express themselves and if we don’t go with them we are just going to be left behind, obsolete, archaic, useless and, as it is happening as we speak, misunderstood.
The celebration of the Indigenous People’s Day in USA left me thinking about the treatment of our Aboriginal People of Australia. There is no secret that Aboriginal people in Australia have been discriminated against. Since the moment I arrived in Sydney I was saddened by the aboriginal elders selling their beautiful art in the middle of Circular Quay. For nothing. Performing for an avid public who gave no crap about them. Who thought they were clowns.
Yoga is the realm in which I see Cultural appropriation vs cultural appreciation crashing the most. It is becoming more and more difficult to look the other way without realising how Western Cultures have appropriated and misrepresented this ancient Indian practice. Let’s start by something: Yoga is not fitness. One not does yoga to become prettier, skinnier, stronger, even healthier. That is not what Yoga is aimed for.
‘You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends’. John Dunn, Joan Didion’s husband, died of a heart attack, suddenly and unexpectedly. In fact, the sick one was not John but Quintana, their daughter, who had been in a coma caused by a bad pneumonia. By that that point they didn’t know if Quintana was not going to live, or to die. In the words of her doctor ‘We’re still not sure which way this is going’.
Italy has chosen her first prime Minister. It is not good news for feminism in Italy, and around the globe. Georgia Meloni. A far-right politician and journalist. Leader for more than eight years of Brothers of Italy, one of the most conservative parties. Involved in politics for nearly twenty. Always militating for the far-right, always instigating. A nationalist. A true warrior of ‘God, homeland and family’. Her win was implicated by the same patriarchal discourse.
This is an outstanding novel narrated in first person by Stevens, the butler. Of him one could say was born for the job, after his father also dedicated his life to the service of other lords before he did. Stevens is a particular person. Loyalty would be the perfect word to describe his personality, but also a bit of a sweet naivety. He worked for many years at Darlington Hall, Lord Darlington’s estate.