Only my closest friends know that, for the past decade or so, I’ve been studying the Tarot. As part of my learning curve, at the beginning of each new year, I lay out a spread which tells me in detail how the months ahead will look, what energies will be at play, what to keep in mind in order to stick to a path of growth.
The spread I use consists of twelve cards laid out in a circle, counterclockwise, which symbolise the months of the year, and a thirteenth in the middle which tells about the general atmosphere, the common theme in the background of all other events.
This year, in the thirteenth position, I found the tenth card of the Great Arcana – The Wheel Of Fortune.
It’s been months since I had the guts to take my son to the supermarket. I’m not sure if every parent necessarily develops this form of shoppingwithtoddlerophobia, as I do sometimes see these relaxed women followed by faithful toddler girls doing a neat impersonation of a bonsai shopping housewife – but MY life does not look like that.
When my son started going to preschool, last November, I swore an oath to myself that I would always use those precious hours to practice the craft I love and WORK on my writing. But the craft I love is a foxy beast who knows many magic tricks to make time disappear, so slowly, over the months, I came to embrace the notion that slicing a tiny 25 minutes out of the two-hour Tuesday to dash get bread and a few other groceries for dinner was not such a bad idea after all.
For it spared me having to go with my Toddler.
Today is an exceptional day for my family, because my father’s mother – the only living grandparent I have left – celebrates her 100th birthday.
An entire century of life! Can you imagine?
She was born in 1917, like the Russian Revolution, lived through two world wars and countless other political upheavals, gave birth to three children, and was one of the very first women to get a divorce as soon as it became legal in Italy.
One year ago I chose this date, my Grandma’s birthday, as the official beginning of my Artist Residency in Motherhood, dedicating it to her, wishing her to live to 100. She did, and I on my side have done my best to stand up to my self-assigned Residency goals.
Or have I?
Or – How To Set Your Throat Chakra Ablaze In One Easy Step
It’s a random Tuesday night, I put away the millet-and-courgette-and-other-stuff cassoulet leftovers in the fridge, make myself a cup of lemongrass infusion and sit on the couch. I’m not even that pissed about myself tonight, the first two days of this new week have been quite productive and I always get a dopamine rush at the feeling I’m keeping my shit tight.
I fire up my favourite SVOD channel and while I relax in my sweatpants and thick old socks, I notice I may have a bit of heartburn, cause a small acid pang somewhere at the bottom of my larynx. I make a mental note to choose peppermint for the next cup. Too much lemon juice in the lettuce? Perhaps.
But at the third episode of Grace And Frankie I know things are much more serious than I had suspected. The peppermint didn’t help at all, and what I thought was a tiny acid reflux is turning out to be a full-blown throat ache, of the kind which mean no good.
I took this photo on the morning of February 14th, 2017 – Valentine’s day. Ironically, it was also the first night I ever spent away from the two boys I call love. The first night I didn’t sleep right next to my son, his feet in my face, and the first morning I was not awakened by the tickle of his fluffy blond hair in my nose.
19 hours earlier:
I take the Intercity from Dordrecht to Schiphol – Amsterdam’s airport, have a coffee at the gate while staring at nothing outside the walls of glass lining the terminal’s building, too dazed by the perspective of 48 hours on my own to even just pull my book out of my bag. The flight to Berlin Schӧnefeld is on time, I have only my small backpack so I skip the baggage claim area and walk directly to the S-bahn station. I take the suburban train nr S45 in direction Gesundbrunnen, get off at Südkreutz, switch to the S2 in direction Bernau, get off at Oranienburgerstraße. The hostel where I’m staying is just across the street from the subway stop. Continue reading
If you have ever seen a big film festival with your own eyes, it’s impossible you didn’t notice how insistently it shines. Everything around a film festival is sparkly and bright (filmmakers know their lights), everywhere you look there’s silver high heels and paparazzi flashes, golden doorknobs, watery eyeballs.
Truth is, behind the silver screen things are indeed quite fancy, but also pretty hollow, and wasted. What from the outside looks like a dazzling celebration of CINEMA (the most expensive form of entertainment out there) is essentially a glorified fair for the Film Industry. Every big film festival is in fact a beehive clusterfuck of film-business people looking to hook-up with more film-business people so to hopefully find a distribution on Asian territories, find a new script to develop, find someone willing to arrange half of a million coins to finish the postproduction of the movie they’re stuck with, and get laid. Continue reading
I shouldn’t have written this post. The reasons are multiple, but let’s just say it’s because I do not need another depression-inducing blow at the heart of my tiny beloved workshop.
On the very first day of the year, one of the people I consider the closest punched me in the balls by asking something along the lines of – So when are you going to finally snap out of it and go get a job like all normal people do, as it should be evident by now that this “writing” of yours is not taking you anywhere?
(Time to be a responsible adult, bitch.)
One week later another someone to whom I am related by blood told me they found my blog (this thing you’re reading now here), read a couple of posts, but then gave it up because it was getting embarrassing to witness such personal stories, it felt voyeuristic, dirty? Anyway, they don’t want to see any more of it.
Fuck it hurt. I know I’m all bulletproof and I don’t need anyone’s approval to live my life the way I want to, but nonetheless – being flashed out of left field by the grim reality of how my “allies” actually see my creative struggle successfully cooled the “New Year New You” fireworks.
Spending two precious hours of Toddler-free time on writing a text which will further celebrate the fact my craft is not taking me anywhere and posting it on this embarrassing blog of mine would seem quite a counterproductive thing to do right now. Continue reading
It’s the last day of this tremendous year, if you are reading this post it means you’ve probably managed to survive the 12 months’ worth of curve-balls we’re leaving behind tonight. CONGRATULATIONS. I thought this is a good occasion to have one last look back and pick out the best of what happened, to keep it in my thoughts as I hammer this door shut and move on toward – hopefully – bluer skies.
If you don’t follow me on Facebook yet, you probably should. Not only because this way you’ll always be up to date with what’s going on in my head, but also that’t the best place to have a closer interaction with your favorite blogger, if you’d feel so inclined.
On Facebook and Instagram I share little stories about my days, the small challenges they bring, the laughs, the sweet moments, the stuff that pisses me off too. I share plenty of photos, and I always respond to comments. Here are my favorite FB posts from last year, in order of appearance:
(1) That Time I Got Some Christmas Money And Wasn’t Sure What To Spend It On So I Asked You –
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a dilemma. I must have been very un-naughty last year, because Santa brought me a nice…
Posted by Baby Blues & Rock'N'Roll on Thursday, January 14, 2016
Fast, intense, naked, troubled, terrific, exhilarating, terrible, this November has been about dreams and long awaited (feared?) turns finally coming around. Multiple incredible events took place this past month, but I will tell you about two (2) main ones.
Ever since I was 12, I dreamed about becoming a novelist, AND –
On the first day of November I started writing (the first draft of) my very first novel!
If you follow me on social media you must have already heard that I took part in this year’s NaNoWriMo, which means that in the past 30 days I filled up a word document with 50,000 words.
50,202 – to be precise.
This sounds incredible and much more compelling than what it actually looks like, as these 50,202 words are more like one huge regurgitated blob of disconnected thoughts and episodes and anecdotes and bits of dialogues, all written with great speed and no filters (because word count) rather than anything even vaguely resembling a novel. I’m not even half way through a first version, not to mention revisions, editing, and all the actual work I still have to do for it to start making sense. So please don’t hold your breath.
Then again, what really matters is that I found in me the fire and persistence it took to accomplish this, which is the single greatest act of support toward my Inner Writer I’ve ever had the courage to undertake. Continue reading
I can get quite sentimental about objects. Maybe that’s because I’ve spent many years on my own, living alone, working for myself, travelling so much, which made me learn to appreciate the company and comfort certain things can provide. Not ALL things, of course, I’m not a hoarder and actually I have quite a minimalist approach to the owning of material goods, but there are a few objects I cherish, which have been through a lot together with me, which have stood by me and kept going even when everything else seemed to fall apart (like the water cooker that’s been with me 15 years now and has tirelessly boiled water for my cups of tea across 5 countries).
If I can consider these few objects my friends, then there is one among them which has been my absolute best friend ever since we laid eyes on each other. And, as it also goes with human friendships, for reasons hard to understand and as sudden as a chameleon snapping a fly mid-flight with its tongue, I lost it. Continue reading
Going on vacation is no joke. Every year, when the time comes to start planning the when and where to go, we need to be really careful not to make our relationship (family) implode under the weight of this crucial decision. When you think that, in the 365 days that a year has, we can normally afford to spend 14 of those on our only vacation, you understand we really don’t want to fuck it up.
So many things we need to discuss – do we wanna fly, do we wanna drive, do we want to stay in a cheap accommodation, but for a longer time, or should we choose a better hotel and thus need to come home sooner? Do we want the beach, historic cities, museums, attractions for toddlers, decent ice-creams, or cheap booze? Also, do we want to be there with my parents, with friends, my sister and her two kids, random people we could find online in order to cut the costs and make our vacation so much more spectacular?
Because going on vacation IS a spectacle, and it IS a public matter. Once upon a time there were Continue reading
August has been terrific – the best month of this whole Dutch “summer” of ours, by far. And it has been terrific not so much because of the few days of actual heat, and enjoying picnics at the swimming pool, and Martini-tonics on the terrace at sundown. But because it brought many small, almost imperceptible revolutions, like the flapping of butterfly wings which circle and grow, make waves, move waves, become hurricanes and landslides. The biggest, most significant magical shift in this rather demure lifestyle we lead, you see in this photo – yes, it’s a child (our child) sitting on a child seat on the back of a bike (my bike). Nothing special? Well, to me it is.
I’m sure we all have situations like this – this sort of roadblocks we plant in our own strides and then moan as the discomfort grows, but take months if not years to take a simple step, make an uncomplicated decision, and get rid of them.
This time it went like this. Continue reading