Now that spring has sprung and the festivities of celebrating new beginnings has been cleared away, it’s time to align to a new direction. Witnessing the Easter traditions of this little seaside town over the past few days has inadvertently caused me to reflect on my own life. And in particular the shedding away of what I now consider my past life. The life spent living in fear and how I survived all that darkness only to come out into a new light.
And by survived I mean that I was able to bear the darkness without transfiguring the pain, sadness or the confusion into hate or anything else that would have kept me tied to him in any way. Two years of healing has absorbed him and left him nameless and shapeless; a speck of sand on the shore; a ship faded away into the blue of the horizon, now completely gone.
A new normal has taken hold. I now feel strangely at home within myself and in Puglia. and I find myself wanting to cultivate the stillness rather than set off on new adventures exploring distant lands. I am no longer healing but once again living. I consider this another milestone and having reached it, I rededicate my life in three new directions.
I’ve decided to actively pursue a slower pace in life. My head has been a mess of stuff to do since I’ve arrived and the southern Italian lifestyle just won’t stand for it. If I am to adapt, I need to slow down. No one here is going anywhere fast.
I have also decided to recommit myself to print instead of reading books on electronic devices. This is part of my slow life pact and this afternoon I went to the bookstore and bought myself the latest issue of the Monocle. I also recently bought Christ Stopped in Eboli by Carlo Levi as my first introduction into southern Italian literature.
My final commitment is to myself – to rediscover myself as a woman now living in Italy. To be a woman who indulges in aesthetics and caters to the senses and is not always just so practical when it comes to herself. I have a lot to learn from Italian women.
My good friend Christina introduced me to what is now my favourite sushi restaurant in Bari – Xuan, located across from the sea and close to the centre of town. The staff are super friendly and the sushi was the best I have had in a long time. We opted for the all you can eat menu which meant that we could keep choosing anything off the menu until we were full.
Lastly, I want to share with you another discovery that made me happy this month. As I was digging through the New York Times I came across an article about Puglia that confirmed something I wasn’t able to put into words. In her article “A Busy Crossroads of History” – exploring the history of Puglia – Frederika Randall confirms that this part of Italy does have a very special quality of light.
She writes “In its weightless, immaterial way, light is one of the elemental forces shaping the landscape, the architecture and the anima of this corner of southeast Italy, known to Italians as Puglia. The light is different here, a native once explained to me, because the long, level spur of the region, with its miles of silvery-green olive groves, sits between two seas — the cobalt blue Adriatic, and the lapis waters of the Ionian that mix their reflected sparkle in the limpid Apulian air.”