The “Hallelujah Chorus” is gloriously blaring, the mist over our valley is dissipating, and the hunters have temporarily stopped shooting (after all, it IS lunchtime in Italy). I’m thinking about letters: the one I posted here but never sent to Andre Aciman, the one Kafka never sent to the father who terrorized him, and the one Commissario Montalbano just wrote to himself in the novel I’m reading.
Unlike the way it happened with Andre Aciman, with whom it was love at first sentence, it took me a while to get hooked on the Sicilian detective Montalbano. Although I went through an adolescent phase of devouring Mickey Spillane and his ilk, that is no longer my thing. Like the Italian husband who doesn’t “get” what his wife sees in the TV version of what he calls the “really short, bald, bow-legged Montalbano” who so often seems to be having an exasperated temper tantrum over the stupidity that surrounds him, I’m surprised at myself.
I’m rethinking quite a number of things as I turn 66, among them my reluctance to give up my alter-ego, Donatella de Poitiers, and to send Andre Aciman my letter from January 2012.
As we get to know more of the ex-pats who have relocated themselves here in Orvieto, and hear their stories of the often painful situations they chose to leave behind, I see them as having re-birthed themselves. Maybe me, too?
‘Tis the season!