The Year of Plenty (I)

The Year of Plenty (I)

I love to speak Italian because it feels like a language that keeps my mouth full. Maybe full of food, of course. Italian needs only a few words to communicate: bello, mangiare, ancora. What a relief not to have to develop every thought or feeling in words, to use language like Paulo Freire as praxis and not as endless vocabulary! To know that I have enough and know enough to live in joy. 

To enjoy life. 

To enjoy life is the same as expressing my joy. Is it? Yes, it is. 

Is this a mind game to convince me and others that I enjoy life? That I’m perfectly content with myself and with them as they are? This specific thought started with my father. It took him 44 years, his own time, to recognize his first son as his own son. He always cried so much while being a father. I thought it was just how fathers are. Or I thought it was because of my decisions — I moved to São Paulo for six months when I was 19, I moved to Italy for another six months when I was 22, and three more and three more until I lost count of the months, then I moved to the US and never went back. Maybe I’ll move to Bahia someday. Sometimes I thought he cried because of my mother’s decisions. She reconnected with another love of her life; she divorced, sold their house, and moved eight hours away through a bumpy, busy road with trucks. She took their daughters and left their son with him. The son that I, for 27 years of my life, thought was my father’s first son, who grew up thinking that he was THE first son. He is the second. And my father always knew about it, but he decided it was a fantasy. I wonder if that fantasy made him cry more often than other fathers. 

I bought arborio rice and good tomatoes this week. We had risotto yesterday and pizza today. I’m keeping my mouth full and enjoying myself these days.