June 5, 2018 Breathe Free Press

SPERLONGA WRITERS RETREAT JOURNAL – DAY FOUR

When one runs away from home (the drudgery of daily existence) to seek adventure or at least a place to write uninterrupted by (the drudgery of daily existence) one learns many things. Or to be more precise confirm what you already knew. Things that define the drudgery of daily existence get amplified to the level of longing.

Nostalgia, longing for something actually rooted in the desire for an imagined place, object or person or objectified place or person. If we are as quantum theory suggests strings or coordinates of space and time or as biology suggests cells or as digital algorithms would prefer us to be—maybe not having an imagination is sublime if that imagination causes dislocation.

If I could at this moment return home with three clicks of the heels of my ruby slippers would I do it? And once there how much happier would I be, for how long would I not be nostalgic for this place and this time? I know without a doubt having my cats about would thrill me, feeding them, washing their bowls and cleaning their litter would not. I know for certain I would not able to write for hours distraction free. I also know having to think what to make for dinner and the before and after bits of preparation (ordering on Seamless.com) plating and cleaning up are not what I miss. So, what do I miss? I miss my often annoying partner. What would I miss? I would be nostalgic for the large terrace, the sound of the sea. The clumps of ancient buildings sort tossed together like building blocks, the vegetation that at the moment is attacking my over-saturated histamines. I never even considered the pollen I ran from would follow me here in spades (something to say about fate).

I have adopted my husbandish’s (domestic partner of 26 years) picadillo. We met around the time he became a Baal teshuvah—a secular Jew who returns to traditional observance (sort of). He will not eat shellfish, treif. Over the years due in part to his influence I have cut out most shellfish or bottom dwellers like octopus that to my surprise are very popular in Sperlonga along with calamari, tiny clams and mussels. What comes first the traditional local foods or the tourist influence? Wine is another shocking oddity. Here in Italy of all places, wine is served by the glass or the bottle, no carafes or quartino served in New York or the brilliant two size millimeter glasses served in London or Berlin.

In soma—in short as the Italians say and tonight I am making this quick since I find another thing I always knew to be fact at least for me. I can either write or blog. I am not capable of doing both daily. I have been writing or more to the point revising my manuscript as planned. Nothing can beat that. Before I arrived, I added a repeating event to my iCal. REMEMBER YOU ARE HERE TO COMPLETE WOMAN MAKING MANUSCRIPT!!! Yesterday after reading an article on The Beat Generation in the New Yorker, I added a quote to my daily reminder from an essay by Louis Menand on Jack Kerouac. “Kerouac did not create the published book in a single burst of inspiration. It was the deliberate and arduous labor of years.” I’ll let that sit for now.

 

 

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Breathe Free Press Breathe Free Press is a literary magazine of resistance and awareness dedicated to essayism as art. The essay as a space for observation funneled through social awareness in narratives that subvert genre constraints.