Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Departures are typically seen as painful moments, but not with me - and most definitely not when I am departing from this strange, unwelcoming furusato of mine. You think that the much struggled-for geographical and emotional distance has mended old wounds, but only the surface remains dry and hard. Underneath, they are as deep and serious as ever. The blood won't stop and they will ache forever, especially in certain weathers.
The family can be the most repressive and claustrophobic of social institutions, but catholic families are the worst of all. The double standards, the affected piety, the self-righteousness, the persistent neuroses, the obsessive concern with outward appearances and public facades create so many antibodies, restlessness and an aversion to rules and conventions (plus, all too often, a fierce atheism) in certain people - usually the most sensitive, intelligent and/or artistically inclined - that there is no other alternative but to run away to some distant place. It is a matter of life or death, of sanity or madness. There is no return and even the briefest visits are hard to endure.
How I empathise with the odd bananas in de Chirico's paintings!