An average dream

Could not even remember where exactly, but I saw this phrase: ‘average dream last only 20 minutes.’ And I could not help myself stop and stare at the screen, thinking of course, how did they manage to measure that? And started to attempt bringing back from my memories the various dreams I had…that I was going to be a doctor, then a journalists, then a media owner and then a perfumer….I even considered being a writer, I’m sure that dream did not last 20 minutes.

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What happens with a dream after the 20 minutes have ended? Is there an automatic machine that sorts them according to the attention we give them?

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The small, common and all-the-same, like a bag of freshly picked chestnuts pop up to the surface and blind us with their sense of security and comfort and we fill our palms with them, we smell them for a while and even though they don’t really bring back memories of the soul, we end up buying.

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And the big dreams, the larger than life ones, usually end up in this small, recycled box and from the rainbow color they have when they are born, they turn this grey-translucent non-color and form the foundation of us-that-will-never-be.

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How many of these dreams escape the sorting and sneak out, living in a sort of resistance in the deep seas of our soul, small ponds that long to touch the sea?

From there they come out disguised as a word a friend mentioned, or a phrase we read while we are running around carrying the small, average dreams on our shoulders, or a sound the wind makes while we have stopped and stared out the window. How many of them will ever recover their colors?

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For is it the sunset we see in the sky after those long rainy days, or our dreams, escaping our memories and giving us another chance to look at what-we-could-have-been?

Hidden joy

Small drops of rain. You can’t even see them, but you feel them. And the automatic reaction is to consider the day as if it never was, and you start considering: how can I influence tomorrow with my hopes, prayers, weather forecasts?

seaweed

It’s funny to realize that on a grey day like this I tend to push myself more, as if I feel somehow guilty for the nature’s decision not to bother to sparkle. So I tend to dress colorfully and plan lots of things to do, for no reason, but just because it’s a grey day.

hey

A two-hundred years church and a gathering of people, many of them coming to live in Donegal from very far away places such as New Zeeland, Fiji Island and Australia. All looking for a better place to express that hidden joy, dormant in each of us. A place where you don’t want to feel guilty for being you, free. A combination of poems, songs, fiddle music, prayer and hand shakes, hidden away from the rain outside.

mountain back

I remember very well one phrase this pagan priest used talking about keeping up with our faith even when the joy is hidden behind some misfortune. Up until now I had contemplated always a duality like: joy – non joy, light- absence of light. I never thought of joy under a visible and invisible state, happiness overt and hidden.

It was in front of me all along – yesterday a sunny day, with the sun visible to all of us and today a rainy, cloudy day, with the sun hidden behind the clouds. Or just inside us. It does not mean the sun does not exist today, it’s just hidden.

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How can I convince myself about everything around me following the same principle?

How do we find the love that is hiding inside us when we think we have lost hope forever? Is there a hidden meaning to the definition of humanity?

Are we just the places where God is hiding when it’s raining in heaven?

Epicurian Sicily

Perspective is many times what makes a place heaven or hell, phylosophically speaking. From a traveler’s point of view, it’s important to take time to simply absorb the surroundings. And meal times or coffee breaks provide for such explorations.

I believe that entire history books are contained in the simpliest of deserts – from its origin, to the various nations that adopted it and to the sociological and economical pressures that cause ingredients to be replaced and others to be added, according to new fashions of the times.

Anyways, here are some of the ‘books’ I have studied during my trip to Sicily where I also learnt the importance of expressing your delight for a good meal: scarpeta (using a piece of bread to soak up that last bit of delicious sauce in your plate).
glass of wine

 

Caponata, a Sicilian aubergine stew served with four kinds of cheeses from southern Sicily
Caponata, a Sicilian aubergine stew served with four kinds of cheeses from southern Sicily
Salad of red oranges and smoked herrings, wild fennel and spring onions from Giarratana (a recipe of Nifosi family, owners of Eremo della Giubiliana)
Salad of red oranges and smoked herrings, wild fennel and spring onions from Giarratana (a recipe of Nifosi family, owners of Eremo della Giubiliana)
Oysters and Sicilian clams - a perfect starter for a Sunday lunch on the coast of Syracuse
Oysters and Sicilian clams – a perfect starter for a Sunday lunch on the coast of Syracuse
Wild strawberries, ricotta and pistachio, all in a tart - I could not imagine a more Sicilian desert
Wild strawberries, ricotta and pistachio, all in a tart – I could not imagine a more Sicilian desert
But don't bite yet into that tart before you taste this Marsala-flavored, Tagliolini pasta with rabbit and Modica chocolate - creation of Chef of Don Eusebio Restaurant, Eremo della Giubiliana
But don’t bite yet into that tart before you taste this Marsala-flavored, Tagliolini pasta with rabbit and Modica chocolate – creation of Chef of Don Eusebio Restaurant, Eremo della Giubiliana
cassata, a ricotta and marzipan desert with dried fruits served here with pistachio parfait
Cassata, a ricotta and marzipan desert with dried fruits served here with pistachio parfait
Cannoli, the tubes of pleasure everyone talks about when you say you are going to Sicily. Well, this one, in Marina de Ragusa, was indeed memorable
Cannoli, the tubes of pleasure everyone talks about when you say you are going to Sicily. Well, this one, in Marina de Ragusa, was indeed memorable
And finally, once you've done your 'passeggiata,' you've got to stop and have an 'ice cream burger' - a Sicilian brioche stuffed with ice cream (pistachio, please!)
And finally, once you’ve done your ‘passeggiata,’ you’ve got to stop and have an ‘ice cream burger’ – a Sicilian brioche stuffed with ice cream (pistachio, please!)

 

Exercises in defining Sicily

There is an old saying that a life well lived is when you succeed in defining who you are, every day, in every action or thought. And because that requires a lot of introspection, we begin to define our surroundings – always easier to look outwards…

But by doing that, we inevitably reduce it to one dimension – the point of view we have, the preconceptions that shape our understanding and the ability we have, given our level of experience and knowledge.

With these ponderings in mind, I hereby proceed along the erroneous road and attempt to define Sicily in photographs. Or more precisely, define Sicily through me as window.

Display of diversity
Display of diversity
Sense of humor - Museo delle Marionette
Sense of humor – Museo delle Marionette
Getting close to Etna - the different layers of getting to know the mighty giant
Getting close to Etna – the different layers of getting to know the mighty giant
Gorgeus gorges of Alcantara
Gorgeus gorges of Alcantara
Colorful history
Colorful history
Pagann beauty - inside Ortigia's cathedral, a great example of pagan symbols asimilated by Christianity
Pagann beauty – inside Ortigia’s cathedral, a great example of pagan symbols asimilated by Christianity
Secret alleys - Scicli, a most charming small mountain town
Secret alleys – Scicli, a most charming small mountain town
Imposing sites - Agrigiento, southern Sicily
Imposing sites – Agrigiento, southern Sicily
Sense of time passing
Sense of time passing, passeggiata in Ortigia
Colorful in every way
Colorful in every way
Scents and blossoms
Scents and blossoms
Undiniable ability to take your breath away
Undiniable ability to take your breath away