Jan 14, 2023Liked by Farasha Euker

A 'tiny core of stillness in the heart'. What a lovely line, Farasha, and what a superb, passionate essay. There are probably many places in Italy where one can still the 'truth of things', but one that I know a little is Abruzzo, with its old hermitages in the woods and along the rivers. If ever you have the chance to visit them, I would recommend it. And all in a setting still rich in flora and fauna. I thought of Abruzzo often this Christmas as I struggled to endure suburban Milan. Thanks also for your earlier poems, by the way.

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Thank you. After my time in Sicily, I moved up north and have been following Lawrence's trail throughout much of Italy, trying to visit the places that were important to him, but also trying to experience things first hand. Due to logistical complexities, the two places I have not been able to spend time this time around are Sardinia and Abruzzo. Thank you for the recommendation to visit the Abruzzo region: it is good to know there are places where the decay has not been proceeding as rapidly as in the North. It seems to me that the fundamental character of Tuscany has been irreparably altered, but the rhythym of life in parts of coastal Liguria are what they always were. Thankfully, I am here outside of the tourist season, so I have been able to experience places like Tellaro at a pace which would have been common a hundred years ago. The San Pietro church in Portovenere, built upon the site of an ancient temple to Venus, is still a sacred place, and always will be. The sea, and the rocks are as beautiful as ever, and they will exist long after we are gone. The beauty of things has a way of winning out in the end, and that gives me hope, but it still breaks my heart to know that while we used to organically accentuate natural beauty, we now defile it any chance we get. Despite knowing that there are greater things, eschatologically speaking, than this world and this life, this world and this life do have intrinsic meaning, and to desecrate all of that in the name of wealth, progress, etc. is a crime of such a magnitude that it frankly boggles my mind.

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