Stendhal and Wallflowers

The Stendhal Syndrome is characterized by a series of symptoms like dizziness, fainting, increased heartbeat, and confusion after the exposure to a beautiful stimulus. 

The scene had taken place within one of the numerous rooms that resides within the Roman palazzo of Doria Pamphilj, a unique palace situated on Via del Corso. Now just a mere smeared memory, the atmosphere of that afternoon has been altered due to the fleeting nature of this memoir. My vision had a dusty hue. The fragmented air was contained between emerald walls. Surrounded by the many curious visitors, a collection of paintings hanged. They were similar to wallflowers on sturdy stems. Un-aware of their might the paintings stood before us quite timidly. It was an encounter with time. Filled full of details of uncharted territory, I just like any young woman could not help but be carried away by imagination. The past was there, various strokes of colors blended at the pace of a wandering gaze. The efforts of many artists called upon the remembrance of their vision. Standing still, my emotions were tested. Similar to a woman who had been struck by love at first sight. My heart raced as centuries revealed time most overwhelmingly.

 

The symptoms were psychosomatic, and my nerves felt weak.

I was in Turin the first time I found the book “De L’Amour”. It was a dirty copy that was quite aged. Enticed by the title in French, it did not cost much so I was fortunate to find a bargain. Stendhal’s novel took me back, where the ways of men were almost courtly and at the time also oddly extravagant. The Crystallization of Love was a metaphor that was portrayed as a transformative trip. It was a trip from the city of Bologna to Rome. Many were the cases used to describe what were Stendhal’s perceived states of falling love. It seems to be a slow process that comes from admiration. The admiration of one’s qualities then become acknowledged. That sense of awareness either in better or in worse becomes hope. A hope, that is similar to the need for understanding oneself in his vision of the “future”. Will there be many in our day in age that will have the chance to feel this hope? It is so difficult to transcend all depths to climb heights for another.

Marie-Henri Beyle was known as Stendhal. He was a French author passionate about Italy. Throughout the 1800s he trod across the country of Italy, leaving testimony of his adventures in various books; “De L’amour“, “Naples and Florence: A Journey from Milan to Reggio“, and so on. The Stendhal Syndrome was coined thanks to the author’s visit to the Basilica of the Holy Cross in the city of Florence. He stated “I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations.” in regards to the emotional upheaval he was subjected to. Who could blame him? Any healthy man would have done the same.

The first qualification for a historian is to have no ability to invent. – Stendhal

The Principle of Blue.

 

On contrary to reason and the limits of an individual’s understanding there is no frame of eyes immune to the brilliance that pertains to nature’s wholesome experience. The sky’s forever presence guides our vision. Despite the hour’s filter, his vest is consistently blue. Similar to the prince of every tale, the wild blue yonder is a mirrored attempt of expression. Even the most distracted fellow can not resist peace. The call of nature goes beyond the irritations of mere limbic strife. To lay on a bed of grass and to bathe between each ray is part of the pleasures of any artist’s canvas. Letting go is one of the strengths of natural-born wanderers. No outfit, cunning vice, and false comforts can distract Him. She wants to be free. Beauty is an inspiration for a harmonious interaction. Virtues bring upon ideals of the deepest. Truth is everything.

A Fact: The complimentary color of blue is orange.

 

Seagulls have wings.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

“Like everything else, Fletcher. Practice.”
― Richard Bach

 A text that has the ability to solicit a gentle awareness of  soft ponderings is the tender short story Jonathan Livingston Seagull written by the American author Richard Bach. The fable, a modest account of a rebellious Seagull named Jonathan, starts at the pace of high speed winds. Allowing the readers instantly to dive into the courageous flights of a self-driven bird. The brief book, developed through the author’s own personal passions and his own sense of inner philosophy. Jonathan the seagull has the inclination of being not quite similar to the rest of the flock. His diverse way of being leads him to exile. He passes a period of life solo, not one bit distracted by himself. Very determined to test his limits to get his message across. We can find that the book’s message was in perfect union with the general utopic ideal shared within the counter-cultures of the time. The fable’s first release was in 1972. Richard Bach’s describes vast sceneries allowing the imagery of a Seagull to guide his vision beyond his limits. The childish behavior of the demanding seagull in pursuit to find his place is at times naively arrogant towards the natural inclination of his own species. Yet, through the means of discovery, he follows  unconditional love reminding us that everyone has the right to strive beyond one’s personal precieved barriers at their own extent. The tale seems to boast the need to break the rules, and this can bring up more reasons to think depending what direction of the eytmology of the word one partakes. I can not help add that the sense of our limits is a matter of truthful dialoge, and understanding.

Richard David Bach (June 23, 1936), a popular author of the 1970’s, had a knack  for aviation. He  served in The United States Navy Reserve and the New Jersey Air National Guard. A soundtrack for the film Jonathan Livington Seagull was produced by Neil Diamond.  The same film was adapted from the above tale.

 

“We are all special cases.”
— Albert Camus

There are books that are similar to a bouquet of flowers. When a person holds one within his or her hands, it is not a suprise to feel uplifted by the budding of each page. Like a moderate bloom, whose core is able to touch one of the many significant emotions that pertain to human existence, I adore strolling down the street and recieving the praise from the bystanders that see me with whatever novel is in my hand. To walk while reading brings me much sympathy, especially from elderly women who stop and who pay compliments to me from time to time. They don’t suspect that this odd habit of mine (that started  four years ago) was once a coping skill. Now the case is much different; to read slowly while walking is my way of cultivating peace.

Flour and Water.

An attempt at making bread.

Eat healthy.

Participate.

Love a lot.

Everyone starts the New Year with their own sense of mission.

Mine? I want to start making my own bread.

My first attempt: rye flatbread.

Flour, and water are the essentials needed along one’s personal choice of spices. Measure, knead, roll-out, and then cook.  Add lots of colors by choping up a lot of vegetables.

Make your own bread to get a true sense of luxury.

2019 will be fantastic everyone!

To Mimic: We need seeds and bees.

Luscious dark greens flushed by the decay of russet reds, the season was the scene in which life was the center. The terrain, abundant, preceded at a pace that laid. Time hinted, autumn leaves were soon to be done as they proceeded onward to their homage. Unlike the timid ways of night’s falling stars. They knew, a blanket was needed for the dampened ground whose moist heat concerned a body. A gardener who sat for many reasons, had wished for the presence of the falling foilage for countless seasons. His vision blurred, thick like a faded film the clear aura blessed. It was clear that the golden blanket upon the ground resembled fleece. They felt naive. The florid essence, and winter’s musk had intoxicated reason. For he began to wander, and to ponder about seeds,  bees, and his daily cup of tea. Deep as dusk, hours ticked tween the winter’s petals that blew. The fleece, now bright as snow, with little haste concieved crystalline dew. The flakes mimicked foilage. Droplets of night, whose light took flight. A future Spring is said to renew. Lucious are the dark greens flushed once by rays, that is now is a pale, winter, blanket’s bare hue.

FYI: I went through more than a month worth of writer's block.

The Justice of Aphrodite: from the depths she rose.

 

I have been to many places in the past couple of weeks. Each locale with their own set of manners, and individual characteristics. I had found myself being touched by the esthetics of ageless history, and my senses uplifted by the natural hues of the various regions of Italy. Anagni, Gaeta, Sperlonga, Rome are some of the locales along with many others that had been part of my journey.

A Quest for Beauty: A Ponder on Hillman’s Afrodite near the delicate tides of Gaeta.

“.. beauty works as a calling to better things, pulling the heart to love, to the mind to imagine more vividly. Moreover, morality without beauty stifles both heart and mind. Boring. Dull.”

– James Hillman

The pink book was appealing. An imagery of The Pearls of Aphrodite  was chosen to be on the front cover. The painting, an exquisite example of Neoclassicism was the creation of Herbet Draper from the Victorian era. The cover so elegant to the eye, was a delight to behold. In the same way a child would test a set of newly bought markers. I kept the book in my hands as I would enjoy observing the contrasting colors of Gaeta’s blue sea, paired up to the book’s bright femmine coloration. I walked and read. Aphrodite being either of  Kythera, or Paphos is an interesting debate. The greek goddess of love has various tales of the origins of her birth. For Homer she is Cypris, for Hesiod (the Greek poet) the goddess was born through the castration of Ouranos, to then rise from foam. Wherever the place might have been is a matter of the discussion, and study. Within Aphrodite’s Justice instead the philospher James Hillman decided to take a closer look of the psychological aspects of Aphrodite. Combining the behavioral study of psychology to the realms of spirit.

What is considered to be sacred for one may be considered an obscure cause of pain, and lust to the other. The perspective, a collection of internal experiences and external conditioning is a mean of measurement bound to be diverse in each of us. Hillman hints there was a reasoning pertaining to the past Christianised philosphers’ opinions, whose ideas separated justice from beauty, contradicting their very beliefs. An interesting account of Psyche, and Eros was written within the essay. The two being a combining representation of passionate desire, the psychologist attempts to help the reader understand the trials of the justice in regards to the goddess. The goddess of the poets, artists, and for he who search for harmony within the forms is bound to change us as we search for a sense of wonder. The higher love associated to Aphrodite Urania, that is of harmony with the heavens was not suprisingly developed slowly, throughout the course of ages. The question of beauty working like a dialouge between the subjective, and  the objective. Beauty is also not limited to what Hillman calls “easy prettiness”, but takes part of the full range of emotions of vast lively confusion that is felt when we are in the prescence of it. This reminds me also of Walter Benjamin’s concept of aura.

“Psyche succeds by virtue of her morality. She is vulnerable; influences reach into her, confuse her, and are assimilated.” – James Hillman

James Hillman (April 12, 1926 – October 27, 2011) from Atlantic City, New Jersey was an American psychologist who created an Archetypal form of Psychoanalysis that derived from Carl Jung’s analytical form of psychology. The essay La Giustizia Di Afrodite, published by Edizioni La Conchiglia (an pubblisher located in Capri, Italy.) was translated thanks to Silvia Ronchey an expert on Byzantine History that teaches in the University of Siena.

“As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.” – C.P Cavafy

 

I want to warmly thank the following hotels: Silva Hotel Splendid (Fiuggi), The Duke Hotel (Rome), Hotel Veneto Palace (Rome), and J.K. Palace Hotel (Rome). The staff has treated me so well, and I appreciated every moment of it.

Earl Grey Galore: Our Moments with Emma of Hartfield.

Life’s enchanted cup sparkles near the brim. – Lord Byron

17:00 Tea Time

Neatly sat at a table were a group of inquiring people. Their prescence in a orderly fashion shared colorful cups of tea whose warmth, and decor shimmered. It was a perfect decision, that to choose to stay indoors on a damp Sunday evening. Each person different in shape, and frame. It was not long for the cups of thin rims, and a fine porcelain bodies to take on a lively stance far from their saucers. Sipped, were the three teas of distant origins with a complextion similar to petals. Each warm essence of the brewed leaves, and flowers were poured inbetween intervals, at the tempo of a gentle chat, the light flickered. The quietude, along with humble laughter seemed to be brightest example of rebellion in comparison to our time. More the merrier, and clearer the guest’s speech became, the futhermore that atmosphere deemed pleasant in what I consider the most beloved essence of art a need for giving and recieving.

What was our subject of matter?

  Emma Woodhouse of Hartfield.

The English Georgian era that layed tween 1714, and 1837 was an era of different manners. Sunday schools, and governesses were children’s means of education, if fortunate. Women were not expected to be self-sufficient, and single women lived with their families and/or protectors. If one would sit down, and ponder they would be amazed at Jane Austen, the author of Emma, a book written in 1816. The author of the delightful novella was 40, and single not in line with the contemporaries of her time. She was not your average women. Realistic, and ironic are the many characters of various Jane Austen’s books that potrayed the many faces of love. Emma Woodhouse, the beautiful young lady of grand fortune, life of comfort, spoiled, was the character in discussion that Sunday evening. She had what she needed to be happy, and she knew it. Not caring for more, but for others’ affairs.  Her favorite past-time? It was matchmaking , which I personally dislike to fall victim of. Believing to have known it all in the matters of the heart. There was nothing that she enjoyed more than spending her precious time, meddling within the relationships of others. The orphan Harriet Smith, who loved  the “simpleton” Mr. Martin, was not too different from Emma despite the ranks of “society” that divided. They were unaware of their similar attitudes in regards to love. The young ladies wanting to be true to themselfves, foolishly find their ways towards their hearts’ desires. One can not help, but notice the characteristics of pride that keep reemerging within Jane Austen’s novels. This recurrence seem to showcase the complex, and seemignly simple people of the Georgian time.  The book is an example of a glimpse of the woman’s inner need to become a ever so free member of society in regards to the social norms. The characters delicately rebeling within their context.

Jane Austen born on the 16th of December in the year 1775, in a family of 8th children. She had a father that was a clergyman, and enjoyed the quiet, simple country life. Author of six published books, not including her various other writings. She is still entertaining us til this day thanks to her novels Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1916), Northanger Abbey (1818), and Persuasion (1818).

Quick Fact: The Hanoverian Kings George I, George II, George III, and George IV were the German Royal house in which inspired the Georgian era period's name.

The Chestnuts of Cuneo are delicious. That night when the guests had left on a gleeful note, the family of the locale were so kind to give me a sack full of chestnuts to take home along with me. May I say it was a fine gift indeed. I adore chestnuts very much. If you happen to be in Italy at this time, make sure to buy hot caldarroste at one of the many stands that you are likely find in your town or city. Chestnuts are perfect to eat in the park, while falling leaves takes the place of falling stars. For people like myself that might find themselfves with little time on their hands. They are perfect to throw into boiling water for fifteen minutes to then peel, and eat. I have never been to Cuneo though, and while looking at the map I can not help notice that it is close to Liguria. Liguria is beautiful.

 

The Friendly Castle of Moncalieri.

South east of Turin within the region of Piedmont lies a little town called Moncalieri. It is a  pleasant place, also being quite peaceful, and silent this past Saturday on the day I visited. The locale not residing too far from Turin, it is easily accessible by train. The faire also being exceedingly cheap. It did not tax my pockets, not one bit. With various boutiques, bars, and libraries along the way of the main street I headed through the borgo. That day’s visit was directed to what is considered the location’s most famous jewel; The Castello of Moncalieri. I was suprised by the extreme politeness, and furthermore patience of the habitants that made sure to help me along, while guiding me towards the castel. A young habitant’s proof of patience was constantly tested as I stopped to take pictures throughhout the way.  The Piazzetta Vittorio Emanuele II, an elegantly humble square was luminous, and clean with many humble bars to stop at to enjoy an aperitif. The few locals who seemed to be out, and about that day, sat infront of the bar of their choice living graciously in a collected, slow manner. While being pointed out to the various sights, at the corner of the same square there was the Church of San Francesco whose origins date back to a preceding chapel of the 12th century.

Entering a novel is like going on a climb in the mountains: You have to learn the rhythms of respiration – acquire the pace. Otherwise you stop right away.– Umberto Eco

Il Castello di Moncalieri.

  The structure, overtowering the  city for it’s historical fame and  importance is listed within UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultral Heritage. It was the residency of The Royal House of Savoy. It’s an important structure part of the various Sabaude residences,  situated within and on the outskirts of Turin. It is one of the many of the 22 Sabaude constructions to testimony Italy’s monarchic past, a time that preceded the Italian Institutional Referendum of 1946. Built by Tommaso I of the Savoy in the 11th century, the spot  was a strategic one acting as an entrance that looked over the passage of the south of Turin. Under the power of Iolanda di Valois, the daugther of Carlo VII of France the castle became a Villa Di Delizia. The Villas of Delight, were homes of leisure in which nobles went to spend their free time. She along with other historical figures had shared their prescence in the Castle of Moncalieri. The castle went through many architectual work, fountains, and gardens were also then added. Vittorio Emanuele II, also known as Vittorio Emanuele Maria Alberto Eugenio Ferdinando Tommaso di Savoia loved the location, making the castle the perfect study for his children. Currently the castle became a caserma for carabinieri. Today the castle with plenty of stories to tell, is also an museum which is open to the public.

Rivetti, the pastry shop.

In Moncalieri the Pasticcieria Rivetti is much adored by the locals. It was more than once I have been hinted that it is the place to visit, It is a traditional pastry shop with many selections of teas, hot chocolate, and pastries. It is any “old timer’s” perfect place.  Situated in a building of two floors on Via San Martino, the atmosphere recalls a time of a distant past. Untouched, by the trends of today’s era. It was a little paradise for anyone who is searching for a Piccolo Mondo Antico. I asked for a pot of white tea, to go along with a couple of butter cookies that where indeed delicious! Unfortunately though I could not stay long, so as I wandered back to the train station to head towards Turin. I made sure to stop to have a glass of Franciacorta, along with a selection of cheese paired with cold-cuts.

Franciacorta is a delightful sparkling wine, that derives from the region of Lombardy in the small area of Franciacorta, near Brescia. It being similar to the Champagne, the quality is seperb. The bottle must be of DOCG, which is the lable that proves that the wine is the highest level of Italian wine classification.

Les Guerre Des Boutons of Louis Pergaud

This book is new to me. I have found it one evening in a library as I searched for a French book to read. Hidden between various books of various languages. In that precise Italian bookshop did not have a many French books on hand. Tha majority of books were  in English, and obviously Italian. I did however found Les Guerre Des Boutons which in English is translated into The War of Buttons. Written by the French author, and poet Lois Pergaud. Published in 1912, within the first years of Modernisim, the book talks about two children gangs fighting for glory.  Adapted into script for five different movies. The victims that fell prey, being held hostage, and then finding themselfves without their buttons. Funny, and light this story is perfect as a family story. My copy, not being true to the novel’s original, is a copy by Lang Edizioni adapted to teach French through a cartoon illustrations.  While describing the fight between Les Longevernes, and Velrans I am able to learn this language while following the images of the cartoon contained inside. Teaching me the phrases like “Marie a les cheveux blonds.”, and ‘La craie? Pour quoi faire?‘. This way I am able to learn this language as I listen to Serge Gainsbourg day dreaming happily, like a  happy woman should.