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Earthquake


Another earthquake ripped through  Emilia Romagna. So many are homeless, terrified, injured, bereft. Many have died, broken and suffocated by buildings collapsing on them. May they find peace. The Earth is on the move. And as it moves, it is shaking us off, one community at a time.

From the hills tonight resounds the descant of dogs. One intones, the kennel in the valley counters in a higher pitch, back and forth, back and forth, sending cryptic messages into the night. The June moon fills out behind a veil of clouds. The  bellies of Botticelli’s Venus, Primavera, Madonna, and Judith swell.

Cloaks and veils billow, describing odd “M” shaped folds, curls, loops, and puzzling me with the secret messages of their sartorial calligraphy. What, if anything, did he, Sandro Botticelli mean by them?Surely an artist who troubled himself to depict 190 species of plants in a single painting, did not leave the architecture of folds completely up to whimsy!

On the drive back, there was a battering of recriminations for holding up the return by “luring” my sister into various shops and insisting on side trips. Responsibility for the delay in returning is being heaped squarely on my shoulders. Attempted engagement in professional plans of sister leads to more rebuffs, negative qualifiers, dismissive self-diagnoses, all of which finally pushes the tears out of my eyes.

Only hours later, when both mother and sister are asleep, the dishes put away, the fireflies basting their loose stitches of light in the night sky‚ does the dam finally collapse and the sorrow and grief held back so long, pressing — all along — against the inside of the spine… that dam breaks. Sorrow, unhampered, for the disappointments, humiliations, failures, and mistakes.

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