Agricultural archeology…

Every morning in Codiponte, The Dogs & I go on their prefered AM tour: down the ramps of il Poggiolo to the Medieval bridge, across its 17th Century stones and its ghastly layer of 60’s asphalt to the fig tree at the other end… where first Nina, then Moses pee… then down a long asphalted ramp to the little lane which runs through the flood-plain of new-constructed single-family houses of an untold architectural brutality of pitched roofs & white stucco… at the start of which, Nina habitually leaves a bio-donation in the grassy gulf between the ramp and the sad greyed house in the field next door. Meanwhile, Moses trots off to sniff around the empty aluminium shack where the little lane splits from the spur down to the Aulella River’s ford… on around to the new bridge and through the village for home-sweet-home.

Yesterday, was no different EXCEPT I lost Moses. One moment he was behind me and in the next he was gone. I looked around but no trace of that Weimaraner. I yelled too. The entire village of Codiponte is used to my yelling… MOOOOOSES!!! NIIIIIINA!!! Of late, Moses is either deaf or plain hard-headed. He never responds by plodding back to me. I let Nina loose of her leash to free myself of her constant pulling and to go in search of the Dog. Immediately Nina bolted down a gravel & grass trail at the sandy terraces of the bocce ball courts. I quickly followed to snare her back. No sense to loose both of The Dogs. After a hundred meters, I spotted Moses. He was hobbling and sniffing this’s & that’s beside the most gorgeous yet obviously abandoned stone walls. I walked down what had become a sunken grassy road to re-capture him. I discovered the walls delineated plots of land, probably once-upon-a-time vegetable gardens & orchards and built to protect them from the river’s occasional flooding. Now, none are used for what they were intended for. Struck me as an odd sort of archeological site.

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I ought to thank Moses. I was unaware of this aspect of greater Codiponte.

Il Poggiolo has similar constructions about the path which climbs up to the Borgo Castello. The vestiges have a hedge of spino fiorito… it puts out a small, delicate white flower in the spring… planted to replace the “privacy-protection” of a taller wall destroyed and fallen-down during the ’22 earthquake.

In the future, I’ll let The Dogs show me more of their amblings off their leashes. Who knows where Nina would take me. Scary. Gads!

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Dreaming of Il Poggiolo…

I am in America. The country becomes more alien yet addictive with each visit. I feel at home because of its conveniences. What irritates are the size of the grocery stores, the constant onslaught of TV drug ads and cars so HUGE that an on-coming SUV often blocks out the sun’s rays. Not for me.

IMG_1057My real home is Il Poggiolo. In Italy. And after all I have said about You and his darn stuff, I cannot believe what I am about to write… All the stuff I truly love is in our Tuscan farm-house. A list: my books… would literature apply here?… on Russian & English history, airplanes & airports too and non-fiction enough to cause others to yawn and now must be dusted: pieces of furniture I adore, like the 1820’s armoire and its faux-streaked finish and its creaky doors, my 1890’s drop-down desk which probably weighs more than the house’s structure wants to bear and the 1960’s one-legged wood table in L’Appartamento Azzurro’s bathroom, a prototype from some famous Italian designer whose name I can not ever call up and might not want to since, the thing is really just an unstable and thus, a useless object in the corner; certain pictures on the walls, mostly on a Virgin Mary theme and our collection of animal heads all named Boris; and finally, those plates… a recent gift from You’s adventure to Udine’s network of flea-markets… with pineapples dancing on their borders. Did you know a pineapple is a symbol of hospitality? Must be You’s hint for us to host an Il Poggiolo Party.

IMG_2910Separation from Il Poggiolo creates the most intense dreams but not of My Stuff. No. The nocturnal visuals are of Il Poggiolo’s stones, rocks, what have you. And, no matter if they make a house wall, a garden buttress or courtyard pavement. Lots of grey with mottled bits of moss. I swirl and fly and graze feeling their cool, static state of my house & garden’s permanence. Well, baring any recurrence of an earthquake or deluge. I guess I am seeking reassurance the house remains, waiting for me, my flights a check before returning to wake-up my 110 kilo body from its tossing & turnings in a King-size bed at 3:41AM wide-awake. Nothing to do but savour the arrival with a very early morning cup of coffee and turn on the TV to find out what the day’s weather is going to be like. Gads.