Ancestors
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Ancestors

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Thu 01 Dec 2016 1:44 PM

The Flintstones are known as “Gli antenati” in Italy. And though half of the Hanna and Barbera duo was of Italian descent, their cartoon dubbers were apparently unaware that “ancestors” are revered spirit-beings whose wisdom lights the way through turbulent times. Fred, on the other hand, is a toe-stubbing grumbler. Wilma is a bit of a scolder. Barney, though nice, is not the tree’s brightest bulb and Bam-Bam is going to need to add at least one word to his repertoire before someday fathering the rest of the race.

 

 

But they’ve been a point of reference lately, because grumbling, scolding and unintelligible Bam-bam-bamming pretty much reflects my state of mind over the past few weeks. And I can’t help it. I can’t help this uncanny feeling that we are all trying to drive the distance in true Flintstone style—using our bare feet instead of fuel.

 

 

This sensation, by the way, is not a political discussion, it’s a human discussion. Like it or not, we live in a world where most newspapers best line the litter box and people text instead of talk. We increasingly buy into a lifestyle whose reasoning is truly “senza babbo né mamma”. That’s how the Tuscans describe nonsense. Fatherless logic and motherless fads—that’s where we are at, folks. And this fact is not what the papers are calling “post-truth”.

 

 

Illustration by Leo Cardini

Illustration by Leo Cardini

 

 

To me, rootlessness lies at the base of all the world’s woes, but I’m not saying we should wallow in it. This is why I’ve decided to take a stand and go home for Christmas. Yes. That simple gesture is my protest against rampant orphan ideas. I plan to stand in my parents’ kitchen and cook for them while they rightfully fight about my mother’s out-of-control Santa Claus collection. I say “rightfully” because this ballooning Babbo Natale menagerie keeps Dad in a dark mood from Black Friday until well after the Befana, and not even the real Santa can blame him.

 

 

Just how many jolly bearded fellas are we talking, you wonder? Well, we’ve been venturing guesses about the true number since my sister’s last census in 1984. She was 12 years old and counted 146 Santas. She is now 44 and I think it’s safe to add a zero to her tally and be done with it. Because let’s face it, we are Liberal Arts people. Not a gene in the family pool can conjure an accurate sum, unless pressed.

 

 

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Dad is hoping I will someday marry someone smart enough to develop a Santa-counting system. I’ve tried to tell him that it’s a futile hope. Firstly, he’s married to a lady who sneaks in Santas on the sly. Secondly, I only fall for men who would not know a system if they found it piled in their plate of ravioli.

 

 

The point is, our house is crowded at Christmas and frankly, if you’re looking for a little peace, it’s far too festive a place. But I’m braving it. I’m braving it because I’ve had enough of logic senza babbo né mamma. We need ideas that come from somewhere good. Ideas from the North Pole, I’d say. Ideas with ancestry.

 

 

As the year ends, my hope is you will treat yourself to some time at home. For you, home may be a place or a person. It may be a heartfelt prayer. It might be a hobby that puts you back into this world right-side-up. In fact, it can be anything che ti rimette al mondo. Home may even be within the walls of your very own body. This is why I am hopeful: wherever home may be, there is an ‘OM’ in there. It is the portal to a smidgen of perspective.

 

 

So, this Christmas, I’ll be counting Santa Clauses. The year is ending. Let’s just take the bull by the horns and go “home”. It is the only old place that can possibly lead to somewhere new.

 

 

Buon viaggio, quindi. Meet you at the foot of our overdue resolutions in 2017.

 

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