Laura G Owens ~ Writer

Humanity. Health. Happiness.

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Sometimes, we the people are just very wrong

Donald Trump

There was a time when if my well-intentioned friends apologized for aging racists who said atrocious stuff, just to be polite, I pretended to agree with their lovable excuses.

Forgive that generation for they know not what they say!

They know.

A few years ago my sixty-something neighbor, a nice but tiresome lady, showed up at my door to gently complain about something I needed to fix. A few minutes later she got weirdly quiet and sighed, which I’d learned was my cue to ask.

“My husband is really upset lately because our son has been dating a half-breed nigger.”

She said it casually and in cahoots, like she’d mentioned that interest rates were up and so of course we’d both see the obvious downside of what was coming next.

And when I looked horrified, she didn’t.

“Oh yes, I forgot your generation doesn’t talk that way,” she said.

“Actually my entire family doesn’t talk that way,” I said.

And when one of my brothers who wasn’t raised racist offhandedly used the N-word I told him no, not ever. Not in my house.

People need to hear that thinking racist or outrageous bile out loud isn’t okay simply because people hand them a few empathetic hall passes like:

  • They hail from a less politically correct era
  • They earned the senior privilege to no longer self-censor
  • They’re rightfully angry about lost or displaced jobs
  • They’re rightfully scared of growing terrorist threats
  • They’re rightfully sick and tired of the bought and paid political establishment

There’s no excuse weighty enough to justify hateful, racist, sexist verbal bile.

None (unless, you’re not of sound mind).

You don’t get to imply that a female journalist has PMS or that Carly Fiorina is ugly or that real war heroes don’t get captured. You don’t get to make fun of a disabled reporter or say racist things about Mexicans or that you’d ban all Muslims.

Okay you get to say almost whatever you want, but clearly you shouldn’t.

We the people decide if we raise or lower the bar for civil discourse. … FULL POST at the Huffington Post

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What I wish I’d had: maternal mental health screening

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When I was pregnant nineteen years ago I wish my doctor had warned me I might be at risk for postpartum depression.

Her words wouldn’t have freaked me out, they would have helped me cope when the darkness did indeed hit.

I wish during my 6 week check-up (when I was at my private worst) my Ob-Gyn had handed me a mental health screening and even if I lied on every question, she still explained how the “baby blues” are different than depression.

In January for the first time the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended screening pregnant and postpartum women for maternal mental illness.

Hopefully now more health care practitioners will talk to women so those who suffer know they’re not bad people or rotten mothers or God knows, alone.

The fact is worldwide 10% of pregnant women and 13% of postpartum women have a mental disorder and the numbers are even higher in developing countries.

While maternal mental illness is often lumped into the catchall “postpartum depression” it’s more complicated than a single kitchen sink diagnosis.

Read full article on Psych Central

How I cured my shingles

Shingles burns like a .....

Shingles burns like a …..

A few summers ago my husband, daughter and I were swimming in the Gulf of Mexico at Indian Rocks Beach when my daughter said, “Mom, what is that red rash on your back?”

I reached my fingers around and felt a two by two sore bumpy patch in the left middle of my back.

“Oh my God. I hope it’s not shingles,” I said. My husband looked worried; then he pretended to back up a few waves (I can’t blame him for the mock horror. Most people think shingles is contagious. It depends).

“It probably isn’t shingles,” I said. “Celeste told me it’s awful, really, really painful. This doesn’t feel too bad. It’s probably just some contact rash from sunscreen or lotion” I said.

We laughed it off and my husband and daughter went about making fun of me in our family’s way of no-mercy bashing for the (not really) suffering.

I’m not sure why I sensed I had shingles except body instinct, that little nudge that tells you something before you know you know it. Lately my exercise endurance was off, like I needed an extra kick to keep going.

I also had a nagging “muscle” ache in my upper left shoulder region and left rib area (the pathway the virus traveled on me). Also, a close family member told me last year all about her horrible case of shingles.

“It felt like the worst sunburn ever” Celeste said, “crossed with a thousand bee stings and then someone taking a rake across my skin. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t turn over. If I had to live with that pain I’d have killed myself.”

Full article….

 

It’s time the anti-poverty Pope blesses birth control.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis and birth control

It’s not easy to criticize the coolest Pope, ever.

Pope Francis smiles for selfies, Tweets, says yes! to the Big Bang and evolution, waves from his popemobile and against tradition, washes (oh the horror!) the feet of women on Holy Thursday.

I’m not Catholic but when this Pope speaks, I listen. I don’t expect to agree with everything he says but by God, he makes me want to.

Still, Pope Francis’s command to end world poverty doesn’t square holy with me when the church still insists artificial contraception goes against the “natural laws of God” to go forth and multiply.

What’s natural about nuns feeding starving belly-bloated children in remote villages while helping malnourished mothers push out baby number 6,7 and 12?

Simple compassionate math says when you make more kids you make more mouths to feed. Never mind couples who don’t want a houseful. Plenty opt out altogether which Francis in his wisdom of raising a family, lovingly calls a “selfish choice.”

Scolding birth control is an archaic man-made patriarchal mandate that commands women to be involuntary breeders and over populate the planet…..

No contraception makes sexy time better?

Of course most modern Catholics don’t believe every sperm is sacred. “They’re well aware of the Vatican’s pronouncements,” wrote Frank Bruni in his piece, “Be Fruitful, Not Bananas,” They just prefer to plug their ears.”

Some wishful thinkers think the church offers wiggle room for married couples to use their “individual conscience” about family planning but the reality is, contraception is still a mortal sin and an act of “individual disobedience.”

So when the sympathetic priest counsels a couple he’s forced to speak out of two sides of his mouth, “Sure, go ahead and pop on that condom, take birth control, but just so you know (smiling sadly), I’m obligated to tell you you’re headed for eternal Hell.”

I’m a former Methodist, now a Unitarian Universalist (your basic heretic) so I don’t grapple much with doctrine. If a teaching doesn’t jive with common sense and Golden Rule 101, I balk.

In the article “Contraception, Conscience and Church Authority” George Sim Johntson reminds that the good Catholic doesn’t just grin and bear His will, she heroically conforms to it.

“The implicit message is: God’s will is something you deal with while gritting your teeth.”

“But since gritting your teeth is not fun, and God doesn’t want us to be upset about the choices we make, then follow your conscience. There are so many fallacies here; it would take a book to address them. A short response is that saints not only heroically conform their lives to the will of God, but also love that will. Are we not called to imitate them? If we do, even the sex might be better. As Benedict XVI points out in Deus Caritas Est, eros is most fully itself when governed by agape.”

Wow, that’s quite a stretch. Unprotected sex as an aphrodisiac.

I’ve never met a woman who says she gets turned on by the thought of an unwanted pregnancy at the end of her partner’s orgasm. Making a baby when you don’t want a baby isn’t titillating, it’s terrifying.

But religion is masterful at managing cognitive dissonance. You just think you don’t want a baby or you can’t afford a fourth, but yield to God’s will rather than your own selfish needs and the blessings will appear.

Full post at: Huffington Post

 

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Lady writes in to insist on “natural roles” for women and men.

all in the family

I had to do some serious deep breathing after I read this letter to the Orlando Sentinel.

Diane wrote against women in combat, against women going against their “natural roles” in society:

“However, feminists have shrilly begged for “equality” for so long, and now they have it; or do they? Not all women want it; nor do men. Equality is physically and emotionally impossible. Society flounders and becomes coarse and nonproductive when men and women do not accept and assume their natural roles.”

Diane, you might think insisting on equal opportunity and pay is “shrill” and unladylike (you poor dear… does your husband haughtily scold you when you forget to warm his coffee or buy his favorite poppy-seed muffin?)

Let me explain so I don’t sound like I’m against traditional roles for men and women. I’m not.

You might prefer a traditional role in your home, wonderful, have at it, but don’t insult men and women who want opportunities once not afforded or expected of them.

Don’t insult men and women who prefer non-traditional arrangements for their family.

In my family I do the bulk of the cooking. My husband however, makes his own breakfast (I make his if I’m making mine) and lunch and often, his own dinner, so does my teenage daughter.

When our daughter was little he did diapers, bottles, and every other non-breast feeding child care task. He does his own laundry because he did his own laundry when we met, and, he’s a messy guy who piles clean and dirty clothes into one indiscernible mega heap so, I saw no need to take over this laundry fiasco when we married.

We both carpooled our daughter when she was younger. I worked for a while after she was born. I’ve stayed home ever since. I’m a writer. My husband also works from home. We both grill.  We both take muscle strength classes. We both clean the kitchen. We had one child by choice. We all share in kitchen duty.

My husband takes out the garbage. I do the weeding. He serves himself, sometimes I get him a plate. I’m on a Board, he’s not. I volunteer, he does too. He does most of the long driving because I hate it. I do almost all the grocery shopping and 99% of holiday decorating.

Traditional family? Meh. Traditional-ish? We divide labor by common sense, fairness and gut instinct, not gender.

“Natural roles”  simply don’t exist anymore except that women and men still come pre-packaged with baby-making parts.

Alllllllthough, not all women and men want babies, so are they unnatural? Let me clarify, if your friend Charlotte can’t make babies OR doesn’t want them, is she unnatural? Am I unnatural because I stopped at one child?

YES to your point Diane, our brains are different, no arguing that.

YES our bodies are different. By and large men have stronger upper body strength (although I’ve seen some kick ass strong women in muscle conditioning class who haul weights bigger than some of the men’s, sooo….).

But, who cares about our differences?  Women (and men) deserve access to every job available on the planet IF they can do the job.

If over time co-ed combat works out, great. If it doesn’t then I’ll be the first to say women, sorry, you need to stick to non-combative roles. Only time will tell.  (“Women in Combat: Pros and Cons”)

Diane wrote: “Society flounders and becomes coarse and nonproductive when men and women do not accept and assume their natural roles.”

Course? Unproductive?

Well now I do declare!

Yes, one finds it unbecoming and quite unproductive when a person of the female persuasion does not understand her natural role as wife and mother, and when she uses phrases not delicate or honoring to the feminine sensibility. Women are precious unspoiled flowers whose petals will wilt under such  masculine pursuits or unsavory language.

What a load of archaic crap.

I love being feminine and (most) that comes with my femininity. I loved having my baby (minus childbirth, I’d give that horror away in a heartbeat). I love men being men (the muscles and other parts that differentiate us, and all that), but this natural role nonsense is pitiful.

Diane writes of women in uniform: “I find it rather sad that a woman is content to be admired because she is masculine. To what purpose?”

Admired? She’s—–wearing—–her—-uniform.

Her job isn’t to turn on her fellow soldiers with her feminine-ness. Would pink fatigues suit your delicate sensibilities better? Maybe some pretty little lace to dot the collar so the male soldiers know right away that underneath those boyish boob-flattening fatigues sits a girly girl?

Diane used the old sitcom “All in the Family” (“girls were girls and boys were boys”) to illustrate her point.

What I want to comment (but the piece is closed to comments):

What Diane, you fail to understand about one of my favorite sitcoms of all times “All in the Family,” is Archie and Edith’s characters were used to HIGHLIGHT that which was CHANGING in an era when racism, sexism and traditional gender expectations were CHALLENGED.

Norman Lear, ma’am, knew EXACTLY what he was doing when he wrote “All in the Family.” But do you know what you’re saying when you refer to “natural roles?” Define your role as you will, but allow others to define their societal roles as they will.

THAT’s the natural role of human beings, in 2016. 

Image credit: By CBS Television (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“Women in Combat: Pros and Cons” 

 

This Pope is dope

Of the people, for the people

Of the people, for the people

dope  adj. cool, nice, awesome

 

Title too flip for the highest Catholic?

Just wait, some hip-hopper will pen a positive rap about Pope Francis.  He’s street. He’s of the people, all people. At least in tone, because when I stop swooning and take a look, his policies on church law haven’t changed.

The Pope hasn’t reversed a single issue, birth control, abortion, same-sex marriage, women in the priesthood or divorce (minus his recent change to the annulment process to make it more convenient and less costly) but his soft radically loving tone almost convinces me he has — or that the church will one day.

The Pope even has a receptive audience with some who think God is a hoax.  (“15 Surprising Things Atheists Are Saying about Pope Francis”). 

As an atheist (not speaking for all of them), I’m a huge fan of this pope. I think people need to find their own reason to be good to others. For some, it is god (whichever flavor he/she/it may be). Others find that they want to be good for other reasons. I’m just glad that the big C found a leader willing to try his best to not just preach to his crowd, but try to show them how. ~ Anonymous

Religion skeptics read this Pope as an empathetic listener rather than a sanctimonious hand-slapper.  He says come one come all, embrace each other especially the least among us and in a Christian Nation, atheists are by the denomination pie, one of the least among us.

His language is careful and loving. He doesn’t ask how dare you dis the Vatican?  His focus is instead on workable solutions for the poor, the uneducated, the disenfranchised, the ostracized, the misunderstood.

If he scolds it’s to ask, why we ignore so many poor?

Pope Francis

In other words, he sounds like Jesus.

Every Pope has a big following but this one has a gift of gently coaxing people into self-reflection, into relying on one’s conscience to guide our actions.

This is as impressive as walking on water.

The world likes Pope Francis.  And when we like someone to show respect, we consider their point of view, even as we vote against it.

Pope Francis is making unlikely friendships. 

I don’t agree with many of the Catholic laws (I was Methodist now I’m Unitarian Universalist) but I admire Pope Francis for cutting through the pomp and hierarchy and for avoiding divisive language.

He reminds us he’s human, and so he’s not closer to God than you or me or the atheist (should he/she ever want God proximity).

On gay priests Pope Francis said, “Who am I to judge?” Seems a few religion cynics might be saying the same thing about him.

If we get down to it, Pope Francis hasn’t changed his stand on church laws. “The pope has often delivered popular comments on unpopular church policies that sound like realized reforms. But so far no alterations of doctrine have taken place; widespread impressions that the rules have changed haven’t matched reality.” New York Times, Op-Ed. “The Pope, Catholics and Birth Control.”

He is, though, changing how people talk about views in opposition to church doctrine so I listen, and then I hold out hope for future reform.

The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians–when they are sombre and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths – Sheldon Vanauken 

Pope Francis

 

 

Kim Davis: At least we have this in common

I sickened myself as I cheered, celebrating this Christian being thrown to the lions. I watched the one minute coverage below and rooted the mob who piled on in front of Kim Davis’s desk, a woman who three-times divorced with two kids out-of-wedlock (not judging pointing out hypocrisy) refuses to grant marriage certificates to same-sex couples.

 

This was bound to happen. Kim Davis just happens to be the first face of rebellion.

After SCOTUS ruled, people warned priests would be hauled off to jail if they refused to marry same-sex couples, but religious institutions have legal protection, a public servant or private citizen doesn’t.

I want to dig out some grace with this lady, do unto others; I want to step into Ms. Davis shoes as she’s hauled off for contempt of court. She had to be terrified.

I want to dig up some grace for this lady, who I genuinely believe feels it’s spiritually impossible to break her contract with God.

I want to try to feel her pain, to know the crowd catcalls are unnerving and that the media attention is undoubtedly upsetting her family. I want to know that all the pressure is nothing compared to her very real, very felt fear she’ll go to Hell if she goes against God.

I want to try to momentarily move into her place of such deeply wholly, holy, heartfelt God obedience that she risks jail and losing her job.

Ms Davis says this isn’t about hating gays and lesbians, the default “I promise I’m not a meanie” disclaimer for disguised discrimination, but the fact is refusing to grant a law-abiding adult a marriage license is hateful.

I wan’t to find some pity but I can’t.

Because the day I concur that what Ms Davis stands for in the name of religion is right by God is the day my soul dies, is the day I live with the Hell of my own earthly making.

In that Ms. Davis and I have much in common. I too would go to jail and risk my job over my beliefs.

Heritage or hate?

Confederate flag’s half-century at S.C. Capitol ends – CNN.com

Yes it’s true, taking the Confederate flag down won’t end racism as banning the swastika in Germany didn’t stop Neo-Nazis from bleeding white supremacy. But why would anyone willing to face the Confederate flag’s history want to add insult to injury?

“The Confederate flag, we are told, represents heritage, not hate. But why should we celebrate a heritage grounded in hate, a heritage whose self-avowed reason for existence was the exploitation and debasement of a sizeable segment of its population?” Southern historian Gordon Rhea, 2011.

“It is no accident that Confederate symbols have been the mainstay of white supremacist organizations,” writes Rhea, “from the Klu Klux Klan to the skinheads. They did not appropriate the Confederate battle flag simply because it was pretty. They picked it because it was the flag of a nation dedicated to their ideals: ‘that the negro is not equal to the white man‘. “ Wikipedia

So let’s think about honoring heritage for a moment.

Honoring heritage is about memorializing the sacrifices of soldiers, cause aside.  Heritage symbolism however, shouldn’t make anyone’s stomach lurch.  And yet, the Confederate flag makes plenty of black and white people shudder because it’s seeped in hate. That’s just documented history, not anti-white paranoia.

“The battle flag was never adopted by the Confederate Congress, never flew over any state capitols during the Confederacy, and was never officially used by Confederate veterans’ groups. The flag probably would have been relegated to Civil War museums if it had not been resurrected by the resurgent KKK and used by Southern Dixiecrats during the 1948 presidential election.” Southern political scientists James Michael Martinez, William Donald Richardson, and Ron McNinch-Su. Wikipedia

Unfortunately it took the recent tragedy in Charleston to pull the flag from the SC state house. Like many issues shamefully overdue for change, Charleston was the Confederate flag’s tipping point.

Private property citizens can wave the Confederate flag all they want. They can line their flatbeds with it, dot their lawns or paint their mailboxes, but what’s the message they hope to send?

The South will rise again?

Rise over who?

The South should have won?

Won what? To hold onto slavery, segregation and white supremacy?

Ask yourself if you can show deep pride in your heritage without waving a flag that causes some people to reflexively cringe in fear. And the answer is, of course you can.

Staring down the dark origins of the Confederate flag doesn’t dishonor our soldiers, nor does it take away from the glorious good of our southern citizens who are some of the warmest most polite people I know across a culture of community strength, beautiful lands and heart-filled comfort food.

We aren’t separatists and yet the Confederate flag separates.

While we can honor our state and the unique pieces and parts that define a region, above all we’re the UNITED States of America represented by one flag to remind us: our sordid history doesn’t have to define us, but our current decisions most assuredly will.  

The other

rainbow hands

It’s a rare and glorious moment to witness a Supreme Court ruling that makes rights for some, the law of the land for everyone.

I wasn’t around when slavery and segregation ended or when women were given the vote. My rights as a citizen were fought for me and have been readily available, although gender equality still isn’t done.

I can hear my future grandchildren say as I once did about women and the vote,  “You mean gay people couldn’t get married at one time? That’s just stupid.”

Today’s Supreme Court ruling was fast-tracked social justice (in contrast to other social change) and a sign I think, of our evolving consciousness as humans.

Believe it or not we’re getting closer to getting ourselves right, faster. This, despite the daily dousing of negative media images that distort our self-perception to one where humans are an innately decent well-intentioned species rather than merely a survival-based selfish creature DNA-designed to repeat the horrors of our past.

On the whole (not to dismiss the ugly realities of racism or extremists) I think we’re less threatened by the “other” seated next to us in schools, churches, government and business. We spend time with “other” in our day-to-day and it turns out, they’re not so unlike us.

They bleed. They breathe. They want safety, food, love, validation, prosperity and to smile.

As well, we’re increasingly becoming an ambiguous blend of “contradictions” which in turn breaks stereotypes and opens dialogue. The gay conservative Republican. The self-proclaimed feminist male from the South. The conservative in favor of immigration reform. The Democrat not convinced by man-made climate change. The pro Obamacare Republican in favor of upping the minimum wage and gun control. The Democrat against all three.

Brown skin, black or Asian. Atheists chatting with Hindus at my UU church. Muslims and Christians sharing coffee with surprising opinions that wander from expectation. Modern Family is our family or at the very least, our neighborhood or our town. We remain distinct individuals, one of a splendid kind, and we still align with our culture or gender or religion or race or sexual orientation because humans are tribal creatures who crave connection inside our homogeneous circles.

While extremists grow more paranoid with the “other,” and so more emboldened, the majority seems to accept we’re a mixed bag with increasingly a la carte views.

The rational among us know factionism keeps humans from our original design, to cooperate through kinship, rather than conquer through tribal warfare.

But for people afraid of losing their distinctive identity, not to worry.

Whites won’t disappear. Christians won’t fade. Families won’t disintegrate. Marriage won’t wither in favor of singledom. God won’t ever go out of fashion.  Conservatives will remain. Liberals will stay.

I wasn’t old enough to consider the impact of birth control and reproductive rights that changed the lives of women whose trajectory was decided by one unplanned pregnancy after another. Even so, I never had to consider what it would mean not to control my own baby-making because my biology made the choice for me.

At 19 I learned I had a benign pituitary disorder that meant if I ever wanted to get pregnant I’d need fertility intervention. I’ve only had to consider reproductive rights for the future of my daughter and other women.

I’ve never had to fight for the vote, child labor laws, worker’s rights or marriage equality because my birthright and the work of others before me, did all the work.

And yet, the rights of “others” have always felt for me, like human rights. Without defending theirs how could I deserve mine? 

Op-Ed: Our Weddings, Our Worth

 

 

 

One drop Italian and so, Italian

 

DadandmeNewOrleansI’m Italian-American, only one-quarter Italian, one drop. But that’s all we need to decide who we are, one drop.

“… Barack Obama has become the most high-profile personification of the one-drop rule extant. That “rule” holds that any degree of African ancestry makes one completely black. The pressure on Americans of partial African ancestry to deny their European lineage and identify solely as black is enormous,” writes  Charles Byrd.

Perhaps our first bi-racial President should remind his nation we’re all ancestral mutts of one blend or another and so one human race. But we identify with a race or ethnicity for a variety of emotional reasons that transcend reason, sometimes as a statement of genuine protest or pride, by what’s fashionable in a movement or from seeds planted by our parents.

As for my ethnic origin if it comes up I cling to my one-quarter Italian because I’m drawn to Italy’s ethos. I crave the food and landscape and rich artistic history because I was raised to appreciate Mediterranean culture.

When I was born my father gifted me with the name “Laura Giovanna Politi” (Giovanna translates to Joanne) which out of my three brothers and one sister was the only “ethnic” middle name given in our family. My father left half his lineage for me to cherish and so, was a little hurt when years before his death I stupidly told him I used to hide my middle name from my friends at school. 

Back then I needed my name to blend as I needed to blend with all the waspy Beth’s and Carol’s and Anne’s.

Later however, as a young adult determined to declare myself with anti group-think bumper stickers like my “Why be Normal?” where “normal” was printed upside down, my middle name fit with the independent-minded person I wanted to advertise.

And so I made Giovanna proof of my Italian kin by convenience, clinging to roots planted by my father and perhaps imprinted from genetic memory carried through distant ancestors.

Before I got married I struggled over whether to drop my maiden name Politi in favor of Giovanna, but Giovanna won me over because it felt like the pseudo name of a novelist.

When I talk to Italian waiters here or over seas however, I pull out both names as one might with ethnic garb or a heritage pin. Invariably every waiter smiles and repeats “Giovanna Politi” in full accent, a polite gift for a paying customer who pretends her name spoken in native tongue somehow transcends our ethnic divide.

Growing up my father embraced the European/Mediterranean food lifestyle. For hours he prepared dinner with fresh local ingredients, meals where healthy substitutions that might dilute the recipe’s signature were strictly forbidden (no margarine, skim or pretend oils).

Italian food

Image: Pava

Silently my father entered the kitchen and ritually sharpened his favorite black-boned knives across a flint into slivered angles. He expertly diced shallots inside the small space between his steady fingers, de-glazed a brown sauce in his copper saute pan and finished all day spaghetti sauce with butcher-stuffed spicy Italian sausage.

Despite grumblings and noise from five hungry kids, my father moved into a meditative trance with whatever Craig Claiborne Times’ recipe he picked that morning. Cooking Mediterranean food was his only form of sacred worship and so, dinner always came with a serious glare and verbal warning, don’t waste your appetite on the bread, slow down.

Before I visited Tuscany a few years ago I romanticized Italy as many novice visitors often do. Even now I idealize a country where although I have no desire to live, I have a visceral attraction to its sensory pulse.

My father was third generation Italian-Russian and my mother is third generation German. Yet my own blood runs German-English and Irish-Italian, a European blend inherited from biological parents I’ve been trying to find for more than three years.  At times I proudly pull out my middle and maiden names, Giovanna Politi, clinging to my two drops Italian as I cling to the invisible lineage between my two fathers, men who unaware of one another, created a daughter long drawn to Italy’s familial heartbeat.

Fiesole Italy

 

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