On the one hand, I feel within me the pride of coming from that land, Calabria, a beautiful land but torn by interests and indifference. I feel that there we can live a different life, in a certain sense “truer” and closer to the needs common to every human being, a life less alienated than the one I lead in Rome. To all this I must add the fatal attraction for the sea (with which I grew up), the love for the mountains and for nature, the desire for simplicity and the possibility of helping each other in a simple and spontaneous way, between friends and family. Sometimes I want to go back there, forever.
On the other hand, however, I feel in a cage. I think of a hypothetical return and I understand that perhaps that kind of sociality – however more community and genuine – would be close to me. Because in Calabria, in most cases, good traditions go hand in hand with bad ones. Around you there is a community that supports you, but at the same time judges you. Where it is easy to fall back into the stereotype of the “different” (or, in my case, of the “pooper feminist”).
Calabria is the land of the communities that support themselves but, at the same time, of the most unbridled individualism, because everyone takes care of themselves, in a land where work and health are mere utopia (the school – still – resists ).
For this reason, reading about my land (and about such a particular area as the Grecanica one as in Lucia’s story), arouses a strong empathy in me, because I understand those feelings (even if, unlike those who tell that story, I do not have a clear conclusion in my mind).
I have no rational solution for this internal split. Rather, I resolve the contrast with the dream: I dream of being able to return to a land where community does not necessarily mean control, where people learn to mobilize for their collective (and not individual) self-defense, where living in the midst of nature does not mean isolation, but more opportunities for a full and shared life.
And, in the meantime, I struggle to preserve memory and dreams.