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08 January 2012

The Blogging Experience

I never fit in the New Year euphoria to make resolutions, try to change your life or attempt things that most of the time remain in the list. Not that I'm totally immune. In the past I made lists too but always staying away from balances. I believe we're here on this world trying to live at our best possible conditions, no matter what. I'm personally always here wearing my armor and battling life and that is sufficient to me. Because at the end of the day what counts more for me is being able to stand up on my own without fearing to look anyone in the face. Dignity is my priority. And I say this with a rotten heart since it's my dad's best teaching I got but in the worst lesson ever. He's a chronic liar and a compulsive gambler. I'm sure these two faults are strongly related, but well, you get the picture.

My little resolutions revolve around my hobbies. I want to finally end those photobooks, attempt to create my own portfolio different from the one in Flickr, translate my book in English. This is a huge task because it means lots of editing and cuts but I feel it must be done. I also want to (maintain my current weight and) take better photos. It's all up to me. I've got objective, realist goals. I can make it without stressing.

And of course I want this blog to go on. Last December, while organizing a rubrics section, I realized how it matured a lot through the months but it always concentrates on a few favorite subjects of mines. I'll leave it like that and maybe add a Digital Photography page as long as my skills will improve with the course I'm about to enroll in. The most important aspect of this blogging experience is that it helps me discover new people and facts. It's my personal way to nurture and improve my own culture.

I came across two important personalities last year, while researching here and there for my posts,  each of them unique in their own brilliant way and concentrated on helping peope during their memorable lives: George Whitman and Simon Wiesenthal. Whitman gave special privileges to writers. Proprietor of the legendary bookstore Shakespeare and Co. in Paris, he always put people, culture and books before money in what he defines his 'bussines of life'. Wiesenthal spent his life hunting nazi criminals instead, and gave justice to million of victims of the Holocaust. 

2012 started with another great discovery, the ritual of pignarul, a propitiatory bonfire set up in Northern East Italy villages on the night of January 5, before Epiphany day (January 6). It's the ancient tradition  of burning the old year away.

The main one is in Tarcento. Here people walk up Coja hill where a huge bonfire, Pignarûl Grant, or Great Bonfire, made of branches of pine, sheaves of corn, is lighted up by The Venerable Old Man (Vecchio Venerando) and is the signal for all the other minor bonfires around the area to be lit as well. 

While the fire burns people sing folk songs and try to figure out which way will the smoke go, a way to predict the fortunes of the region in the coming year: smoke blowing east predicts a year of abundance while smoke blowing west is a bad omen for the crops.

"Se il fum al va a soreli a mont, cjape il sac e va pal mont, se il fum invezit al va de bande di soreli jevât, cjape il sac e va al marcjât." Old saying in Friulan language that means "If the smoke goes west, take your bag and go for the world [emigrate in search of work], but if the smoke goes east, take your sack and go to the market.

We never knew which direction the wind went because it was far too windy and the bonfire lit was postponed for preventing to burn people and cause accidents. Too bad. But the visit to Tarcento was an occasion to watch the medieval parade and events that usually accompany the Pignarul moment, find out local crafts and enjoy some more cool markets and late Christmas atmosphere, before Epiphany arrives and takes all feasts away (it's on January 6 that we usually take down Christmas decorations.)

It was particularly lovely to admire the different dolls of our peculiar Befana. I loved this day and worried over many nights wondering if I'd find coal in my sock. Yes, because a limp of coal is what you got from our old lady if you'd been naughty. My sock was always filled with chocolates and candies instead, and a toy.  

Befana, fine and wise old crone,
Bless the doorway of my home, 
Watch as winter passes by, 
Come as maid when spring is nigh.

My daughter excitedly awaits the arrival of La Befana too.

After these years in the depth of this blogging process of mine, I'm still enthusiast about its growing prospects. I aim to produce higher quality posts and keep growing as a writer. And I hope you'll keep following me in this path. I'ts important to me because your views discipline me and push me to think.

A huge thank you again to my regular readers, then; a warm welcome to my new ones and many happy returns to the occasional folks out there. Thanks for being my daily thrill!

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