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Poem: "Di Mezzo il Mare" - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Di Mezzo il Mare"
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ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 30th, 2013 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>> I really love the ending of this <<

I'm happy to hear that.

>> it would have been easy to leave Giordano as a villain, and I like that he is allowed to grow and try to adapt. <<

This is something I've been wanting to write about for a while. When someone grows up not knowing one or both of their birth parents, there's a tendency to wonder about them; and conversely, to wonder about a child that one has not raised personally. Some people obsess over it, most wonder moderately, but everyone aware of that situation tends to think about it at least a little bit. What are they doing? What are they like?

So then if you meet later, it tends to feel important, even if nothing heavy is riding on it and you weren't constantly wondering. Thing is ... usually it doesn't come to much. Maybe you stay in touch, maybe not. But almost all the time, the person you meet is ordinary. They have good and bad points. It's rare for a meeting to go perfectly or abominably, just because saintly and diabolical individuals are rare.

If you look at literature about this stuff, though, the overwhelming trend consists of daydreams or nightmares. There's almost nothing, anywhere, about what actually happens the vast majority of the time. That's really frustrating, and it doesn't make a dicey situation any easier when you don't have realistic scenarios to think about.

Here we have a young woman who has had to grow up early to take on responsibilities that normally wouldn't come to her until middle age or later; and an older man who has been kept away from family by work and circumstance for many years. They have a common background but they don't know each other. They each have strengths and weaknesses. They've daydreamed about each other on occasion, but mostly they've been busy living their own lives. When flung together, they find that it's not an easy fit, which is fairly typical. This is a fair example of how it can go when meeting a relative for the first time as an adult.

They do have the advantage of coming from a culture that teaches family/community skills as a matter of course, so they have some idea how to troubleshoot when their lives don't mesh neatly at first. They also have the advantage of a surrounding community of people who will do things like remind Fiorenza to put on a dress or tell Giordano to heed his daughter's role in the village. That part is idealized, because it helps to know what kinds of support are possible whether or not those things are available in a given situation.

I'm really glad this comes across as a satisfying encounter.
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