Giving Thanks

The idea of Thanksgiving comes, ironically, from an improbable encounter between European conquerors and Native Americans. The story goes like this: with the arrival of the first winter in a foreign land, the white man was in dire straits with food, and was only able to survive with help from the natives. They showed him how to grow the right kind of produce for the climate, and how to raise, among other animals, the well-known Thanksgiving turkey. In order to thank them for their suggestions, the next year the natives were invited to dinner. The rest, as Americans say with no regrets, is history.
There’s no need to point out the irony of this version, knowing, as we all do, how it turned out. At any rate, while the rest of the world was at work, on this side of the Atlantic people were slaughtering turkeys, stuffing them with cornbread and vegetables, and sticking them in a 350 degree oven for many hours. Some people used the time waiting for the turkey to be ready to think of things to be grateful for.
Here is my list, immigrant style:

Focaccia from Liguria
Skype, and its wonderful videocamera
Tom Waits, M Ward, Vinicio Capossela, Folco Orselli and all those folks
My sisters who make me feel at home even when I am on the other side of the planet
Good wine (and the not so good wine, once it gets a little later at night)
Richard, and his absurd and fantastic stories
Watching movies with Dan, sharing thoughts about them and discovering all kinds of things
The end of the dark Berlusconi regime (no matter what comes after - at least it’s not him)
Chocolate with hazelnuts
A good book
Enzo Jannacci and Giorgio Gaber (I guess you would have to be Italian for that, but take my word for it for once)
Down by Law, Mediterraneo, Ricomincio da tre, but most of all Annie Hall
Trips in my car alone with excruciatingly loud music and me singing at the top of my lungs
The fall in Becket
Luca’s autism, and the sweetness of his smile and his slobbering kisses (although sometimes not so much… you have to be in the mood for those)
Giorgio Terruzzi
Charles Bukoswki, and those who understand him
Crossword puzzles
Homemade salami from Stadera
That thing I feel every time I wait for my mum at the airport
Dan’s kisses on my neck
Christmas Eve
My father’s irony
The smell of the ocean
The last cigarette of the day
Sofia’s sweetness and Emma’s boldness
An evening with friends
Solitude and its silence
Those who died for a just cause
Accordions and their simple complexity
Figs just picked fresh from a tree

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