UNDER THE LEMON TREE

(Gorée Editore - Siena)

Illustrations by GUIDO BASSANI

The origin of the tale

The lemon tree in my house in Imperia Porto Maurizio

The lemon tree has sap and roots real, until a few years ago shines of green colour to the south-west wind in the garden under my house in Imperia, then age has begun to shut it down, slowly, day after day. When I took these pictures already had difficulty in carrying the burden of their trunk, even lemons,  big and meaty of a beautiful yellow, only to see them recalled the equally beautiful poetry of Montale, shrank withered beneath a skin spotted and saddened. Now been permanently demolished.

Yet, when I was a boy under its branches really raced Pol Gya and the gang of European cats: Caio, Vanessa, Cassandra ... that's where the story originates, and that's where I had the first contacts with issues of ethnic coexistence, that I impacted with the word "racism" and with all the most horrible is inside, not knowing that that very term would mark one of the most shameful social ills of our affluent and flat Western society.



Gya(but perhaps not called Gya) was actually a Siamese kitten with a hoarse voice and the tail cut off, even as she knew had happened in the courtyard of Pol (Pol really called). Sure, the owners of the apartment  had brought her overthere, but a cat could understand it? Had a few months of life, was still a cotton ball muffled, lost in the unknown world, seeking only a sign of affection, little signs of understanding and acceptance.
Instead nothing ; the European cats chased her away badly, they were large and big and ruffled the hair, then Gya took refuge by Pol and Pol was trying to pet her, in ways a bit 'rough and ungraceful have dogs when they want appear affectionate. Gya could be content, takes heart in these gestures of kindness and slept peacefully beside that obese mongrel dog with no pedigree.
Then I also understood that among the living strange and unexpected filaments underlying, sometimes hidden solidarity shines through  allegiances rather unusual; but several years are spent before deciding myself to put this strange story of the courtyard in print.


The lemon tree (detail)

 






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