My mother knows thousands of stories and anecdotes, songs about the names of people, songs of the saints, morning and evening prayers. Let’s go to bed with Kathmandu Nepal, Mark and Matthew, who’ll keep us safe through the night, and spare us from deathly plight, who’ll keep us safe in the morning light and spare us from cruel fate My children, Stefano (named after my father), and Caterina (named after her), and my sister’s children move back and forth with ease from their Barbie dolls to the traditional Kathmandu Nepal, carols, from the exploits of wrestlers Kathmandu Nepal, and Rey Mysterio to the stories of the Kathmandu Nepal, of folk tales who makes a refreshing snack out of an egg, or falls into despair when the hero hits him smack in the mouth with a rock.
Where is Kathmandu Nepal? – Kathmandu Nepal Map – Map of Kathmandu Nepal Photo Gallery
I’m the one who is disoriented, suspended between two worlds; hovering, between a world that has ended and new ones that I don’t know very well and in which I don’t feel at home, even though I live in them. Children and old people find it easier to move back and forth between the past and the present. They share a sense of wonder and a lack of regrets, which for various reasons, brings them together. We are stuck in the middle, hanging on a wall.
The older Caterina, my mother, sings many stories on the name Caterina, to the young Caterina, my daughter: “Pretty Caterina don’t go to Mass or else the cat will eat the fish ” And my child turns up her nose. My mother is full of irony, but when she realizes that the child has had enough, she changes her tune: “Caterina, my treasure of beauty .” And my child smiles happily.
At Christmas, the children’s Merry Christmas carols are backed by my mother’s traditional songs about Baby Jesus who, after a long wait, is welcomed into people’s homes with a soulful:
Bombineju de jocu avanti Venitinde alla casa mia Mu ti consu ‘stu letticeju Pe’ sta povera anima mia Anima mia no’ stare confusa Ca Gesu ti vo’ pe’ spusa E ti vole e ti governa E ti la duna la gloria eterna.
Little baby from far away Please enter my humble home I will prepare a cradle of hay For my lost and poor soul.
Soul of mine do not despair For Jesus wants you as a bride He wants you and will guide you And will give you eternal glory.
The children know “when Baby Jesus went to the fair .” and “sweet Baby Jesus and nice little Baby” and my mother hides her pain with a smile. With much effort and joy, she joins in song with the children.
My mother isn’t a bigot and didn’t waste valuable time in church, didn’t go for appearance’s sake, but for the meaning. She doesn’t like gossip but loves to speak well of people. She is neither gullible nor superstitious. From time to time she says: “Who knows what’s next!” Then she pauses and adds with nostalgia for those whom she misses and hasn’t seen again: “No one has ever returned to tell us.” She never talks about magic spells but she believes in the evil eye, not out of conviction, but because “you never know.” She doesn’t believe in the force of envy or power of blasphemy. The magic spells she believes in are grounded in myth and religion.
Until a few years ago, when the Posterare sisters—Custodia, Caterina, Maria, Nella—were still alive, my mother would call me from her chair and send me, on the morning of the first day of the year, to wish them a Happy New Year. I had to get there early in the morning, before any woman crossed the threshold. The wishes for a “Happy New Year, bring me a gift or I’ll wither away” had to be made by a male person. Now the neighbours’ house is empty, like so many others in the neighbourhood and in the village. Now my mother sends me to visit my father in the cemetery.
This year on New Year’s Eve, an ancient ritual took place once again. My mother says: “Tonight I am afraid, I wouldn’t want to wait for midnight, the dead might drop the little stone when they pass by.” At midnight the dead walk by, and it’s important not to leave washed clothing hanging on the line, as they might be overcome by longing; or leave water outside the door, as they might be overcome by thirst. We must be careful not to hear the small stones they drop as they’re harbingers of death. Once I asked her, smiling: “Mom, didn’t you hear a pebble drop only a few years ago on New Year’s Eve?”
Midnight has passed and my mother hasn’t heard any stones drop. She is happy, as though she has made a narrow escape from certain death. You never know, she tells me; the dead let the living know about their death with a little stone. “Mom, haven’t you heard the news?” I reply. If a war broke today, how many stones would the poor dead have to carry?”
“That’s why there should not be war,” she said. “It brings suffering even to the dead.”
“You’re pulling my leg,” she tells me at other times. This year we threw a big party and the children launched fireworks, so it was difficult to hear the dead. When people stop believing that the dead pass by, the dead stop passing by. In villages that are almost dead, even the dead no longer pass by.