Friday, June 10, 2016

Quest for Yesterday by Carlo Mignano Provides Not Only Autobiographical Story But Self-Help Conceptual Thoughts...

When asked why he refuses to slap a girl, a young. Italian boy explains
I found this picture of a little Italian boy, who, with just one sentence, told me he was much like the little boy we find in today's book, don't you think?

~~~

In 1954, when I was nine, my grandfather's health got worse. In the winter, he was sick for weeks at a time, short of breath and unable to get up. Sometimes he looked like he was going to die at any moment...
My grandfather smelled the aroma and took a sip. My mother brough him a jar filled with sugar-glazed cookies that she had made. My grandfather broke two into the cup, turning them into a rich, smooth soup. As he ate, he looked quietly around the room, as if seeing it for the first time...He said to my mother, "Put the boy on my lap." Then, he took a cookie and gave it to me.
By the time my grandfather finished his coffee he was tired and said he was going to lie down.
I stepped onto the balcony where I went often because each time I looked into the distance, I discovered a villa, a castle and other things, which I had never noticed before...I returned from the balcony, went to my grandfather, and stood by his side, contemplating the once strong, now bony features of his face. Grandpa was pale, but he looked peaceful, not bothered by the pains of his arthritis and free from the struggle with his breath.
I said, "I love you, grandpa. I want you to live forever."
Aunt Angela called from the kitchen, "Francesco, Francesco, where are you sweetheart?"
"I'm here with grandpa."
"How is grandpa?"
"He's sleeping."
"Good, good!"
Moments later she came to see her father for herself. She leaned
toward him, and called, "Papa, Papa!...
That morning my grandfather had given his daughter his last kiss; he had given me his last cookie; and to his world he had given his last goodbye...
The house was filled with people all day, and at night many stayed to hold the wake. The next morning, the coffin arrived. Two men placed my grandfather's body in it, and lifted the coffin onto a horse-drawn hearse, which lead the procession to the church for the funeral.
When the coffin was placed in front of the altar, the priest, a short-bald, little old man with trembling hands, spoke softly and solemnly of things I could not understand: of the temporality of the body, of God's infinite mercy, of eternal life awaiting Cesare Salviano... The organist

played...Dies Irae. I didn't know what it meant, but the song sounded intriguing, strangely beautiful and wrathful--which is what I later learned ira means--Another example of beautifully ugly...
~~~
There came a time in my life when I had to choose to live or die. Not literally, but it might as well have been. The choice I made was more than a simple resolution or an act of will. It was the beginning of a process that only a close look into my past could slowly and painfully uncover. I decided to take that journey...
~~~

Quest For Yesterday

By Carlo Mignano

We all have an inner life that we keep, mostly, to ourselves. Some of us have found it is not safe to share all that we think about, wonder about, things that bother and concern us... I think reading Mignano's book, what you might call a literary creative nonfiction story based upon the author's life, touched me in a way much like a self-help book might do when an individual shares in order to possibly improve the life of his readers. The introspection shared openly and honestly is both heartwarming and instructional and beyond any that I've read in the past. Can we discover what will respond to all of our inner fears and concerns? Is it through studying our past? Our main character Francesco, by considering his own life, helps his readers to look inward to what kind of life we've had thus far and where we might want to go...Perhaps, toward Tomorrow?

The life of a child is hard. There are so many strange and unknown things that confront us, without anybody taking the time to provide an explanation. Most of the time it is because parents or others are too busy struggling with the requirements of their own lives. For Francesco, it began when a second child arrived in the family and his mother no longer had the amount of time that Francesco expected from her. 

Where was the joy he'd experienced in his early childhood?

I have to admit that this book taught me more about men than any other I've read...at least those who care enough to follow the direction of, most say Socrates, who said, "Know Thyself." With women, it perhaps is more easy. The turmoil of this young boy certainly was not...I became more sympathetic toward men, perhaps, even at this late age??? Certainly I was impressed enough with the book to highly recommend it to both men and women..and even teens... It certainly can also be considered a "coming of age" story that is unique and extremely well done, in my opinion.

One of the most poignant things for me was learning about, first, his new interest in girls, and his first kiss...and then entering the priesthood. His mother had decided that was the only way he could gain an education, so they lied... But Francesco felt so guilty about lying that, it came to him that the only way he could get through this is to accept that he would become a priest... That ended when his parents took him home, but not before he had met two different types of priests--one extremely strict, especially about sexual desires. The other proved to be someone he could talk to and encourage him as much as possible...  Later, he became in involved with non-Catholic Christianity. But his confusion and frustration with religion continued until he finally accepted a friend's invitation to become part of what I can only assume was a cult.. Francisco had defined his condition as depression and visited mental health professionals...Still... he kept looking...

Can we plan what our lives should be and constantly looked inward to why we aren't where we are supposed to be?  Carlo Mignano presents an outstanding story that will capture your attention and hold it until the very end...Best of all, it doesn't have a really dramatic ending...just an acceptance...and a beginning to look toward the future... You'll know if this book is one you should read...I found it well worth my time and attention...It's provocative, comprehensive, and introspective enough to provide everybody a certain "something" that can be taken away for their personal use...


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