Archive for September, 2008

Thirty four and a half weeks

September 27, 2008


Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

In a month or so I will become a mother.

I think of all the pain I have caused my parents and I am filled with trepidation.

I think of the fullness, the richness of my life that my parents and my sister have given me and I feel my heart will burst.

I feel life around me, in me, and now I also feel life moving through me because life is really a part of time, and I am but a moment in it, having passed through the lives of others before me. Now I am the passage through which another life is coming.

Oh, please give me strength to do this. . .


Late September

September 25, 2008

Pear with figs, no. 2

Originally uploaded by ahtravis

Fall arrived a couple of weeks ago with several days of serious rain. Bergamo is putting on its seasonal colors: gray, green, brown and yellow (the gray of the streets and sky; the green of the grass and weeds in the parks and fields; the brown of the trees and earth; the yellow of the sun and some leaves).

Grapes are in full season (do you know what it is to eat grapes here in Italy? They are exquisite, indescribable really; nothing like the sad versions at home) as are apples and squash, while the plums and peaches are tapering off. Soon the figs and the chestnuts will appear. . . oh, the anticipation!

Ripening metaphors could easily and accurately be applied to me. My baby growing inside is filling me out like just about any fruit you can think of (except maybe a banana).

I have been busy in a slow way (does that seem contradictory to you?), though my blog doesn’t reflect any of this. . . I will try to write more.

potatoes and language

September 9, 2008


Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

“. . . For you are never so smart again in a language learned in middle age nor so romantic or brave or kind. All the very best of you is in the old tongue, but when you speak your best in America you become a yokel, a dumb Norskie, and when you speak English, an idiot.”

(Garrison Keillor’s “Lake Wobegon Days.”)

Here is my six months pregnant self this summer, barefoot and harvesting potatoes with my dear friend Laura on her and her sister Lisa’s small farm in Northeastern Ohio. Speaking English. Thinking in English. HAPPY.

Short Biography

September 4, 2008

hallman’s footprint

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

0. Right now I am 31 weeks pregnant and waiting.

1. This time last year I was teaching upper elementary on the coast of Sweden.

2. Two years ago I was teaching English in Bergamo, and pregnant with the baby I lost.

3. Three years ago I was preparing to get married at the end of the month.

4. Four years ago I was teaching at Holy Rosary in Cleveland.

5. Five years ago I was starting the Montessori training course in Bergamo, and didn’t know my husband yet.

6. Six years ago I was working on the boat that I would later go shrimping on in southeast Alaska.

7. Seven years ago I was working at Wintersong Soap Company in southeast Alaska and living in a tiny truck camper.

8. Eight years ago I was finishing up my bachelor’s degree in Cleveland, sharing an apartment with my boyfriend, my best friend and her new husband.

9. Nine years ago I was picking apples in Pennsylvania, after having spent August picking blueberries and traveling in Maine and Canada and subsequently dropping out of college for the second time.

10. Ten years ago I was in school and working at a bakery, listening to NPR all day and dreaming about being either a farmer like Wendell Berry or an archaeologist like Indiana Jones.

11. Eleven years ago I preparing for school to start (we were on a quarter schedule) and working at the Food Co-op and drinking too much and basically miserable.

12. Twelve years ago I was living in a basement apartment in Portland, looking desperately for a job, having just moved there after spending the summer working on a lesbian-run organic farm in Wisconsin and having dropped out of school for the first time.

13. Thirteen years ago I was starting school at Hampshire College, terribly excited and confused and overwhelmed, not having any clear idea of why I was there and quite sure I really didn’t want to be.

14. Fourteen years ago I was beginning my last year at Northfield Mount Hermon.

15. Fifteen years ago I was beginning my first year at Northfield Mount Hermon, very thrilled to be away from home and scared at the same time.

16. Sixteen years ago I was starting my second year of high school in Cleveland Heights, struggling mightily with my folks and making all of our lives close to unbearable.

17. Seventeen years ago I was starting high school, walking the mile with my two best friends and thrilled to be going to the huge school with so many new people, feeling very old.

18. Eighteen years ago I was starting my second and last year at Roxboro middle school, unknowing that it would be yet another year of major social upheaval.

19. Nineteen years ago I started seventh grade at Roxboro, where I would (again) experience profound culture shock, disappoint my parents with my first C grade in English the term we concentrated on grammar, and meet two girls who continue to be my closest friends today.

20. Twenty years ago I had just moved to Cleveland where I decided to attend Saint Ann’s Catholic School, one of the worst decisions of my life; the combined shock of the move and the different culture of the area and school would push me over the edge of a fragile emotional state into some kind childish-hell.

21. Twenty one years ago I started fifth grade with Nancy Baron, one of the most influential teachers I ever had, who introduced me to anthropology and social justice.

22. Twenty two years ago I started fourth grade from which my strongest memories are: reading “From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. …” (I can’t remember the title), “Bridge to Terebithia,” getting yelled at for having “tunnel vision” about math, being asked which weighed more: a pound of feathers or a pound of lead, making a life-sized cardboard figure of Clara Barton and meeting a blind man at school.

23. Twenty three years ago I started third grade from which my strongest memories are writing haiku poems, struggling with multiplication, getting yelled at for something I didn’t do, and studying ballet.

24. Twenty four years ago I started second grade, where I would study ancient Greek and Roman mythology (an obsession which may have indirectly led me to where I am now, married to an Italian), inexplicably fall out with a friend, collectively write a story with the entire class, and learn a lot of dirty words from a very naughty boy. We also had an international potluck at some point, where I ate noodles brought in by a classmate from Laos and they were the best thing ever.

25. Twenty five years ago I had just moved outside of new York City to Westchester County, where I started first grade, was largely bored and horrified by my teacher who yelled at us, thought my neighbor was a girl because he had long hair and teased him to cover up my embarrassment, and tried to read a story I had written the year before but couldn’t because it was written phonetically and I no longer wrote that way.

26. Twenty six years ago I was starting kindergarten with my lovely teacher who had a mole on her chin and where I would only write very, very, VERY lightly until on parents’ night I was mortified that I had nothing to show my folks and quickly healed my affected affliction of a painful wrist.

27. Twenty seven years ago it all gets very blurry in my mind, but this would be when I was attending Children’s House and a little girl bit me and when I bit her back, I got in trouble.

28. Twenty eight years ago I would have been at the Children’s House. . .

29. Twenty nine years ago I would have been going to the CH with my mom part time. . .

30. Thirty years ago I would have been learning to walk, which would have been great because now I could follow my sister around. . .

31. Thirty one years ago my family had just moved to Brooklyn and I was a month and some weeks old.