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  • Writer's picturematilde tomat

pippi - tpw[l] - 09

The Perfect Wor[l]d - 09

[first part in previous post, ending with…]

Parts of the old me have gone and I have decided instead to keep some other shades of me I like, and to build on them. Out of that experience, I wrote my previous book, Rebeltherapy in which I was explaining how I see addiction after years of living in a dysfunctional family, and Nichiren Buddhism.

When I finished the book I knew I wasn’t a Nichiren Buddhist anymore.

I will always be a New Ageist / humanistic / believer in chakras, colours, auras, energy and synchronicities. Which, at the core, feels very much like most of the Buddhist / Hindu beliefs.

I can only be me.


I find myself running away again, like a couple of years ago, and sitting here, this time in no tears but a different kind of conviction: that everything is already as it is supposed to be. Sometimes, I will not see it for what it is, others I do. At times, the past hurtful moments will come back and haunt me. It is up to me what I do with them. I am in a status of constant change and adaptation and discovery of Self. Now that I do feel that the old hurt me has come to terms with some hard truths and that I am safe onto a shore, recuperating my energies, it is nice to know that I am eager for what’s next for me. And this time I am ready.

This is why I have decided to sit, daily, and write. Because this exercise in trying to be me needs my full attention. Julia Cameron today was saying: Creativity will think of the Quality, and I will think of the Quantity. Hence, I am sitting here, at the Bowling Green, with nothing else to do in the world but write. I could write about the raven which is pacing up and down in front of me, of the motorbike which illegally runs along the canal. Of the silence, the green and its infinite number of shades. Of a couple of drops of rain which are hitting my screen. I could write about anything, as long as I sit somewhere, every day, to do it.


I have been reading Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing and I am mesmerised by the introduction itself when he describes what writing is, for him. Not therapy, he says ‘too clean, too sterile a word’ (not therapy itself!). What is it for me? An addiction? I remember as a little girl trying to fill, unsuccessfully, many Little Girl diaries, with tiny brass locks that felt personal, real, an escape, the possibility of diving into worlds which were only in my head. Still, those heavy, shiny square white pages, were barely filled with writing. Sometimes, we - all girls - used them to make things up and then exchange them among ourselves and we would let other hands, other words, fill those pages for us. But it was mostly an exercise in planning than really doing it. Normally, I would be the one coming up with the idea, followed by no one. It would be great if… wouldn’t it be amazing if… I feel now I was so out of time, out of place, in that village. As much as I am now, out of time, out of place, in this Escentéa which I do not find welcoming. I had dreams of musicals, art, creativity, dance. I imagined worlds that were resembling more of a coalescence between Cabaret, Moulin Rouge, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, and some English comedy with Yul Brynner that was so out of place in that town up in the mountains in the early 70’s: Tolmezzo. My dreams squashed, nicknamed The Crazy One, out of place, distinctive, unique, atypical, uncommon. I cannot imagine how out of place my mother must have felt! Her end of her era. In my painful realization that an era had ended in my life and that our surname did not carry that weight anymore, I somehow knew I had more time, that I had a possibility of change and redemption. I don’t think she ever did. So, my last vestigia of the woman and girl I was had to be let go during the last couple of years. The peeling was hard, difficult, heart-breaking, and I might have risked sepsis. Still, writing is what I go back to.

So, what is it, for me? An addiction? Coming from a family which has been hit and devastated by alcohol, is writing my form of a curse? I remember starting a new journal, again, in 1983, in a library. Everybody else was with their nose buried in their books, studying, while I was looking outside of the window, in a new city (Bolzano), new school, new friends, and feeling tremendously lonely. I started writing again. I bought myself a notebook which resembled more a workbook, A5, squared, chunky, with a noisy crackling spine, hard glue, and there I remember I tried to create a symbol, a name, something that would define me and it was related to a bat (pippistrello, in Italian) so I decided to call myself Pippi, as in Pippi Longstocking of childhood memories. I remember attempting poetry and short stories and song lyrics (Davide* – a gifted songwriter - will remember that!). Then, one day on the train home, I met a girl: my age, dressed in black, black hair, black makeup, army bag, lots of pieces of paper, sheets, writings, in her bag. Kajal and a jumper and food: those bags which are kaleidoscopes of stories. A sad story, a real poet in my young eyes. I don’t remember her name now, how sad (Simonetta?!?). And she asked me to read her stuff. She sounded secure, mature, grave, depressed, heavy, damned, charismatic, beautiful, fascinating, alluring, very enigmatic. All the things I wasn’t, except for sad. Her words were beautiful, or so I thought. I felt immature, a fake, so tall, thin, and lanky and weak, dressed in clothes my mother chose for me.

I stopped writing and my Pippi journal ended up somewhere. I never saw that girl again.

Is my writing a spiritual practice? Sort of, but not really. Journaling, yes. I could consider my journaling a form of spiritual routine, which I practice daily, sometimes more extensively than others. As a therapist, also, I feel a personal need to offload thoughts and reactions and to analyse myself with respect to the client who is sitting in front of me. So, not therapy for the therapist.

Writing, to me, and the older I get the more definable it becomes, is vital as breathing, eating, drinking, peeing, and pooping. As much as I adapted my diet while ageing, and quit smoking, and understood more of the rhythms that work for me and my body and my essence; as much as I know I need a certain fix of vitamins, or mineral salts, or to eat artichokes instead of a kebab, so I need writing. If I don’t create, if I don’t let my creative flair flow wild for a while, if I don’t sit there elucubrating on a potential new project, if I don’t sit there, or here, where I am now, and write my article or blog post, I feel that my life disappears...

Pippilotta Viktualia Rullgardina Krusmynta Efraimsdotter Långstrump

I feel that writing is my floating emergency life-saver. The greyness of Escentéa could easily engulf me, the narrow-mindedness of small people does wither me, illiteracy and ignorance anger me, the lack of respect and boundaries enrage me. So, instead of going out and shoot at people, I sit and create. I create a bubble in which my world is perfect. In which ideas flow, in which I am dictator and empress, in which what I believe becomes the norm, in which I can find freedom. There, I can breathe, and add more hope for a different world I might be able to live in. “For 9 things that go wrong, think about the one that still works and gives you positivity:” writing. When I write, I am happy, serene, at peace. I am looking forward to sitting, every day, and writing. Writing is, hence a vital sign of life, a semi-automatic mechanism which I have neglected for way too long. It is an automatic reflex I haven’t paid attention to because only now I realise how writing has always been my go-to activity or dream or focus in my journaling.

I journal about writing, and now finally I write about writing.

So: where have all those girls gone?

*Davide Marciano : still friends! You can find him here, and his latest song Brilla here

© mtomat 2019 - written on 08.07.19 - no reproduction without permission.

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