I've just returned from Italy where I experienced 10 of the greatest days of my life. I have traveled the world over and this was an experience that transcended all of it. This experience was not only a transcendent one but one that has indelibly and permanently altered my consciousness.
All of the history, art, antiquities and geography that I have studied, loved and given my life to all came together in an unending orgasmic stream of sensory, spiritual and existential bliss.
Where could I even begin to describe it all? How could I do it and even approach doing the experience and my feelings justice? I couldn't do it as a simple run down of my travel itinerary, it would have to go much deeper than that. Would anyone be interested? Would I find the right blend of travelogue and spiritual relevance?
Is it something that I should commit to the written word? Yes, I have to. Shall I do it here? Where?
I will make this note because it is all I am capable of right now. Traveling from the antiquities of Rome to the renaissance beauty of Florence was spectacular. Climbing to the top of Vesuvius and then down to explore the streets of the cities it buried for 1800 years was to move among shadows and ghosts. But traveling to the mountains and fields of Campania ninety minutes out of Naples to Santa Lucia di Serino in pilgrimage to the town of my ancestors was an event that was truly deserving of the words, unique, once in a lifetime, transcendent and beautiful.
I met with the parish priest in this tiny mountain town of 1500. He is my fifth cousin. He showed me the records of my family dating to 1580. They left for America in 1896. One hundred and eight years later, I went back.