Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How it all comes about: Unnamed Madonnas

The picture above is of my baby-brother Luigi, no longer a baby btw, one of the two brothers I left behind in Italy.  He grew up without me, since he was five.  On a visit to Italy in 2002, I got to know him. 

Luigi kept some letters that I had sent my mother, and wanted to show them to me.  That gesture, his warmth and generous spirit touched me immensely.  I knew nothing of his whole life, and yet he knew a lot about mine.

That interchange was my motivation to write this story about a woman and her child, and the war that made and broke lots of families.  No immigrant ever tells the full story; most of us are ashamed of many things, silent about our past.

While this story is not autobiographical, it has bits and pieces of real people's lives.  We create some; but we rely also on the raw stuff of our own experiences in many situations.

Luigi is an artist, and his images told me lots of other stories I had missed out on.  Sadly, he will probably never know how he has influenced my creativity.

I thought you'd want to know.


  1. How interesting! And how sad to be so far away.

  2. Wow, do you feel that brotherly bond or is it difficult because of the time and distance?

  3. Rosaria, and then you will write a letter and tell him, another wonderful letter that will cross oceans and draw near strangers, family, together.

    Thank you for this. Tell all of your stories. There is no shame in a drop.