A Place Apart

We drove into the mountains

Southern Italy

Driving in we were driving back

Into history

 

The simple ways of peasant life

Goat herds mountain streams

Heading for a monastery

And a land of dreams

 

Earthquake region

Shaken lives

Shaken buildings too

Redemptorist community

Come in how do you do

 

Southern Italian easiness

Pasta pomodoro

I could be at home here

Sicilian wine to die for

 

Christ stopped at Eboli

So the story goes

Off the beaten track down here

A place nobody knows

 

Lovely people poor as mice

Beauty all around

They honour the Madonna

In her is comfort found

 

Brian Fahy

3 May 2022

 

+ Carlo Levi was sent into internal exile in 1935 to the village of Aliano in Lucania. He spent a year there. The people say that civilisation stopped at Eboli, so many miles away, and their life in the mountains is unknown to the world, even to the rest of Italy.

 

I visited a similar place some miles north, forty years ago, when I went to the Redemptorist monastery at Materdomini, near Caposele. A recent earthquake has damaged many homes and lives there. It was like travelling back in time into earlier centuries.

 

The remoteness of the place put me in mind of my mother’s home in Glencullen, in Erris, County Mayo. It is a wild and barren and beautiful place, and for a long time unknown to anyone other than those who came from that spot.

 

 

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