Welcome back to followers of Maple Leaf Mamma (whose posts are now here) and a warm welcome to any newbies. If this is your first time, you might be interested in checking out these old posts to get a taste for my style. And of course my About section will help too. As explained there, I'm taking a new direction with this blog, expanding beyond my previous focus of motherhood as an foreigner in Italy.
Speaking of which, I feel like I climbed an intellectual mountain recently, teleported back to the anguish of grad school, only without the person who got me through that experience: my mom. I've got an article coming out in the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement soon, based on the conference paper I gave about a year and a half ago in Rome, the subject of my last blog post before the hiatus.
Where have I been, indeed? Well, yes, for one thing working on that article, but mostly fulfilling old work obligations that will finally be returning to a trickle soon. But I am so compelled to be on here, to get personal, to get very political, and also superficial and hedonistic. Which, appunto, is part of what inspired the rebranding of this space.
While motherhood remains a favourite topic, my interest in gender and queer issues has really intensified, and that fire has been stoked regularly by my current favourite Italian blogger Eretica of the blog Abbatto i muri. She came to my attention via another Florentine blogger you need to be following, Amy Gulick of Platform 17 and The Bittersweet Gourmet, in the wake of a horrifying occurrence to which I am somewhat tenuously connected and shook me to my core, the murder of Ashley Olsen, whose father is my friend. The slut-shaming that took place in the wake of HER MURDER was devastating, and Eretica's post about it captured everything I felt, as did Amy's.
Indeed, she and other progressive young Italian writers are giving me hope about this country, with which I continue to be madly in love, despite the challenges of being actively, openly feminist. I dream that one day we can join forces.
For now, I'm thrilled to be back blogging. In the works I've got: a post about the paradox of Italian masculinity coming up next; a return to my popular Florence Birth Story series featuring a rad fellow Canadian mum; my experience of the first Pride in Florence (uh huh! can you believe it?); and some new Mother Art Monday posts, among many other things.
I've probably been ready to go live for a while but just feeling rather nervous because of the personal nature of my writing and the fact that I'm not anonymous on here. But I gave myself the deadline of this fall, and it suddenly seemed like the most appropriate thing to do to launch on my 42nd birthday, which is today, the beginning of my 43rd year, which was my mother's favourite, magical number. Meaningful timing is the kind of thing she adored. Especially that I'm arriving, I realize literally as I'm typing, at my 7 year blogging anniversary this month too! She had a thing about the number 7 as well, as many people do.
In fact, this week, I happen to be totally getting my feminist groove on. Tomorrow evening I'm going to see THE Angela Davis speak at NYU in Florence. And this weekend I'm joining women and men from all over Italy in Rome for a massive national march, Non una di meno, to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, with a march on Saturday, November 26 and several round tables on Sunday, November 27. So the timing really does feel right to get this blog off the ground again now, and I hope you'll join me for the ride.
This one's for you, mom.