Here is the EU / Euro / Europe debate I had promised to some friends. We will start with personal dialogues from our slice of the blogosphere.
You will however notice how ideas & feelings (passionate, at times) will soon go beyond the sphere of the particolare and reach the wider area of an equally passionate debate a. within the EU etc.; b. on the other side of the Atlantic; c. much beyond that, since all economies – China, India, Japan, the gas & oil states etc.) are interwoven.
[last minute update: France & Germany, who will win? In the world cup, I mean. :-) I don't know whom to cheer, folks ]
Cheri (original post & discussion) : “I remember visiting my grandparent’s home [...] On the wall [...] a framed cross-stitched message in blue which read, ” To Have a Friend, Be One.”
The souls I am privileged to call friends [...] would say that I have always been too busy [...]
[My sister Cindy] and I have a give and take friendship. I ask about her. She asks about me [...]
This week, I have been in deep contemplation and as usually happens in times like these, my friends enter my consciousness like ethereal butterflies …
Were my grandmother [...] still alive and were she to ask me whether I have [...] followed the imperative on the cross-stitch, I would have to say “No, Nana. I have not.” I have simply been too busy.”
kaytisweetlandrasmussen83: “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ” Marcel Proust
Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun. You make my life more fun.
Loved the photo of Obexers! AK.”
Cherie Ladybugg: “You know, I was just up at Tahoe for one night. What a place that engenders so many memories. I slept in my parent’s room and on the wall is that large black and white picture of you and Dr. Advice, Ron’s parents, and mom and dad. You all looked so young and happy.
kaytis…83: “Weren’t we all dashing? We thought we already knew it all. Oh how wrong we were!”
MoR: “Dear Cheri, your post has hit my heart, I find it one of the most beautiful you’ve ever written. I did not have a brother, unfortunately … I do feel the same.
Our relationship, friendship, with you, Richard, Christopher, Cyberquill, Jenny, Andreas, Thomas, Douglas, Geraldine, Paul Sunstone and others from the Web it’s been non face to face, ok, but profound (of souls, as you say) and I have neglected you since I was too busy to achieve goals in my universus introversus [...]
[I btw didn't mention those met face to face: The Commentator Italo-Canadese, Paul or Pavlos le canadien du Quebec half Greek btw, Ashish the GeekWrestler (met by my daughter in Mumbai) Devinder the Sikh from Montreal, Nomad Anju from the Bangla culture, Nita from Mumbai, one of the best journalists ever etc. etc. etc.]
Id est 3 objectives that are inter alia impossible which I’m determined none the less to attain at the cost of croaking [...]
So now objective num 3 [num 1 & 2 being performing 2 of Bach's sublime masterpieces, ndr] is of course the ‘Manius Papirius Lentulus soldier trapped in Albion’ series (I’m thinking about a sequence of smaller books being published – feuiletton-like? – one after the other, like ‘Desperate Roman Soldiers’ LOL.)
So the writing has being restarted since a while (a 3-4 hundreds draft pages in both Italian and English: 3 perhaps draft small books) and [...] no less hard than the previous two Bach goals, it being a neo-Platonic-Pythagorean Dante […] these three objectives making me live like in a closed bell – with some old school mates around and other friends, who are patient – as you say, Cherie – since I none the less neglect them […]
And for that I have neglected you, Chaeri Faerie, who have been so warm, fanciful, crystal clear as only an Hyperborean Ladybugg can be [...]
As for Londoner Richard, a soul I love as much as I love yours, I have not even told him my youngest daughter is working in London as an architect / civil engineer [...] hired by an English engineering company busy building a skyscraper [...]
Remember my friends that I love you so much, and to me, you ALL are important [those not mentioned because too many, of course, too], and perhaps you souls from the WWW are even more important, being like Platonic souls deprived of a body, you all having a place in a heart that doesn’t forget though neglects.”
Chaerie Ladybugg: “Well Giovanni, I don’t know what to make of this long emotional comment. [...] Life is a journey that we are all on, most of us doing the best we can with what we have and with who are parents were. We meet the “other,” our spouse and we engage in a relationship, often times forgetting that they, indeed, are not an extension of ourselves, but an individual, at times very different from us on their own journey too. That is the magic of the “other”.
We have friends, whether in the WWW or face to face, friends with whom we connect and at times for myriad reasons, disconnect.
I’d like to believe that both fate and free will entwine in these dances that we do [...]
Richard: “Dear Roma,
I am not so naïve as to imagine that the feelings you express are for me personally. I know that you speak of the brotherhood of man generally and specifically of your love for my country and its people. That you do so despite their widespread rejection of the European Union in the recent elections to the Parliament is a measure of your sincerity.
Yes, the British do feel neglected by Europe. We feel treated unfairly, as a caricature of ourselves, that our pioneering contributions to European culture, democracy, justice, law, science, industry and peace are sidelined, misunderstood or even ridiculed. Our expectations, despite our massive sacrifices and investment in Europe over the last 300 years, and particularly over the last 100 years, bear hardly a consideration, as evidenced by the fact that the recent vote will make hardly any difference to our voice in Europe.
I myself have not lost hope in the European project, but believe that nations require their identity to be returned to enable them to be heard and to retain what is familiar to them so they may prosper together. Rightly or wrongly, there are those who reckon that some in Europe hope to win some sort of long-term cultural war through the medium of the EU, when there need be no war at all. This fear is behind the current crisis in the Ukraine.
Adaptability of form and purpose is the key to a united Europe, no less in its central organisation than in its constituent parts, and a willingness to abandon obsolete “visions” and obsessive “principle”. That headlong idée fixe has acquired a separate existence detrimental to the ideal. Real lessons can be learned from the UK and how it maintained many of the practical traditions of the constituent nations. In many ways the UK can be seen as a Scottish take-over as well as an English one. I know that we face the real possibility of Scotland’s severance, but it is a union that has lasted for 300 years, not without its difficulties, for sure, but of great mutual benefit, not only to ourselves but also to Europe and the whole world, by and large. It is significant that many true Scots who play such a large part in the running of the UK have no vote in the forthcoming referendum because they live in England. Our cultures are closely intertwined and most of us in England feel as one. I myself have Scottish antecedents on both parents’ sides and I am a Presbyterian – of a most liberal and broad-minded kind, I hasten to suggest.
Bigger is not necessarily better and if an organisation is unwieldy it is more likely to lead to unfairness, authoritarianism, disruption, rejection and, in the worst analysis, bitter conflict, than it is to peace.
MoR: [writing his novel, he needs:]
“An Invocation, before a mind journey
To my belovéd Anglo Saxon friends,
And to Chaerie dearest Faerie,
Queene of the Greatest Isle, Américà.
O Goddess, Thou, so heauenly and so bright!
Shed pls thy faire beams into our feeble eyne,
And raise, our thoughts being humble and too vile,
The argument of our afflicted style.
M. P. L(entulus) Maxumus