Beyond the Words

Beyond the Words Of "Light My Fire"

I decided to collect the words that struck me from "Light My Fire" by Brenda Lodigiani, a novel that explores the nuances of love, family and personal growth. Brenda's words made me laugh, reflect and move, and I hope they can do the same with you.

Published at 11 giu 2024

Beyond the Words Of "Light My Fire"

Reading is an act of discovery, a journey of emotions, a conversation with your inner self.

This is my commonplace book, a treasure trove of words to revisit and share.

May these words spark your curiosity, challenge your assumptions, and open your mind to new perspectives.

  • Title: Light My Fire (Accendi il mio fuoco)
  • Author: Brenda Lodigiani
  • Language: Italian

It was her voice note, a seven-minute recording culminating in these words, that finally convinced me: «However far you may roam, in mind and spirit, our body holds its own wisdom, and blood has its own geography, always capable of guiding us home.»

The school bell rings. A blur of gleeful energy, my daughter races toward the exit, her smile blinding. Then she spots me, her pace slowing to a shuffle as she mutters, «Sorry, but wasn’t Dad supposed to pick me up?» In moments like these, I long to remind her of the seven days postpartum when I feared my anatomy had been irrevocably rearranged. Is a little gratitude too much to ask?

«If it weren’t for kids…» I whisper to him, contemplating unspeakable acts. «What would you do to me, Kè?» My imagination conjures up uncharted territory, but a tiny voice interrupts, «Daddy, is this Milan?» «Yes, piccola, this is Milan.»
«And was I born in a hospital in Milan?» We chuckle. What a question! «Yes.” «Milan is so beautiful. There are skyscrapers!» Milan is gorgeous. Even more so today. The colors are so vivid, it feels like stepping into one of my daughter’s drawings. The sky’s blue, the trees’ green, the sun’s yellow. I roll down the car window, my hand catching the warm breeze that playfully tousles my hair.

Ludovico brags about invoicing seventy grand in bitcoin this week. The others remain unfazed, likely accustomed to such pronouncements. I tune him out, savoring my food and the wind in my hair. Alessandro, however, appears captivated. His questions go beyond the usual investment chatter. Through the haze of alcohol, I catch a snippet: «So what? These ETFs? Am I a joke?»

I’d rather witness him canoodling with his ex, my best friend. But I’m too relaxed to protest, to remind him that our central Milan life already costs a fortune, and we need every penny for condo fees. What investments does he think he can afford? I study him. This “manager” persona is rather appealing. He exudes confidence, a jack-of-all-trades. He pretends to know everything, but not in an arrogant way. It’s strangely reassuring.

If Hell exists, I’m destined for its flames, where I’ll meet Satan, Lucifer, the devil. I picture him charming, like Al Pacino in that movie. I’ll ask why he turned into such a jerk, because as far as I remember, he started as an angel. Maybe he had kids too?

How long has it been? Did I really have to come all the way to a gypsy camp for a couple of hours of peace? It’s not exactly paradise, but at least my kids are being cared for, I hope. The irony of what I spend to live in central Milan, not even knowing my neighbors’ names… Maybe a tribe isn’t so bad after all. A community, people who genuinely care, in their own way. Right or wrong, who knows? Am I doing this all wrong? Could there be a piece of my life meant to be lived here?

«Jim, enough with the cryptic song lyrics. This is ‘Waiting for the Sun.’ I’ve played along for thirty years, but now I’m pissed. Can’t you find some new words?»
«Baby, the songs tell the truth, they’re about us, while you only know how to lie to yourself.»

«Kè, seriously, what the hell happened? You’re scaring me.» I meet his gaze. He stares back, expressionless, until my mother arrives, patting Ale on the shoulder. «Sorry, dear, but I have to steal her away.» «She’s all yours.» Mom laughs, takes my arm, and whispers, «We made this game up. But your acting is terrible.» «Where are you taking me?» «You need to be alone. Like when you locked yourself in the bathroom. Remember? ‘Bathroom occupied! No entry.‘» «Why are you telling me this now?» «Because sometimes we all need to withdraw into ourselves. Not to hide, but to illuminate our spirit.»

«Life throws all sorts of things at you, but there always comes a time when you figure out what to do with it all. The good, the bad, the ugly. At some point, it all makes sense, maybe even becomes your strength. Then comes the day you truly let go of the memories. The day the accounts are settled, the anger fades, the pain dissolves.»