Just yesterday I was listening to a song by a very young Riccardo Cocciante called: “the smell of fresh bread”. Original title: “l’odore del pane”.( Note there is no need for FRESCO in the title, as Italian bread is ONLY fresh).
Here it is (The melody shows its age, but the lyrics are still good)
“If I hadn’t stopped to tie my shoe in the street,
I would have never smelled fresh bread.
And if I hadn’t smelled that fresh bread
I wouldn’t have realize I was broke;
And if I hadn’t considered stealing that bread
I wouldn’t have imagined I would go to jail.
And if I hadn’t imagined going to jail
I wouldn’t have realized I am free. FREE.
And if I weren’t free,
I couldn’t stop to tie my shoe in the street,
And steal the smell of fresh bread.”
Feelings do have smells and sounds.
Studies show that a temporary emotion can become a permanent memory if bound by a sensual experience (vision, hearing, taste, touch and smell):
So freedom can indeed smell like fresh bread.
In my childhood, the excitement of returning to my Grandpa’s home was sealed in my memory by the fragrance of his gigantic library.
50 years later, old books still smell like Nonno’s home. (which is now my home).
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I only saw my father dance once. It was to this:
Again, 40 years later this is the song I imagine all my departed loved ones dancing to, in a beautiful large sunny room.
Here is the scene: they are all grooving; the door to the 1WPE (One-Way Private Elevator) opens; I walk in.
There is cheers, and everybody comes to say hello. Then the music continues – performed live, of course – and I join in the dance.
(I’m in no rush)
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I’d love to hear about other people’s sense-triggered memories like that.
A while back (probably in bed with last year’s flu) I set out to see if this process also works in reverse: to create a memory of the future.
I played the same song several times while fantasizing the same scene. Amazing: it worked: the two got glued together, so now when I play the song, that fantasy comes to mind without any effort.
Here’s the scene: my son plays Blackbird on guitar.
He plays it wonderfully. He has a beard, some gray hair.
A small child on his lap and a young girl next to him.
She Looks just like me.
My daughter sobs (she always does, when given a chance). A fine man has his arm round her shoulder. More children. Some really old people sit and cough and fall asleep.
It’s my funeral.
Is it only me, or fantasizing about my children attending my own farewell ceremony gives me the peaceful feeling that things will go as they should, and the line at the Grand Exit will follow birth registry order?
Anyway, I am giving myself some time: my son doesn’t even know how to play guitar, yet.
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I want to create a playlist to become the soundtrack of our Privileged Lockdown.
But not the usual music we already like. Something new. Suggestions?
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Our guests from before already know: this villa belonged to my grandfather and is now still owned by family. My 90 year old aunt and uncle live just next door to us, but at the moment are kept at a safety distance, so we cannot socialize properly.
Today I decided to serenade them, from the garden to their window. I know this is my uncle’s old time favorite:
Try listening to it from a different room. You’ll be booking the next available flight to Italy (though that may be a little while…).
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Til then, I will be enjoying my home A LOT, and wait for our next visitors. I can’t wait. Where are they? Where are you? How are you? I want to hear it all, introduce you to my new 10AM glass of wine ritual, show you every corner of this villa, give you a hug. Give you more wine. Tuck you in bed. (If I get to that, please turn me in for stalking)