I have a quixotic streak. I am impulsive and sentimental. It was always there a belief and a longing for the fantastic. I rally my senses; I want to be released from this impractical and idealistic pact.
I, Emmelina Margeritha Santori, was born while a war was in the making. War, the word mentioned every day. To me it was an offensive word, with a threatening, painful sound spoken in hushed voices. Still people like to talk about war. They like war stories, war songs and war movies. Nothing reflects so much glory as a well-fought war. Medals glitter on proud breasts, and the dead lay dead. The word war will always be with us, we won’t get rid of it, it hangs on to mankind glittering and winking in its immoral purpose goes round and round in a never ending circle.
Before the war, after the war rings in my ears. It sounds like thunder, like the perpetual crashing of waves onto the shores of all the oceans.
The survivors are resilient. Hope is their key to everything. When they had a bad turn they recover, look forward to better days. They never give up, and start again it is in their nature. A survival moving force that is face to face with a moving force of power and destruction. Man the inventor of war.
In my veins circulates the blood of Europe. It is unruly, it pulses and broods and leaves my body shivering hot and cold, when I want it to be peaceful and sedate.
My mother, blue eyes in a broad face her mouth wide and generous. Her heritage goes back to central Europe, to the mountains and the rivers the vast, green plains under a changing, open sky without horizon.
My father, a proud man with good looks, mild, golden eyes and olive skin, dark haired, a reminder of the Romans when they marched over the Gotthard. He is a shy man, an atheist; he utterly dislikes the military and also authorities of Governments that hang around in idleness in puffed up self-importance.
I am an only child. For the most part I am left to my own devices. My Mother and my father are both working. I love my mother and I am sure she loves me too. Yet I do not confide in her. I am not invited to talk to my mother about matters of my body and neither do I talk about matters of my soul. She does not hug or kiss me but sometimes she slaps me, when she is tired and has no time for my tantrums what she calls it when I want to talk and find out things.
My father takes me for walks up into the hills and the woods. In spring I collect armfuls of soft blue, delicate flowers called “Leberbluemchen” and bunches of Lillie of the Valley. I must be careful not to tear out the roots because then there will not be any flowers to pick next year, says my father. We always go to the place where a badger lives. It is a little hill thick with trees, where he has made his hole quite well hidden. I always look into the darkness but I can only see just the entrance. He teaches me to shoot with a small but powerful rifle with a beautiful silver engraved stock. It is a poacher’s rifle because he can fold it together and hide it in the inside pocket of his jacket. He does not use the rifle for poaching so; he likes its sleekness and because he thinks it is very neat.
Copyright: T.S. Photo: T.S.