Saturday, October 31, 2015

Samhain Blog Hop: Honoring Giuseppe


Welcome to the Samhain Blog Hop! Please use the links at the top or bottom of this post to navigate to the other wonderful blogs in this circle. This time around our wrangler, Arwen Lynch-Poe, has asked us to "commune, communicate, and commemorate." We might choose an ancestor or notable historical figure to discuss, to read for or about, or to celebrate, in one way or another.

I ultimately decided to honor my grandfather for this Samhain celebration. Giuseppe Giovanni Amerigo Malgeri was born on September 23rd, 1900 in Pigüé, Argentina, the son of immigrants from southern Italy. As a young adult he left South America for Italy to earn his teaching certificate, and eventually enlisted in the Italian military. In 1924 he traveled to the United States for the first time, where he met and married my grandmother, with whom he had three children. They moved back to Italy which is where my mother spent her early years, but my grandmother ended up returning to the U.S. with all of her children after some waywardness on the part of my grandfather. He died a couple of years after my birth so I never had the opportunity to know him (or my paternal grandfather either, as a matter of fact), which over the years I've come to see as a true and mostly irreparable loss.
An extendable table crafted by my grandfather
I never knew a lot about Giuseppe, and what I did hear could be held within a single, cupped hand: he was a woodworker; he was a teacher; he was a traveler; he was a soldier; he was multilingual. He loved his children in his own way. As I thought about what court card my grandfather might be, I settled on the King of Wands. Though he was a Libra, his essence feels more like fire to me, and as it turns out he has quite a bit of Sagittarius in his chart! I had pulled my husband's Mary-El deck out the previous day, and decided to sift through it for the King of Wands. When I found it I immediately noticed an interesting resemblance to my grandfather:
Mary-El King of Wands and Giuseppe Malgeri
Yesterday on my way home from work I was contemplating what to have for lunch and had settled on eggs all'inferno (eggs in Hell) because we had a really nice tomato sauce that needed to be used. And then I realized that this dish is part of the small legacy that I have from my grandfather. We have relatives in Argentina still, some of with whom I speak. We have family in Italy as well. But one of the most consistently present, always-accessible, fully tangible remnants of his is this simple egg-and-tomato-sauce dish that I learned from my mother. As she would throw eggs on top of bright red sauce in a pan, she would say, "Time for eggs all'inferno, one of my dad's favorite foods!" So for me, this is a direct line to the grandfather I never had a chance to know in this life. Now as I prepare it, I tell my own children, "This is your great-grandpa Malgeri's favorite dish!"
Giuseppe's eggs all'inferno
For those interested in the recipe, it goes a little something like this:

Giuseppe's Eggs all'Inferno

Put some tomato sauce (a cup or two, to your own liking) in a pan (non-stick is best) and crack as many eggs as you like on top. Put on a cover and let it poach until the eggs are cooked to your preference. You can add cheese if you like - throw some on to melt during the final minute or two, or grate some parmesan or romano on top after you serve it. It's great with buttered and toasted bread. As an alternative method, you can pan fry the eggs first, and when they are close to done you can pour the sauce over the top and let it heat through!

I decided to do a reading to ask some basic questions about my grandfather: How did he see himself? What was his passion? How would (or does) he see me, his granddaughter? The results provoked more questions than answers, but were interesting nonetheless:
Stone Tarot/A. Stone
1) How would you describe yourself? 8 of Pentacles reversed. I wonder if he ever felt contented with what he had accomplished in life. Was he a perfectionist that never seemed able to reach the top of the mountain? Was he perpetually dissatisfied? He certainly wasn't a "stable" man in the sense that he didn't stay in one general area - even country - for the majority of his life. He traveled, but more than that, he was an immigrant. He had many different interests, skills, and occupations. He had a family, and then he didn't. Did he ever feel that he'd been "enough"?

2) What was your passion? Wheel of Fortune. In some way this card seems to answer certain elements of the previous card. After I pulled this from the deck I was singing "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" for the next hour. What I like about this card is that it tells me that my grandfather was truly a wanderer by nature. He thrived on change and newness. My mother always said that we come from a nomadic family, in the sense that at least the recent generations have never stayed put. My grandfather moved around a lot, and so have his children and their children. It's nice to think that he pursued change at least in part because he found it exhilarating. And it's interesting to see those qualities in myself.

3) How do you see me? Page/Princess of Wands. I was just writing the other day about "signficators" in Tarot and I mentioned that the cards that most often come up for me are the King and Queen of Cups, and the Page of Wands. In fact, the Page of Wands is specifically the card that tends to represent the work I do in divination: an emissary and messenger, a go-between and interpreter. An underlying question here was one that Arwen had mentioned in her original Blog Hop task for us: How might your relative feel about your card reading? In that light, I take this as a positive confirmation that he approves of what I'm doing. And I like the idea that he sees me as a "princess" (that's very grandfatherly, I think!).

Last week my husband and I were dealing with a pretty difficult and challenging matter regarding our car that had suddenly broken down and left us in quite a conundrum (I discuss it in more detail here). As we were strolling through the dealership parking lot in search of a new vehicle, I had a "moment" where I was very aware of both of my grandfathers. I imagined what it would be like to have their help and support in that situation. I thought about how I never had known them, had missed out on the opportunity to experience the grandfather-granddaughter bond. But I welcomed their energy in, and asked for their advocacy.

It's funny that I never thought about it at the time, but as I wrote this post I naturally thought about that invitation in the parking lot, and then it suddenly dawned on me. We ended up purchasing (via a lot of mysterious and fortuitous circumstances) a car that I'd never imagined I'd ever own (and still can't believe it, really): a Fiat - the most popular Italian car brand.
So I send a big "thank you" to my grandfather-in-spirit, Giuseppe Giovanni Amerigo Malgeri. May you always be with me, and may I always be open to your love and guidance.

Happy Samhain, everyone!

22 comments:

  1. It's great to see so many grandparents being commemorated, or communed with, on this blog hop! I've enjoyed reading about your grandfather, and what you learned from the reading.

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  2. I'm sorry, I skimmed the spread/reading because I was hoping for the recipe ! :) x

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    1. Ah! Well I actually didn't include it because it's just as it sounds: put some tomato sauce in a pan and poach the eggs in it :) Perhaps I will add it to the post!

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  3. Really enjoyable post, it's somehow so Italian! I will try the recipe tomorrow, thank you for sharing! :)

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  4. You know, I always love posts with recipes. I love food too much dammit. Love your captivating story. I was transported to that era by the way you wrote it. XxJo

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    1. Thanks, Jo! I am right there with you on the food front!

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  5. Wow! That K of W is an uncanny resemblance... Nice post :)

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  6. A lovely portrait of your grandfather. And that Mary El King of Wands really does look like him! :-)

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    1. Thanks :-) Yeah, it took me by surprise to see the resemblance!

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  7. Great recipe and lovely story pulling together your energies and those of a grandfather you didn't know "in the flesh" but who certainly has left his influence on your very fascinating family history and ultimately on your auto purchase, it seems. :)

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  8. Blood will out, they say. Clearly your inner Fiat owner has emerged :D

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  9. I finally had a chance to sit down and give this post my full attention. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this loving tribute to your grandfather, Olivia.

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    1. Ha! Thanks for spending some time with this :-) And thank you for the kind words! <3

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  10. Another recipe? W00t! Great hop for me. lol But this was a loving post and I really enjoyed meeting your grandfather.

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    1. Thanks, Arwen! I've really enjoyed this post, too :)

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