Convivium nr. 9 2002 (English)
Convivium nr. 9 2002 (English)
Bruno Cisamolo: in two books, a tour of the inner life
by Auri Stilla
In our brains, thousands of nerve cells are engaged in frenetic activity 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, living an inner life of their own.
During the day, our senses are bombarded with a vast array of information. Our minds process an incredible amount of sensory input. At night, thoughts and memories intertwine and, like an intricate puzzle, piece after piece, our life’s projects takes form.
At the same time, we ourselves are the creators and subjects of the supreme work. Only we ourselves are able to relive our memories and communicate them to those around us and yet we never succeed in seeing the masterpiece that is our life. Too many commitments, too much work to be done and time is too precious to „waste" it looking into the mirror and reading in the signs of the times the course of our existence.
For Bruno Cisamolo as well, there were too many „buts" in daily life to permit adventurous voyages among the memories of a life lived intensely. Born September 2, 1937, at Sermoneta, a short distance to the south of Rome, to a family that originated in the Verona area, he personally experienced the hardships and privations of war and the period that followed it. The pangs of hunger, the interruption of his studies, his „career" as a truck driver that was fortunately ended by an accident but, above all, the ambition, tenacity, strong sense of pride and a desire to succeed enabled him to achieve the impossible.
One step at a time, Cisamolo constructed a solid foundation for his professional success in the sixties. He pioneered pasta production at Nairobi in Kenya and, afterward, he was in charge of foreign sales for Buitoni for 10 years. His „flaming years," as he described them in his book, were passed in some of the world’s most remote places: Lagos, Beirut, Aqaba in Jordan, Anchorage in Alaska, Sidney, Baghdad, Mogadishu in Somalia, the slopes of Kilimanjaro, Bolivia and the Rio Grande. And, then, Germany.
In 1983, „I began looking into the German real estate sector," he says. „By a rare stroke of luck, I was able to purchase this property on the Schanzenstrasse." That led to the creation of a company, Nadia, which imported and distributed typical Italian wines and food products and required a constant commitment. His mission? To make Italy’s superb cuisine available to the world. His passion? nature and knowledge.
Work was not an end in itself. For the self-made man, work means learning, discovering and breathing in life in all its fullness and with all its facets.
"I always wanted to know the world and nature in its many aspects. I wanted to fly and to sail off to learn about the nature of the seas, the forests and the deserts…to experience the nature of man and animals as closely as possible," he says.
In his adventure, he was always accompanied by his wife, Stefania, the person who, as he has written, „loved me and always believed in me, who accompanied me in every step of my life…who believed in my many dreams and lived them with me."
It was during his tour in a sailing ship that fate presented him with a crucial question. It spoke to him in the voice of a French skipper, a voice inside him that asked him why he could not stop for a moment and admire the splendid mosaic of his own memories.
Too many „buts." Too little time.
"Yes," the skipper had said, „it’s a matter of time, that’s true. But you always find time to die." That was in 1997.
Like a worm boring into wood, the question festered in Cisamolo’s mind from then on. A first step toward an answer was taken in his first work as an author. Noi, Terra Marique e l’Atlantico was an impassioned account of a tour of the ocean under sail. Five months abroad the Terra Marique, five months in which Stefania and Bruno Cisamolo engaged in a sort of initiatory rite that enabled them to rediscover themselves and their profound link with nature, which in that period finally revealed itself to them in all its majesty. „Apocalyptic" scenes and admospheric adversities alternated with enchanting beaches of the Caribbean islands, Bermuda and the Azores. With respect and subdued delight, they observed a solemn procession of a squadron of whales, an unforgettable encounter at sea.
The call of the sea steadily strengthened and two years later, after overcoming the adversities of daily life, Stefania and Bruno Cisamolo were ready for another major voyage, from the cold North Sea to the sunshine of Rome. This time, their journey was more intense and, mile after mile, port after port, memories, faces, aromas and sensations blossomed in Cisamolo’s mind. In flashbacks, he was transported again to distant places that were only apparently forgotten but in reality well rooted in the substratum of memory.
Names, cities, dishes, the odors of the African rain and the warmth of the Nairobi sun were still there. It seemed that it was sufficient to turn and thereby return to that distant world.
Turning the pages of Quando volano gli angeli („When the Angels Fly"), we see Cisamolo observing a seal, while in his mind Prosdocimo reappears and takes flight. The Cisamolos observed that magnificent falcon when they were living in Kenya. A meal in an Indian restaurant in Dover opened the gates of Nairobi and Kirinyaga. And the wind of the Bay of Biscay brought with it „ghosts" from Santa Cruz and the Rio Grande.
"When I think of my life, my successes and the defeats of the past and to the still numerous projects for the future, I see myself as satisfied, proud and happy." With only a few, direct and simple comments that speak more of the heart than the intellect, Cisamolo involves us in his adventure on the Terra Marique, where the confines between real and virtual voyage fuse in his memory in a pleasant and gripping succession. And we are rocked gently by the waves of a blue sea.
"In my fantasies, I see the future as projected into a sky of a brilliant blue," he writes, „which I believe is more beautiful than all the blues seen by the eyes of other because it is my blue. The sight of this intense blue is associated with my desires and with soft, gentle sounds…, the sound of the deep becomes movement and represents a union of space, time and sensations. It is all like the flight of an angel, many angels, and each represents a moment, a fact, a wish, an aspiration, a satisfaction and a success in my life."
"They fly in the brilliant blue of the sky, in my blue, which seems to want to shine specially for them and smile at the grace of their flight.
Because, you know, when the angels fly the sky smiles. Always."