Tuesday, July 24, 2018

“…something tremendous has happened”: Talking Sex and Freedom and Friendship off Costa Verde and Buggero, and other adventures in Southwest Sardinia, July 20 and 21st

We woke up at Casa Marmida welcomed by the sounds of the sheep and lambs the distance.  A dog ran in circles playing as I watched the sun make its way up.
The food the night before had been wonderful, local fare.
Caroline got directions to a spiagga just off CostaVerde, dubbed the Dunes of Piscinas.
So, we make our way out.
With green everywhere, the landscape reminds me of Playa Verde in Vieques.
Winding and curving through the hills and coasts, the paved road finally gives way to dirt, past a creek where we park, walking the next few k to the beach, where we find a tiki bar and the most beautiful water, surrounded by dunes, kindov like my image of paradise.
As if a scene from a movie, the girls and I get a drink taking in the views.
Matteo and Fatima join us extending the conversation we’ve had for the last week.
Fatima talks about her work in Pakistan where she supports girls and their self-determination.
“You are not free until you have your sexual freedom,” notes Fatima, quoting from her friend Alishba who she heard speak at the Muslimish Conference in NYC.
She’s rejected her religion in favor of freedom.
All too often, religion is just another form of control.

I tell her about the Barnard Conference on Pornography and Feminism with the debates about censorship and sexual freedom from 1981.
She tells me about verse 4:34 of the Koran, which condones beating women.
And efforts of activists to support girls to grow up without having to endure forced marriages.
Specifically, there are efforts at airports in the UK.
Girls can’t talk without their parents.
So those who do want to be taken back to marry carry spoons through security.
Students just put them in their clothes before crossing through security.
When security officers see them, that’s all they need to know.
The Telegraph News reports:
So, we talk, swim, enjoy a swim, and make our way back for a horseback ride.
Going to sleep that night, we watch Room with a View, a film about a similar group making their way through Italy.
“Something tremendous has happened to me,” notes George to Lucy.
Something happens to all of us here.
The next day, we meet up for one final boat ride together, to
go for bouf in Buggero, perhaps a swim in the grottos.
The drive is crazy. Through town after town, windy coastal road after road, we make our way to the once industrial mining town of Buggerro.  Today the mines are closed. People come for the waters.
Matteo posts: “The place is eerie in a dystopian.   Half ruined mining station and half favela.  But as the gateway to this pretty coast (it promises to be quite exceptional) its worth coming… there are several pristine still bays within a five-minute zip over by boat: Porto Flavia, cala domestica, grottos, and ploufs and even ruins and history… Actually, I looked again and if you go through guispini and arbus not around it….”
Famous last words. We get stuck within the medieval quarter of Arbus, the maps send us round and round and round, into a nether dimension, where they know nothing of where they are taking us, careening between wedding parties on the ground, old men sitting with their feet on the streets,  kids chatting, people going to church, everyone pour into the streets and we’re the poor souls trying to navigate it all.
We are about to vomit by the time we get to Buggero.  But its worth it.  The ride between the unspoiled costs and geological landscapes of sedimentary rocks jetting up from the sea into the sky, the grottos, where we swim, magnificent coasts, and s stop for a coffee at the Pizzeria Con Forno a Leona  Ristorante con Speciality de Mare makes it worth it. All afternoon, we explore the grottos, boat past the Pan de Zuchero and the Grotta Sardegna, the Cala Demestica, a jelly fish stings and the day passes.
Looking at the rocks, its an illustration of time.
We’ve known each other since 1986. The rocks have been here for millennia.
The bluest waters ever welcome us.
And we remember a few of the old friends from those days three decades prior when we first met, back in 1986. Matteo shared a bathroom with Dad, years before these three came along.
“Are you not comfortable with the male form?” Dad would say to Matteo as they brushed their teeth. Dad standing there naked. “No.  I saw you here yesterday.”
They hung out all year long, Dad taking Matteo camping for spring break, out to Big Bend National Park, where they slept looking at the stars.
“He was the first adult who talked with me seriously.”
“This isn’t happening to me,” Dad screamed all year long.
Matteo can still do the imitation of Dad losing his mind.
Life is still odd for us.
“We’ve known each other for thirty years.  What will we look like three decades from now at 78? Not too bad…” if we make it.
Hopefully the conversation about sex and freedom will continue, even then.

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