Happy May Day, everybody! Anyone out there sneaking around the neighborhood this morning, putting nosegays or tussie mussies or just a plain old bouquet of flowers on their neighbor’s door? Me either. I remember making construction paper flowers in elementary school and doing that. I was delighted by the idea of secret flower deliveries. Oh, who am I kidding, I am still delighted by it. Maybe I should give serious thought to making it a ritual again.
I won’t be dancing around any May Poles today, either, as I will still be
beating my head against the desk working on my craft fair booth and inventory. One step forwards and two steps back.
In addition to it being May Day, today is also the birthday of the poet Dante Alighieri. You may have heard of him, he wrote a little thing called The Divine Comedy, which is in three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Yeah, yeah, THAT Dante. The one we usually only refer to by one name, like Madonna or Cher. Seeing that today is Dante’s birthday in my daily reading of The Awe-Manac by Jill Badonsky, brought to mind a bit of trivia that’s been rattling around in my brain for such an occasion.
When Italy was going about trying to get everyone to play on the same team and unify as a single country, one of the many hurdles they faced was designating a single language. Italian was all over the place, with city using its own dialect and pronunciation and spellings. It was a mess. There’s lots of history and events and hand gestures to sort through the process, but essentially, the Italian that is spoken and written today is the Italian that Dante used in his writing. The decision to adopt that version of Italian was a unanimous decision on the part of the committee, one made about 500 years after Dante’s lifetime. That’s astounding, considering Italy has 17 political parties and agreeing on anything with a majority is a Herculean effort.
I’m pretty sure I heard that bit of trivia from a tour guide or possibly Rick Steves, and as I have the to-do list to end all to-do lists, I didn’t do my usual fact checking on that. But hey, it’s a great story, and one that keeps me going when I can’t even make up my own mind. If the Italians can decide on a language, then I should be able to get the voices in my head to agree on a backdrop for my craft booth.
Maybe I’ll take a little break this morning, go get some flowers and whisper Italian poetry to them. It might get me headed in the right direction and inspire some inspiration.