Visiting the Moon

Visiting the Moon

I’ve written before about how Pia and I “discovered” the south, and mediterranean hospitality, about our pleasure in returning that hospitality to our many guests here at “la Luna.”

Once I tried to figure out about how many visitors we’ve had in our 20 years here, but I soon gave up.
First I was undecided whether to count visits, or visitors: if you come to a clown workshop in April, and then swing by with your children for the summer festival, do you count twice, once as a clown and once as a mother? If you were hired as an electrical engineer to redesign the shaky grid, do you count? Or only afterwards, when you decide to try clowning?

It’s easier to say that innumerable love relationships have started here, with at least four leading to marriage, one of which was actually celebrated on the grounds (with muppets officiating, the father of the bride bringing his daughter on a tractor…).

But of course the more time people spend here, the richer the dialogue (with other humans, with nature) becomes. Tomorrow arrive of some of our wonderful differently-abled German friends from “Eins und Alles” near Stuttgart, with whom we have an ongoing theater project. Yesterday, the last Intercultural clown left. What with all the unseasonable rain and cold, we’re having trouble getting the bed linen clean and dried. But something will work out, as it always seems to…

It’s a lot of work, keeping the place up, presentable and comfortable, for the steady flow of guests here. I won’t even try to describe the difficulty of coordinating the renovation we’re doing, the coordination of knocking walls down and getting cement mixers out of the way, always with an anxious eye on the clouds, so we can greet our guests without having to distribute hard hats and rubber boots….

But it’s worth it, it really is. Apart from the fact that it has become a wonderful team effort — and no longer the lonely struggle of Pia and I — with the energy and intelligence of Natasha and Alessandro, the professional menus of Rudy and inventive home-cooking of Angel and her boyfriend Michael, the tireless presence of Lamine and support of Ileana and Sergio, as well as the steady professional support of Susanna and Mirco, she with the direction of this newsletter as well as the upcoming Lunar Clowning website, he with the graphics, on top of his clowning facilitation and performance work.

The year-round visitors to la Luna meet all of these people, whether in person, or in spirit, through the traces of the tireless collaborative dance which we’ve found together. In the summertime, the whole equation explodes exponentially, but for now I limit myself to the round-the-year (and often, round-the-clock) social calendar here.

And the visitors here are not just your garden-variety tourists. More and more, the people who come here are aware of experiencing a very special meeting, social, artistic, and ecological. People are searching us out, no longer because they think we are a pizzeria, but because they want to actually share something with us: something as strong as the stones in our fields, as rich as the blood-red earth, as delicate as the dragonflies hovering over our dance stage, as robust as the laughter which erupts from our well.

And yes, we’ve learned there’s another Luna marriage coming up: a couple Moonfests ago, Natasha and Alessandro met here, narrowly missing a car crash in front of our door.

This June they’ll be marrying here. I’m not in a position to invite you. Talk to them.