Hi there, and welcome to 2024! We’re excited for what this coming year might hold, which we will talk to shortly. But because last year defied any kind of prediction we’re mostly taking a wait and see attitude on making any predictions (though we do have a few).
Had we sat down in January 2023 and tried to forecast the following twelve months, we would’ve failed miserably. From attempting—and passing—the Italian Driver’s License Exam, to cavorting naked in a German spa, to walking with donkeys, it was a year of continued assimilation into this and other cultures. It was one also of new discovery as we deepened our understanding of what it means to be so far from the people we love and raised further questions as to why we started down this path to begin with and why on earth had we landed here.
That said, at the top of any Best Things to Happen List we might put together is the fortune we felt in being able to share our new home with so many, near and far (note to self: learn how to take better pictures).
What else is in store for this year?
Glad you asked. For starters, we’ll continue to share stories from our Some Day In Sicily social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook, as well as partner with our tour business, Sicily Connect, on how you too might experience not only this amazing island but better understand how we, a couple well into their midlives, moved to find our place in the world and in so doing are discovering a lot about ourselves and one another. We know we don’t have all the answers on how specifically to cut through nonsense we’re taught about life to live fully, with less conformity and more audacity, but we do feel we’re proof that it can be done.
Indeed, sorting through bullshit that had been holding us back—and maybe it’s holding you back, too—has been a mainstay of our work here at The Revelate. It’s an endeavor for which the profit-driven, developed world has provided plenty of fodder. For this coming year though we want to be a bit more intentional on the topics we cover and provide you with more of our own personal story, of which we fully expect to find that, in fact, we’ve made plenty of mistakes.
But why should we be any different? To triumph despite the predicaments of life, Dante had to pass through the gates of Hell. Goethe’s Faust agreed to the Devil’s condition to never be satisfied with what he has. But unfortunately for the rest of us there is no shady dealmaker or comedic hero to guide us through the puzzling, unpredictable, and sometimes outright illusive labyrinth our shining, modern world presents. We have only our wits and whatever conclusions we can draw from our missteps, wrong turns and fuck ups to guide us.
In our own lives, we both have, on countless occasions, had to lift one another from the ruins of blunder and misfortune. From the anguish of war and the quaking accord of the sizzling lifelong love affair that followed, to settling down, to building careers and then leaving or losing them. These are just a few of the candid chronicles we hope to share of the trials, errors and revelations that eventually led us to say enough is enough and move halfway around the world to the largest island in the Mediterranean. A potential pinnacle of life-altering mistakes.
We will continue to write about Sicily, a lot, in fact, and of the challenges we’ve encountered in navigating this strange, new world we have thrust upon ourselves. But at the same time also sharing the existential struggles of the old one; what the Jungian psychoanalyst James Hollis describes as overwhelmment: the essential powerlessness in the face of our environment. A feeling for which, I personally, can attest to here.
"There is another world and it is this one"
“There is another world and it is this one,” the poet Paul Eluard observed, and while trying, failing and moving on will form the backbone of what we will try to cover in the coming months, at the center of it all is a search for the longing, purpose and place universal to every human being. Our move to Sicily has been a homecoming of sorts—as you’ll recall Franca’s father was born here—and a reckoning with the expanding awareness of finitude, the acceptance of which allows everyone, at least in theory, to enter into what the author Oliver Burkeman of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals calls “a truly authentic relationship with life”.
Does that mean our lives are better here than in America? We’ve been asked that several times since moving here, and our response usually goes something like this: Yes, but.
Uncertainty here is appropriate. Setting aside, briefly, the huge do-over moving to Sicily has offered us in so many terms—how we eat, what we do with our time, on what and how we spend money—what happens if and when we learn that may not be everything we’d imagined? When the luster of paradise fades. What the psychologist Danny Kahneman calls a focusing illusion in that people tend to believe that easily observable differences between places (better food, close to water, 300 days of sunshine, etc.) will matter more than they do in reality.
Overtime we might find that to be the case, but probably not. Such confidence doesn’t necessarily ease my own skeptical, fear-hardened penchant for not diving into the unknown without a packing list and escape route. But so far, we’ve found that our move here was not a mistake but instead the very thing that was needed to move ourselves closer to whatever it means for us personally to surrender our hearts to longing, forge meaningful purpose and find our place.
Questions remain: Why Us, Why Now and How?
Well, we'll see.
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