an invisible hand drawing in the infinite womb of possible

My friend Paolo Libri posted this to Facebook:

Per il mio amico Michael DeLapa:  Really, there are times when the ubiquitous and logic network of causal sequences gives up, astonished by life, and steps down in the pit, mingling among the public, to let on stage, under the lights of the soaring and sudden freedom, an invisible hand drawing in the infinite womb of possible and, among millions of things, one will let happen. (A. Baricco)

Davvero ci sono momenti in cui l’onnipresente e logica rete delle sequenze causali si arrende, colta di sorpresa dalla vita, e scende in platea, mescolandosi tra il pubblico, per lasciare che sul palco, sotto le luci della libertà vertiginosa e improvvisa, una mano invisibile peschi nell’infinito grembo del possibile e tra milioni di cose, una sola ne lasci accadere. (A. Baricco)

There’s a back-story.

In 1992 I traveled throughout Italy with my father Rocky, my Uncle Frankie, and my uncle’s friend Cosmo (the only one of the four of us who spoke fluent Italian). We started in Rome, drove to Amalfi, and continued into Calabria where on a magical fall day in September in Olivada, a small town in the central hills of the state, we eventually found three of my father and uncle’s cousins. Our dinner with them was one of the most moving and life-affirming experiences of my life.

When we returned to California I was on an Italian high. A few days back at work at Sea Studios, as Mark Shelley and I were leaving 810 Cannery Row for lunch, I heard the music of Italian voices pass by me on their way to the Aquarium. I felt compelled to ask the voice – there were many – if someone in they were Italian and if I could help them. The group stopped, and one young man stepped forward, a little confused, to confirm in English they were Italian. I said to him, “I must tell you, I just returned from a wonderful trip to your country. The people we met were wonderful, and when I heard you voice I felt I should ask whether I could help you. You’re in my town. What might you need? A restaurant? Something else?”

The Italians spoke among themselves, and the young man said, “Well, now that you mention it, were are interested in lunch. Would you be able to recommend a restaurant that serves good seafood?”

With that, Mark and I invited the 8 or 10 Italians to join us at Sea Harvest where our friend and then owner Nancy Deyerle served up one of the epic seafood lunches of all time.

And from that lunch in Monterey, 23 years ago, Paolo Libri and I have remained friends. He visited me at in 2000, and in 2008 we vacationed with him, Maria Rosaria (his ex-wife), and Francesco Pietro (his son) on Capri and later stayed at their apartment in Rome.

Life throws many possibilities our way and it is our choice whether to accept them or not. I am so very glad Paolo accepted my invitation for lunch.