Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Onions, Masks and Humans: many interesting layers.

Onions are one of the few vegetables that every culture valued and keep valuing. I’m personally very proud of my ancestor Pieter Pieri who imported the famous Italian onions in Walla Walla. That was the end of 19th century. People says Pieri was a French soldier retired in the Corse Island. Corse was Italian before Napoleon and it is very close to Tuscany coastal. Consider that Pieri as last name come from Tuscany like a modification of Pietro (Pieter) and/or Piero, and the Onion seeds he brought to Walla Walla were coming from Tuscany, this is another gift from Italy. Of course, I do not think I’m related to this guy but my last name makes me very sympathetic to him.
Anyway, why this sweet and tasty vegetable are so important in all dining table around the world, despite cultural, religious, linguistic and local differences? Curious!
Why is it one of the most popular metaphor to use represent human personality?
I admit, the idea of a man, or woman personality built as layers that you can peel out one by one, going deep and deeper every stage, …. Yes, this metaphor is powerful, it seems invented by some shrink’s good marketer!
But what is there, at the end of the peeling?
Oh!!! Here our metaphor begins to diverge from reality. For some at the end, there is a core, an onion core! Your real Ego. Your only and unique trustable YOU!  Meaning the previous layers were not “really” you or at least not the “trustable you” we’d like to have.
Now, how’s that even possible! First of all, onions are one of these vegetables that you can eat every part of it, except the external layer. Technically speaking the “core” of the onion it doesn’t taste very different from a more external layer … and they are, all of them I mean, just “Onion”. To keep with the metaphor, at the end of the peeling job you get to the core and you have… let’s see, a naked and vulnerable onion core? For sure, again Onion as the layers you just peeled out.
For some people, the personality layers to peel out resemble masks over masks over another masks. And here the analogy is only in the way the wearer can take off the masks over another masks. But again, at the end of the taking off process you’ll find the very trustable and authentic “Self”, someone says.
I disagree! Totally. Onions are “onions” in the core as well than in the layers and a “self”, is an authentic and trustable self as well all of the masks we were able to take off.
So, a “Self” in my opinion is just a collection of masks that we made and we wear according to circumstances and ecological niches we are in.

In this way questions are changing a little bit. How many Masks we can build? How every mask I build will relate with the others? What are the skills you need to manage all these masks? What do you need to know to build a masks? 

The Onion. Wislawa Szymborska

The onion, now that's something else.
Its innards don't exist.
Nothing but pure onionhood
fills this devout onionist.
Oniony on the inside
onionesque it appears.
It follows its own daimonion
without our human tears.
La cipolla è un’altra cosa.
Interiora non ne ha.
Completamente cipolla
fino alla cipollità.
Cipolluta di fuori,
cipollosa fino al cuore,
potrebbe guardarsi dentro
senza provare timore.

Our skin is just a coverup
for the land where none dare to go,
an internal inferno,
the anathema of anatomy.
In an onion there's only onion
from its top to it's toe,
onionymous monomania,
unanimous omninudity.
In noi ignoto e selve
di pelle appena coperti,
interni d’inferno,
violenta anatomia,
ma nella cipolla – cipolla,
non visceri ritorti.
Lei più e più volte nuda,
fin nel fondo e così via.

At peace, of a piece,
internally at rest.
Inside it, there's a smaller one
of undiminished worth.
The second holds a third one,
the third contains a fourth.
A centripetal fugue.
Polypony compressed.
Coerente è la cipolla,
riuscita è la cipolla.
Nell’una ecco sta l’altra,
nella maggiore la minore,
nella seguente la successiva,
cioè la terza e la quarta.
Una centripeta fuga.
Un’eco in coro composta

Nature's rotundest tummy,
its greatest success story,
the onion drapes itself in its
own aureoles of glory.
We hold veins, nerves, and fat,
secretions' secret sections.
Not for us such idiotic
onionoid perfections.
La cipolla, d’accordo:
il più bel ventre del mondo.
A propria lode di aureole
da sé si avvolge in tondo.
In noi  grasso, nervi, vene,
muchi e secrezioni.
E a noi resta negata
l’idiozia della perfezione.