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Calabrian Cemetary Relation

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The women, and the men come and go, not a one speaking of Michelangelo. CNN won't stop detailing the world's ills and cruelty on overhead TV sets. I down a Starbucks double cappuccino in the Atlanta terminal as the sky rumbles overhead at regular intervals.

Back home, I have left a white envelope for Laurie, Lucas and Grace in the top drawer of my dresser. 'JUST IN CASE,' it says in big letters, underscored in day-glo yellow highlighter. Just in case I die in a crash, in an explosion, your time's up, this incarnation is done. Professions of love and last crumbs of guidance from Daddy to his kids. There, beneath my gray socks.

The jets grow bigger, longer, wider, with each stage of the journey outward from tiny Tri-State Airport near Huntington, West Virginia. My temples throb from too much caffeine. I always abuse it once I enter Starbucks-rich climes.

Yet I am delighted to be out and about in the world. I have this journal, extra ink pens, my red-and-purple meditation wrap, wise-man books in my satchel (Thich Nhat Hanh, Rumi). I am going first to Rome, then six hours south to the province where my father was born. I am going to a place I have never been, but where, oddly, my blood has been.

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