where love begins judith hermann book cover graphic woman at the window under half orange moon

Let everyone in, whoever comes.

Someone knocks. Someone we do not know. So, on another day of other days, someone will turn and ring the bell and will state “I am your destiny”. Would we open, after so much time in our own places? Or would we do it, as we were free not to do it? How to react after such a long quarantine?

Probably, this is what we fear the most – violating our everyday order, rippling the perfect surface of our lives, we fear who eventually unsettles what we have always given for granted: our routine, rituals, entire life plans. Eventually, someone arrives and everything changes. It does not matter if we locked down, far from faraway pasts – in perfectly normally lives we can still shed light on darkness.

However, there is who have chosen to live her very own quarantine, like Stella, the main speaking character of the novel Where love begins by Judith Herman.

Stella, (happily?) married and with a daughter, Ava, since when a complete stranger showed up known as Mr Pfister, would have changed ever after. She would get to see how her life is, how she was almost alive. The bubbling, the fermentation of things and happenings has been stuck for a while, and since when she got to live with her husband, she has just seen her very ordered life through her house windows. As such, we also get to see what she sees through the mineral and minimal style of Judith Hermann.

This whole micro-universe, eventually the life of a woman in her house, is constituted by micro-worlds of stories of her past and of micro-movements, all originating from the menacing presence of Mr Pfister – this is almost like seeing a world in a bottle which slowly takes shape of the liquid kernel of its own character.

It is in one of the final scenes of the book that you can stare – and you can actually do – a half yellow orange moon that stands over everything, like if in one single moment there would be the exact lucidity to actually understand the unrest, the frustrations, and the ostensible calm that feeds normality.

From this scene I have seen the maturation of wine and the agitation of micro-fermentations which are welcomed by the night and by the moon, and it like observing our own life all at once – we see it as it is, nothing more.

In this way, Chardonnay grapes, Sauvignon and Falanghina grapesare harvested at night to avoid grape fracture, to favour the integrity of flavours at lower energy costs – I am talking about Costa Vecchia wine blend of Pietra Pinta winery, smooth and captivating, holding all the aromas, all the contradictions and beauty of existence.

Picking grapes in the night is one of those stunning experiences to do it at least once in life – only in this way you can actually understand how you are so close to earth.

uomo nella vigna mentre cammina

This is what you will fill at your firstglass:

“It is like if something ended, and it is like something is about to commence” or like when Stella

“unlocks the front door, enters the hall and feels distinctly grateful, as if everything around her were temporary, as if there were no certainty of permanence”.

This post is also available in: Italian