by Jason Rodi
Après avoir traversé le Québec dans "Retour aux sources" où le cinéaste Jason Rodi sonde les racines maternelles, la deuxième saison d’Origines intitulée "Pèlerinage" nous plonge dans les profondeurs de la Calabre, Italie. C'est là, dans un contexte modeste, que le père de Jason vit le jour. Cette saison révèle le voyage des ancêtres de Jason depuis l'Italie, marqués par la pauvreté, jusqu'à une renaissance au Canada. Au cœur du récit se trouve la légende de la Madonna della Grotta, une statue vénérée, objet de pèlerinage et pilier de l'histoire familiale. Accompagné de ses filles, Jane et AliX, Jason leur fait vivre cette immersion spirituelle et culturelle, désirant leur transmettre la richesse de leurs origines. La quête se poursuit aux côtés de Charlotte, sa compagne, traversant l'Italie sur les traces de ces ancêtres qui, bravant monts et mers, ont finalement élu domicile au Québec. Plus qu'une exploration, c'est un hommage à l'héritage familial, une passerelle entre le passé et l'avenir.
Today, AliX, Jane, and I traced our lineage back to its origin, back to the stories that made us who we are. In the heart of Bombile lies a parcel of land, still owned by my family, where my father was born in a humble barn on a chilly Christmas day 67 years ago. Among the olive and lemon trees, he grew in a world devoid of luxuries like electricity or water — a testament to a time when life was simpler, yet incredibly tough. My grandmother once recounted how she joined my grandfather in Canada when my father was just 8 years old. From these modest beginnings, he bloomed, becoming possibly the most well-traveled man in history. To this day, he captivates listeners with tales of his village, where money held no sway, a testament to building an empire from literally nothing. It's a story of resilience, of rising from the ashes, and it never fails to humble me.
Bombile is also home to the legend of the Madonna della Grotta. The story goes that a mystical statue was repeatedly carried by a donkey to a cave, regardless of attempts to place her atop the hill in the chapel. Night after night, the statue would mysteriously find its way back to the cave. This enigma turned the Madonna of the Cave into a beacon for pilgrims from afar. My Nonna narrated this tale to us, her grandchildren, with a twinkle in her eyes. Even when the cave crumbled 15 years ago, the Madonna emerged without a scratch, now proudly displayed for all to see. In a twist of fate, I married at this very site, mere weeks post the cave's collapse — an omen that eerily mirrored the trajectory of my own marriage. For Jane and AliX, this place must resonate deeply. They, like me, grew up hearing tales of its magic. As a child, I harbored dreams of bringing my offspring here, and today that dream has been realized. My deepest wish is that today has enriched Jane and AliX's sense of self, reminding them of their legacy and the strength of the roots that anchor them.
To be grounded everywhere, that's the path I've chosen: the Way of the NOMAD. It's a longing, a thirst, an aspiration that runs deep within my veins. Everywhere I wander, I want to feel the embrace of the land, to recognize every nook and cranny as home. To truly know oneself is to find that sense of belonging, even in the most unfamiliar terrains.
There's this balance I seek, a kind of symphony between the earth and sky. Feet planted firmly on the ground while my mind roams boundless, exploring the vast expanse of the sky. It's reminiscent of tales from bygone days, of the Garden of Eden, where the tree of knowledge stood tall and proud. Oh, how I adore that parable. A garden where our innocence, our lack of consciousness, was both our freedom and our shackles. How paradoxical, yet so profound.
Before the advent of knowledge, there was a naive liberty we bathed in. But knowledge, that double-edged sword, granted us consciousness and with it, an immense burden. The weight of choice, the dichotomy of right and wrong. Nature, in all its wild glory, knows no such bounds. Its rhythm is primal, raw, often savage, but devoid of moral judgments. In the Garden, pre-consciousness, our lives were likely harsh and brutal, but we danced in ignorance. We were one with the world, unburdened by the nuances of morality.
Here I stand in Calabria, in the quaint embrace of Bombile. This land holds stories of my forebears. My grandparents, my father, all born of this soil. It's a rare pilgrimage for me, but each visit is like opening a cherished book filled with memories. My heart and soul are tethered to this place. I brought my girls here, wanting them to drink from the same fountain of legacy, to imbibe the pride of lineage. To understand that knowing one's roots is both a gift and a responsibility.
As I stand here, a fly ventures into my mouth. An omen, perhaps? Nature's way of urging me to take a moment, to revel in the sensory delight of this ripe orange. To bask in the beauty of the present.
Not many have the privilege of tracing their ancestry, of connecting the dots through generations. It's a wealth I want to share. My grandmother's tales, her devotion to the Madonna here, crafted a rich tapestry of myths that I clung to as a child. Time might be relentless, but here, it feels arrested. Bombile is untouched, like a dream preserved in amber. A decade and a half since my last visit, yet nothing's changed. Or perhaps everything has, subtly, with the changing of seasons.
Less footfalls echo these streets now. But in sharing this place, its stories, with my children, it feels eternal. My hope is they too will share this tale, pass it down, and perhaps, the Rodis will once again call this home. That would be poetic, wouldn't it? To close the circle, to ensure that our roots, deep and sprawling, continue to feed generations, allowing them to reach even greater heights.
Puglia, Italia - musica di Quentin Noël Bourbeau
La Spezia - Italy - Peter Mendieta
The Tower of Pisa - Italy
San Gimignano, Italy
Spaggia La Scarletta, Italy
Polignano a Mare - Italy
Siderno Sunset - President Grand Hotel - Best of Italy by Flight
Italy by flight - Medieval Rivello
Sulmona - Italy
Pilgrimage - Madonna della Grota - Bombile, Calabria, Italy
Matera - Italy
Matera Mirror - Italy
The Amalfi Coast NOMADslow.TV trailer
Amalfi Coast Full Drive | The Most Beautiful Scenic Drive in the World
Moonrise on the Amalfi Coast - Scenic Relaxation Film with Calming Music
Amalfi Coast Sunset - Italy
Volcano Mount Vesuvius at Night - Pompeii: The City Frozen In Time | Lost World Of Pompeii
In the wake of our odyssey in Bombile, Charlotte and I decided to continue the journey, seeking to etch the path my ancestors had once traced on their way to the new world, Quebec. Amid the beautiful ruins and vibrant landscapes of Italy, our souls sought a deeper understanding of our place in the vast mosaic of the world, a gentle yearning for connection intertwined with a tender romance blossoming beneath the Italian sun.
Our voyage commenced in the rugged terrain of Calabria, where the whispers of ancestral tales echoed in the wind. Each footstep resounding on the ancient cobblestones carried the weight of generations that had tread the same path. From the echoing silence of Calabria, we journeyed to the timeless landscapes of Puglia. Amidst the ancient olive groves, under the gaze of centuries-old trulli, our hearts resonated with the profound simplicity and endurance of nature, reflecting the enduring legacies left behind by those who had walked the Earth before us. The rich tapestry of history woven into every corner of Puglia offered a gentle embrace, nurturing our burgeoning understanding of our roots and the intricate bonds uniting us to the past.
As we trailed further north, the illustrious Amalfi Coast unfurled before our eyes, a symphony of crystalline waters, verdant cliffs, and vibrant villages painting a tableau of resplendent beauty and enduring allure. The rhythmic caress of the Tyrrhenian Sea whispered tales of timeless love and ancient journeys, a harmonious dance of nature and history that beckoned our spirits to join its eternal embrace. The breathtaking panorama gently cradled our growing bond, the exquisite vistas weaving a delicate lace of shared memories and dreams.
Rome, the Eternal City, beckoned us next with its monumental history and boundless grandeur. Among the enduring relics of ancient civilization, we explored the boundless realms of time, where the echoes of bygone eras whispered secrets of enduring resilience and the timeless quest for understanding and unity. As we wandered amid the colossal amphitheaters and age-old ruins, the layers of history unfurled, deepening our appreciation for the profound interconnectedness of humanity and the boundless tapestry of existence that stretches across the eons.
Our hearts gently entwined as we ventured to the hallowed grounds of Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance. Amid the profound beauty and timeless artistic splendor, our spirits soared on the wings of sublime inspiration and profound insight. The majestic masterpieces of art and architecture whispered eternal truths, guiding us on a sacred pilgrimage of self-discovery and mutual understanding. In the ethereal glow of Florence’s boundless beauty, our shared journey blossomed into a poetic dance of love and connection, a harmonious melody of intertwined destinies and shared dreams.
The serene allure of Portofino tenderly cradled us in its embrace as we ventured further north. Amidst the tranquil harbors and verdant slopes, the gentle whispers of the sea breathed tales of distant horizons and boundless exploration. In the gentle embrace of Portofino’s timeless charm, our souls found a tranquil refuge, a serene oasis where the delicate blossoms of love and understanding could flourish amidst the soothing caress of the azure waters and emerald hills.
In Matera, the city of stones, we wandered amidst ancient cave dwellings carved from the rugged terrain, a testament to the enduring spirit of humanity and the timeless quest for home and belonging. Amidst the primordial landscapes, the echoes of millennia resonated, whispering tales of resilience, adaptation, and the enduring bond between humanity and the Earth. In the hallowed realms of Matera, the ancient stones whispered secrets of timeless unity and the profound connections that bind us to the land and to each other, nurturing the tender roots of our burgeoning bond.
The timeless allure of San Gimignano beckoned us next, its iconic towers piercing the azure heavens, a soaring testament to the boundless aspirations and enduring resilience of humanity. Amid the ancient stones and resplendent landscapes, the whispers of bygone eras breathed tales of timeless quest and eternal longing, a harmonious symphony that resonated with the deep yearnings of our souls, nurturing the delicate blossoms of love and understanding that gently unfurled within our intertwined hearts.
As we ventured to the iconic landscapes of Pisa, the leaning tower whispered tales of balance and harmony, a gentle reminder of the delicate equilibrium that cradles the cosmos in its embrace. Amid the historic splendor and artistic grandeur, our spirits found a harmonious resonance, a delicate balance that nurtured the blossoming petals of love and connection, a tender dance of intertwined destinies and shared dreams.
Our odyssey culminated in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, a soaring sentinel that has witnessed the ebb and flow of history, bearing silent testimony to the enduring dance of creation and destruction. Amidst the resplendent landscapes and ancient relics, the echoes of bygone eras whispered tales of resilience, renewal, and the boundless cycle of life that cradles the cosmos in its embrace. In the profound silence beneath the soaring peaks, our spirits found a tranquil refuge, a serene oasis where the delicate blossoms of love and understanding could flourish amidst the harmonious dance of the cosmos.
In the wake of our Italian odyssey, our hearts carry the experiences, insights, and memories that have gently woven the delicate threads of love, understanding, and connection, nurturing the tender roots of our burgeoning bond and guiding our shared journey in the boundless dance of existence. As we trace the path back to Quebec, the land of my ancestors' new beginnings, our spirits soar on the wings of newfound insight, a harmonious melody of love and unity that echoes through the boundless realms of time and space, cradling our intertwined destinies in the gentle embrace of the cosmos.
As dawn's tender embrace began to light up Rome, I found myself floating effortlessly above the sprawling metropolis. The Antennae, like metallic trees rising amidst the urban forest, stood prominently against the horizon, capturing my attention. Through the lens of my camera, I saw them not just as structures, but as myriad thought bubbles. Each was a symbol of connection, an emblem of collective consciousness, where every individual, like an antenna, taps into a shared repository of dreams and memories. The city below, with its millennia of stories, breathed in unison with the rising sun, and I felt an unparalleled clarity, a moment of pure zen. This was the Way of the NOMAD. A sense of transcendence washed over me, filling every crevice of my being. With each capture, every frame, I felt alive, more connected to the pulse of life than ever.
The realization hit me – perhaps home isn't a fixed point on a map but rather a state of being, a sense of connection, an endless road that one treads, feeling alive at every bend. My name, Rodi, after all, echoed the sentiment. The road might very well be home. But before I fully surrendered to this nomadic existence, Quebec beckoned - the land of fresh beginnings and cherished memories. And beyond that, an even older call resonated, leading me further back to the sun-drenched shores of Greece, to Rhodes. The place where my name, Rodi, originates and where the stories of my ancestors intertwine with the tapestry of history. The journey is endless, and perhaps that's the essence of it all – always moving, always seeking, always connecting. The road, after all, is where the heart finds its rhythm, where the NOMAD truly finds home.