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The Magic Mushroom
Sample Reading


     The feelings of not being able to have offspring, is an issue that brings sadness to our deep human side. Even so, we convince ourselves that our blood continues in our cousins. In some cultures it is less of an issue than others, but not in the Italian traditional Catholic family. It is a serious issue that brings much sadness to the family.

Kiarina is the mother of a wonderful world-renowned chef. He has no children of his own, except for those who followed in his teachings and footsteps in the career of cooking.

Kiarina is sad not to have grandchildren (Nipotinos) from all four children she so hard worked to raise. She also holds a link to the possibility of expanding the family. Also a great sadness in her heart.

The main character, Vittorio, is a second generation Italian Canadian who has gone through college to learn how to cook. But his dreams, like much second-generation emigration, are of materialistic things and prefer to work as a waiter, where the money is.

When Vittorio tries to serve Josseppi Cappellazzi and his Ma, Kiarina, in a rush so he could double his tables, he got a life lesson from the Italian widow and becomes friends with Josseppi. Their friendship together leads them on a life adventure that is full of emotion and life transforming. But at what price does the heart fool our minds? Does Kiarina get a nipotino?

Is family just blood or is it the contribution and togetherness to some-ones life? The passing of values and teachings to someone, friendship and hardship that is endured together, between people, is what family is all about.

In today's society it is sometimes hard to define the family. Families no longer exist unless the couple gets along. It feels like we lost meaning of family if we are not content. Kind of selfish... Are we becoming individualistic?

We all had fights with our brothers and sisters as kids. Did we stop being family? Was it because we were the same blood or religion? Or was it because we were innocent and in innocence family prevails?

Have you ever wonder why it causes us pain to loose sense of family. Is it really a learned behaviour?

In this story the main character really follows the standard norms and ideals to achieve goals. Yet he needed a model -the Cappellazzi family- from his background so he could make a balance between Canadian multi-cultural values and expectation and his ancestral Italian culture.

This proves to be and interesting element and one of the many ways to actually fit in and experience and upward mobility in the Italian Canadian Community and the Community at large. Does all the achievement in the world make Vittorio happy? Or does his heart need a deeper human reason for living?

In a trip to the city of Parma in Italy, Vittorio tries to find relatives of Kiarina as to help her with her sadness.

I hope you will enjoy my search for family from a Canadian second generation perspective and the story of the Cappellazzi.