WALKING ON RED CLAY IS GOOD FOR BODY AND MIND

It is well-known that long walking is useful for keeping body and mind healthy. In particular, it soothes anxiety. If you walk barefoot on the earth, the beneficial effect is enhanced.

A few days ago, I saw people walking barefoot on a red clay path in Duryu Park, in Daegu, Korea. I decided to do the same. I took off the socks and shoes, rolled up the blue-jeans, and walked that path for about three hundred meters. I felt the energy of Earth under my feet. It was like when you are hugging a tree in the forest. Both the earth and the tree transmit healing energy to you.

At the end of the path, there was a place where the red clay was muddy. People enjoyed soaking their feet in the mud. They also walked on it. Someone stamped their feet on the mud. I did the same and had a feeling of peacefulness, and above all I enjoyed myself innocently like a child. Walking on red clay and mud is really beneficial. Try it to believe!

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily (English version)

A Hidden Sicilian History (English version)

The Vibrations of Words (English version)

Travels of the Mind (English version)

– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (versione in lingua italiana)

– Viaggi della Mente (versione in lingua italiana)

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

THE WALLS SURROUNDING OUR HEARTS

A few days ago, we visited Suwon Hwaseong Fortress, Korea. Its walls are almost six kilometers long. They are interspersed with towers and various wooden structures. Suwon Hwaseong Fortress is a World Heritage Site. It looks like a miniature Wall of China.

Walking on Hwaseong Fortress, I recalled a few walls that man has been building over time: the mighty walls of Troy, the walls of Rome erected by Emperor Aurelian to protect the city from barbarian invasions, the Hadrian’s Wall that marked the boundary between the Roman Province of Britannia and Caledonia, and many other walls.

Besides the walls made of bricks, man has been building immaterial walls. The most notorious is the Iron Curtain, an invisible wall that divided the world into two parts, during the Cold War. Even the borders between nations are invisible walls.

Will man be able to demolish these walls someday? The most difficult walls to eliminate are those that surround our hearts. Even unknowingly, every day we build walls around our hearts to protect ourselves from others. If we are able to remove the walls in our hearts, those between nations will also collapse someday!

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily (English version)

A Hidden Sicilian History (English version)

The Vibrations of Words (English version)

Travels of the Mind (English version)

– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (versione in lingua italiana)

– Viaggi della Mente (versione in lingua italiana)

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

CHANGDEOKGUNG PALACE IN SEOUL, KOREA

Unlike the royal palaces I have visited in Europe, Changdeokgung Palace, the royal palace in Seoul, is not a single building; it consists of many wooden structures scattered in a large area. There are Throne Hall, King’s Council Hall, King’s Residence, Queen’s Residence, etc. The Royal Secret Garden takes up almost 60% of Changdeokgung Palace. There are several small pavilions on the banks of the ponds, and a library. The kings were taught and studied there. Maybe many of them were very learned.

In Changdeokgung Palace, there is even Nakseonjae Hall, the place that King Heonjong, 24th king of Joseon, built for the concubine he really loved. It is said that the concubines vied with each other to win the king’s favors and reach high rank position.

While I was visiting the place, I recalled a friend of mine who was a teacher of Italian literature. At the time, he said to me,

“Remember this! Neither monarchy (one-man rule) nor democracy (people’s rule) has ever existed. What has always existed and still exists is just oligarchy (rule in the hands of a few men).”

Was it right? I think so.

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily (English version)

A Hidden Sicilian History (English version)

The Vibrations of Words (English version)

Travels of the Mind (English version)

– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (versione in lingua italiana)

– Viaggi della Mente (versione in lingua italiana)

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

A SPECIAL STATUE OF MARY HOLDING THE CHILD JESUS

Is it man who creates God in his image and likeness?

In the entrance courtyard of the oldest Catholic church in Korea, a particular statue of the Madonna and Child Jesus stands out. Both the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus have almond-shaped eyes and oriental features.

The depiction of the Madonna with features typical of the local population also occurred in other parts of the world: In the sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Mexico, the Madonna appears as a mixed race young woman; in the sanctuary of Kibeho, in Rwanda, the Virgin Mary has a dark complexion.

Not only the somatic features change, but also Mary’s language is expressed in different ways: In Lourdes and La Salette, Mary speaks in the local dialect!

What is the bottom line? Mary and Jesus are beyond time and space. They even existed in the pagan era, although they took different forms.

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily (English version)

A Hidden Sicilian History (English version)

The Vibrations of Words (English version)

Travels of the Mind (English version)

– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (versione in lingua italiana)

– Viaggi della Mente (versione in lingua italiana)

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

ROBOTS ARE HERE TO STAY

Yesterday, I was sitting in the living room of my sister-in-law’s house in Suwon, Korea, when a small robot passed by. It was a cleaner. For me, a man who still cleans his house with a broom and a mop, that little device was something new. So I asked her,

“What is this?”

“It is a cleaner robot. It keeps the map of the house in its memory. When I need, I just touch a button on my smartphone and ask it to vacuum the floor. It does the job flawlessly!”

Undoubtedly, computers and robot are wonderful devices. Their brain is similar to humans’. They can do the same job as men and even better, but without a person that turns them on, they are just useless pieces of metal.

Who turned human beings on? Did they give themselves life or was it God who gave them a soul?

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily (English version)

A Hidden Sicilian History (English version)

The Vibrations of Words (English version)

Travels of the Mind (English version)

– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (versione in lingua italiana)

– Viaggi della Mente (versione in lingua italiana)

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

SOME DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ITALIAN AND KOREAN RESTAURANTS

When you enter an Italian restaurant, you see tables set with tablecloths, napkins, and cutlery.

In some Korean restaurants, there are no tablecloths, napkins, or cutlery. This is because customers boil or grill the food by themselves on the stoves set in the tables. The restaurant serves a lot of side dishes. If you want to wipe your mouth you can take a paper tissue on the end of the table. On the other hand, you don’t need cutlery, because the food has already been chopped into small pieces and you can eat it with spoons and chopsticks.

We boiled a big saucepan full of various kinds of mushrooms, meat, and vegetables, and when the food was well-done, we ate it in our dishes. It was hot and delicious. After that, we moved to a cafeteria to eat Korean Patbingsu, similar to Sicilian granita, but with red-beans (the Korean name is Pat) on the top. It was very delicious.

The ways of cooking in Italy and Korea are different. But to cook well, whatever country you belong to, you just need three things: good ingredients, love for cooking, and love for those you are cooking for. Love is the basis of everything. It is the main ingredient!

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily (English version)

A Hidden Sicilian History (English version)

The Vibrations of Words (English version)

Travels of the Mind (English version)

– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (versione in lingua italiana)

– Viaggi della Mente (versione in lingua italiana)

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

A POTTERY CLASS IN KOREA

The origins of the art of pottery are lost in the mists of time.

In Egyptian Mythology, Khnum, the god of creation, also called the Potter God, gave life to living beings by shaping them with clay.

In Greek mythology, Prometheus, on the orders of Zeus, created man from clay and then gave him wisdom.

In the Bible, God created the first man, Adam, in a similar way.

Does the creation of man by modeling clay have a symbolic meaning? Probably yes. Be that as it may, the myths indicate that the art of pottery is very ancient. Probably, man invented pottery when he began to cook food.

Today, we attended a pottery class in Youngcheun, near the city of Daegu, Korea. The teacher was very good and also patient. I did my best to shape a mug. To do this, I kneaded some clay, flattened it, and then rolled it around the lathe.

The pottery class was funny and relaxing. Like when you paint, you must not be in a hurry while modeling an object. This calms your brain and mind, and reduce your anxiety.

Don’t you think some of the rulers of the world should take a pottery class to calm down?

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily (English version)

A Hidden Sicilian History (English version)

The Vibrations of Words (English version)

Travels of the Mind (English version)

– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (versione in lingua italiana)

– Viaggi della Mente (versione in lingua italiana)

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

THE WOODEN WALKWAY IN SAMUNJIN NARUTEO (DOCK)

Samunjin Naruteo is the place where two rivers, the Nakdonggang and Geumhogang, and two streams meet. It is located on the outskirts of the city of Daegu, Korea.

Samunjin Naruteo is also well known for being the dock where two American Christian missionaries, husband and wife, brought the first piano, in 1900. Actually, the Christian religion was already widespread in Korea when the two Americans came. We can say, without fear of denial, that Korea is the only country in the world where Christianity was not introduced by missionaries. It sprang up naturally!

The wooden walkway on the river is about one kilometer long. We walked it up to the end. I had a feeling that the melodious sound of the first Korean piano was still echoing in the air. The atmosphere had something magic.

We can admire many beautiful sunsets in the world, but that in Samunjin Naruteo is unique!

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily (English version)

A Hidden Sicilian History (English version)

The Vibrations of Words (English version)

Travels of the Mind (English version)

– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (versione in lingua italiana)

– Viaggi della Mente (versione in lingua italiana)

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

KATHRYN OCCHIPINTI’S REVIEW OF A HIDDEN SICILIAN HISTORY


Reviewed in the United States on September 19, 2022

“A Hidden Sicilian History” by Ettore Grillo is a well-written novel that flows naturally from the Sicily of the past into the present. I especially enjoyed reading the Preface, called “The Find,” which sets up the premise of the book — that a manuscript has been found in the library of Enna (a small town in central Sicily) that contains the autobiography of a young man, Vicenzino, and includes his search to understand the lives deaths of those around him, as well as his journeys to India made to understand the meaning of faith. This was so well written that I was fooled at first, and actually believed that this story was a translation of a manuscript!

Grillo’s premise serves as a spring board that allows the reader a glimpse into a way of living in a Sicily of the past, with details that could only be known by a native. The accounts in the young boy’s life are told from the vantage point of the author as an adult, of course, ostensibly during a theatrical event. I truly enjoyed reading the descriptions of life in a small town in Sicily, which really came alive through the characters and everyday events. For instance, I learned details of country life when a young Vicenzino was sent to live in the country with his adult cousin who ran a farm. This was a simple life without electricity or air conditioning but rich in its connection to the land and philosophy, with no other diversions at night than stories told under the stars. I was amazed to find that Vicenzino became healthy through early morning exercise during walks while hunting with his cousin and on a simple diet of pasta and cabbage and potatoes for lunch and eggs for dinner — with the addition of an occasional rabbit they caught.

The reader then learns about what it is like to grow up in a Sicily of the past through glimpses into the activities of Vicenzino’s relatively well-off family, and even take a journey into a sulfur mine run largely by child labor that provided the family income.

Amid these details, the driving force of the first half of the novel is Vicenzino’s desire to learn about his name sake, his cousin Vicenzo, who was deeply mourned by his mother and whose death was shrouded in secrecy. Vicenzino does eventually learn all he wants about his uncle’s life, which takes us even further back into an historical Sicily.

The mores of the times feature prominently in the life of Vicenzo as well as Vicenzino and lead us into the second half of the novel, which is a travelogue of Vicenzino’s search in India for the meaning of faith. There are few details about India, but many about those individuals of great faith that Vicenzino and his wife seek out and visit. In the midst of this, we learn of a tragic event that occurred during the course of Vicenzino’s life that. along with the deaths he experienced as a child, helped drive his many visits to Italy as an adult and further his need to understand if there is an afterlife.

It is true that the theme of faith and the search for the afterlife was introduced in the preface, and descriptions of the Catholic faith permeate the life of Vicenzino and Vicenzo; therefore, I should not have been surprised that much of the second part of the book included Vicenzino’s search for a solution to his life questions through faith. But I did not enjoy the second part of the book that was set largely in India as much as the first half set in Sicily, since my interests do not extend to India and the different practices of faith in India. However, I would recommend this section for those who are interested in a discussion of how different peoples view faith and search for meaning in life.

Over all, I found this book an interesting and worthwhile read and would recommend it to those interested in a vivid account of a Sicily of the past.

I was given this book by the author for an honest review

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

COBBLED PATHS IN KOREAN PARKS

In some Korean parks it is possible to walk on cobbled paths.

It is said that walking on pebbles reduces high blood pressure, furthermore it gives rise to a kind of foot massage beneficial to the whole body.

When I studied body energy lines at a Thai massage school in Thailand, they taught me that body organs interact with each other and foot massage improves their working.

In Korean parks you can find gym apparatus that people use to keep fit.

Undoubtedly, body and mind are connected. Relaxing the body will have a beneficial effect on the mind.

Today, I did a workout in a park. Then, I walked on the cobbled path. Even though walking on the pebbles was a bit painful, I have to say that the result was good. I relaxed my body and mind.

Why not try natural remedies before resorting to medicines?

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily (English version)

A Hidden Sicilian History (English version)

The Vibrations of Words (English version)

Travels of the Mind (English version)

– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (versione in lingua italiana)

– Viaggi della Mente (versione in lingua italiana)

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo