Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Madonna of the Sun


(from 8 dicembre 2006)

Today, December 8th, is the birthday of my protagonist, Harley Columba. It is also the day that John Lennon was assassinated. When I was creating Harley, I wanted her to have a deep connection to John Lennon, so she was born in the same hospital where John Lennon died.

December 8th is also a holiday here in Italy, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This is the day Mary, the mother of Jesus, was conceived.

One wonders how that came about... since most Christian holidays turn out to have more ancient meanings.

It turns out that December 8th is also Bodhi Day, the day the Buddha became enlightened.

It is the Festival of Neith, the Egyptian goddess who gave birth to Ra, the Sun god; it is celebrated by the Feast of Lamps. Neith, in turn, transforms into Isis, the "woman clothed with the sun," wife and sister of Osiris and mother of Horus.

It is the day that Amaterasu, the Japanese Goddess of the Sun, was born.

On December 8, 1941, the United States declared war on Japan. The Japanese royal family is descended from the Sun Goddess.

On December 8, 2009, Cat Bauer woke up inside her apartment on the Grand Canal. 

Ciao from Venice,

Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog


  1. That is the best news I've had all month Cat...Welcome Home!

  2. Yes, but I am afraid it is still a test of wills between the foreigners trying to colonize Venice and the Italians. The polizia, carabinieri, et. al, know where I am. But then the landlord promptly turned off the gas and the electricity and it is freezing -- this is the type of deliberately cruel behavior that continues to this day. I am caught in the middle. The nature of these creatures is subhuman.

    I took all the electric "candles" out of the Venetian glass sconces and replaced them with real candles. It looks beautiful. And with the Sun streaming in through the windows... for a few hours, it is pleasant.

    I cannot believe it is LEGAL to turn off the gas and electricity in the winter! This continued arrogance -- doing whatever they feel like and simply ignoring Italian laws -- or BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS -- is what is making everyone angry.

  3. That just is NOT right Cat! Whatever happened to Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All Men?

    I'm so sorry...I wish there was something I could do...normally I'd be on my way there next week for the long holiday, but my personal economy isn't allowing a trip this year (or last). I wish that country home upstate (that I cannot get rid of) would sell, now that I’ve changed my life-trajectory…

    Here in NYC there is a '311' number where anyone can call and file a no heat/no hot water/noise etc complaint..that helps tenants fight less-than-honest-landlords. As you probably know, landlords here are less likely to have the same rights that tenants do...but it seems like there, it is exactly the opposite.

    I'm very sad that Venezia is 'dying'...and this utter mistreatment of foreign people trying to call Venezia home…is appalling! The people who are doing this to you (Are there others going thru similar situations?) should be happy that some one, some how wants to (and can afford to) live in their city, pay rent, buy food and services from their family and neighbors...

    Certainly more could be done to cultivate this type of exchange. Venezia has always been a 'worldly' city and could again be the melting pot of the Adriatic, if only there was an acceptance of others and a general ability to allow the natural course of this global society to evolve!

    Even knowing all that you are going thru, I would still up and move there in a heart-beat if I thought there could be a way to survive honestly (having moved to NYC at 19 years in the mid-80’s (when NYC was still hellish), I do know all about surviving in a difficult place.

    Please keep me posted as to your situation and your progress…I offer to you any help I can provide from NYC…although I’m not sure what I could possibly do when really you need heat and electricity…I hope that you and Cleopatra stay as warm as possible…and hope that this difficult period will pass.

    HL-NYC (laddh66@yahoo.com)

  4. Actually, I am discovering that tenants have an incredible amount of rights here in Italy, too, it's just that "they" have been deliberately trying to thwart those rights, or just plain ignore those rights and do whatever they want. I have discovered a kind of "shadow" system involving judges, lawyers, real estate agencies, police, etc. -- even the postal system! If they throw you into this shadow system, you tumble through the ILLUSION of a legal eviction, but nothing really exists. Very Kafka.

    If what I have been told is true, there is no "311" number as we have in NYC. But something has finally made sense. I could not understand why my documents from the year 2000 were stolen, and why the registration agency deliberately avoided giving me a certified copy of my rental contract from 1999 and 2000. Luckily, I have copies of everything, and, now that I have access to my belongings, I have found the original contract, together with the receipt proving that it was registered with the proper agency.

    Now, WHY would they steal it? Apparently there are only two legal contracts available in the Republic of Italy. The one I would fall under is 4+4. (They seem to have accepted they could no longer pretend I was a tourist since I have been a resident since 1998, and am entitled to certain rights.) Four years, then renewable for another four years, if both parties agree.

    I was told by certain lawyers and by the Guardia di Finanza that since I signed the first contract in 1999, four plus four would end on September 30, 2007. I signed again on October 1, 2007 -- that means the next four years would end in 2011.

    If they made all evidence of that contract disappear, and then attempted to make it appear as if I moved in in 2001, then 4+4 would finish on September 30, 2009. In fact, that very week my apartment appeared in an advertisement for rent by an agency named C.E.R.A., who rent the student apartment next door to mine that my landlords also own. My apartment was listed as a 4+4 rental! That makes me think that SOMEONE WHO IS A RESIDENT IN VENICE WANTS MY APARTMENT and is pulling all these strings to try to get me out.

    I went over to C.E.R.A. and handed them a copy of a denucia I had filed for assault against my landlady, Paola Bortoluzzi. In order to file that denucia, I had to go outside Venice and do it in Padua since the police and carabinieri in Venice were being blocked -- much to their frustration.

    With a 4+4 contract, the utilities would then go in my name, not the landlords.

    In any event, I am very tired of my blog being hijacked by these creatures, and I want to focus my Venetian Cat blog on the subject matter for which it was intended -- art, culture, history, architecture, film festival, etc.

    Therefore, I have decided to create a new blog called VENETIAN CAT - THE INTERNATIONAL SCANDAL. The title of the first entry is going to be: CAT BAUER FIRED AS CINDERELLA IN BRITISH PANTO OF 2010!!! Anyone who is interested can join me over there after I set everything up.

  5. Hi Cat, glad you have got back in your apartement,hope youi had some heat over Christmas!!!
    Lets hope 2010 is a better year!


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