Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tales of Longing and Possession

Apostrophe: Tales of Longing and Possession is a memoir, actually a set of memoirs written by me and my two lovers. It came about from a series of correspondences during the year we lived and loved together as a committed triad. That's how it started. What transpired, is, as the saying goes, more than the sum of its parts. I'm a New York-based cinematographer who had a brief but successful stint in Hollywood nearly twenty years ago. For reasons I'm not comfortable disclosing, I gave that life up to return to New York, where I was born and raised. With my partner and editor Mel, I run a boutique creative services firm in Soho. We shoot documentary films, commercials and high-end corporate videos. It's a good living, though a far cry from the glitz and glamor of Hollywood.

My writing companions will join me as guest editors as we compile our writings and interact with our community of readers.
Serialized selections from our memoirs will soon be made available on the Apostrophe site. The full work will be available for reader download in the near future. This is a work in progress, so we hope you will come live our adventure. Join us--Riccardo, Violetta and Sofia, in a frank, open discussions on love, loss, unconventional relationships and the nature of arousal and desire in a community of like-minded adult readers.

Again, this blog and the linked website are for adults. If you are under 18, sorry, but you shouldn't be here.

Vi told me once that she believed great, memorable love comes with an even greater irony—the essentiality of impermanence. Romeo and Juliette happily married and exchanging sweet nothings on their golden anniversary—instantly forgettable. Few tales of requited and polite passion endure much beyond the telling. Only when it is forbidden, brief, or thwarted does love flare into eros; shame and sin thus being the last, most essential ingredients. We look forward to discussing this and other topics with you.

Regards and welcome, Ricc


  1. If only more people understood the concept of love as eros and all its permutations, from both the male and female sides, both young and middle aged, as you have, Riccardo.

  2. Thanks Anonymous:
    Apostrophe, Tale of Longing and Possession is for you and all readers who are hungry for a work that understands that:

    . Passion is not confined to the young and flawless. It is ageless, timeless and embraces imperfection.
    . The most explicit thoughts and intimate acts can be poetry in motion and emotion.
    . When it comes to erotica, as in most things, men and women are different. Yet the most erotic organ is the one we have in common, the big, wet one between our ears.

  3. I am so pleased you have started this blog as it is a great way to celebrate the times spent together a trois in NYC. I look forward to others' reactions to Apostrophe! (FYI- the link to this blog through google when you google Apostrophe Riccrdo Berra) is no longer available and claims the blog has been removed. I mention this because those who google other Riccardo Berras may want to visit your new blog. Do check, carissimo.

  4. RB,
    I completely agree with your comments to Anonymous on the universal nature of sexual desire and passion, which I understand as the meaning of eros, as well as with Vi's comment on its impermanence. Like a flame, eros must be rekindled again and again, whether with the same person or different ones. The elements of sin and shame, while memorable in literature (and an aphrodisiac for some in real life), are not essential elements of eros, my Calvinist upbringing notwithstanding! Eros, that primal energy which propels us through life with a gleam in our eye and a spring in our step, surely gathers enough negative baggage by our own efforts! By the way -- Thanks for this stimulating conversation.

  5. Thank you for your stimulating comment to Ricci's work. Eros is a word I would like to delve deeper into as in Greek,including modern Greek, it simply means love in its purest sense. When we use it in the English language it takes on, for me personally, correct me Ricci and JL if I am wrong, more a sense of a deeply erotic mental connection between 2 persons, but as I said earlier Eros has so many permutations and can be defined in so many diverse ways. Here Ricci is a master at defining words through well crafted and tantalizing tales! As ever, Vi.

  6. I certainly agree that RB is a master at crafting tantalizing tales; it was such a story,"Post Mortem," that got me to this site. I also wholeheartedly agree with his statement that "Passion is not confined to the young and flawless." Considering that I am 62 and all too aware of my flaws (as is my wife of 38 years!), I would be left out in the cold if that were not true! And although some of my Christian fore bearers argued that sexual love is inherently tainted by sin and shame, I find this inconsistent with many specific passages in the Bible that validate sexual (erotic) love. In fact, an entire book of the Bible, "The Song of Solomon," is an erotic love poem. Of course, there are other dimensions to the complex of feelings and behaviors we call love. The qualities that deepen and sustain the initial attraction and changeable passions of sexual love are outlined in the famous poem to love in 1st Corinthians which begins, "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clashing cymbal," and ends, "So faith, hope, and love, abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love." But let's face it: love begins with the sights & smells of the physical. Without that physical chemistry & bond, the rest is just so much theory. Speaking of which -- I have rambled on too long!

  7. Interesting nexus of Classical, Christianity and Eros JL.

    I freely admit that I played with the word and my interpretation does not reflect the broader classical definition, (as Animus is to life Eros is to love) rather a blend or Eros and Erotic.

    The question I sought to answer is what causes "the fire of Eros" and why it does not and arguably cannot endure. Why our best love stories are sad ones. Solomon and David, the Old Testament's great lovers, both were brought low by their excesses. Jesus and Paul, the New Testament's most profound spokesmen for Love died (horribly) for their messages.

    The Bible treats eloquently on the subject of earthly love, but the messengers always pay a steep price.

    Vi may recall that I wooed her many years ago with verses from Song of Solomon. It's sensuality is without question. The Bible, Western religion have a Rorschach quality at best for me. Christ and Paul spoke eloquently on the nature and importance of love and IMHO would be dismayed by the trappings of bureaucracy, guilt and power that have been superimposed on their good words.
    Though I have absolved myself of the "inherent" sin and shame of sex, I acknowledge these as powerful turn-ons. This spiritual to chemical bridge is to me the most interesting mystery in the book of human desire.

    We've gone through a lot of words here and yet I don't feel we've exhausted the supply. A lovely ramble JL. Thank you.

    Ciao, Vi.

  8. RB,
    Just read your story in this month's ERWA gallery -- always a pleasure! I enjoy your comments on writing that are woven seamlessly into the story. After supposedly "teaching" writing to 6th graders, I concluded that one doesn't teach writing so much as enable it, coaxing it out from wherever it is hidden. Some of my English Dept. colleagues said that our students had no experiences to write, but I didn't buy that. Sometimes they didn't have the language to express them or didn't feel it was OK to express the real life experiences they had (some of them were pretty stark), but when they did, they revealed a narrative voice that was unmistakably authentic. I get that same sense from your writing. Thanks! JL

  9. Thanks as always for your insightful commentary JL. I think you are right about "not so much teaching writing as enabling it." The voice exists in all of us, but not all of us have the tools or desire to express it. But I also confess that while I don't agree with your colleagues, I understand where they are coming from. For many years I neglected my writing, feeling I didn't have enough experiences worth writing about. I've grown older and wiser since and have come to realize that my experiences, which I've written about have led me to my fiction where only threads from my real life inform the experiences of my protagonist. But these threads are enough to create and sustain authenticity. All writers struggle with this "breakthrough" on the tortured path to authenticity, in their careers and with each story you write. THANK YOU for your appreciation. You have no idea how encouraging and needed it is.