Changing to Remain the Same

In that superlative novel,  “Il Gattopardo”, which, in English translates as “The leopard” (although it’s not the leopard as we know it but more accurately an ocelot or tiger-cat), filmed in 1963 by Visconti and starring Burt Lancaster as the Prince of Lampedusa – one of the best introductions to Sicilian (and even Southern Italian) mentality so different from the north (see the revealing post at there is written the simple, but profound phrase: “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change”.

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Giuseppe Tommasi Principe di Lampedusa’s Tomb as we saw it at Palermo inJanuary 2012

In other words, we must change things in order that they may remain the same. The most banal example of this would be to regularly cut one’s front lawn in order to let it keep the same height – imagine if you didn’t– what eventual chaos would ensue, and….what would the neighbours say?

I am so glad to have found again these delightful pictures, taken April 2006, in Lucca’s botanical gardens (already a subject for my post of

Things have changed there so that they could remain the same – thank goodness.

The only difference is now that that amazing fossil tree Gingko Biloba has flowered and that we are becoming more fossils ourselves (or am I really being unfair to ourselves?)


Let us ever enjoy the spring air – the best cure against any fossilization and, as long as our hearts leap up when we see a fresh blossom or come across an extraordinary landscape, we shall never be relegated to a species on the verge of extinction, and our minds shall ever keep their youthfulness

In other words, we must change in order to remain true to ourselves!





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