An unstable equilibrium
Every day a lot of things fall out of my hands. In the morning, when I’m barely awake, it is understandable, I'm a little confused because my nights are very lively: I sleep more during the day than at night, in fact, now is 11 pm and only now I’m waking up. That’s why I am writing. In the morning it's hard to reach the vertical position because I am very tired, also I need to overcome the blanket and pillows that overnight I throw on the ground.
My day gets even more complicated in the bathroom, especially while I'm dressing up. While sowing objects, I look for sweaters, jerseys, clothes, or pants that I’d like to wear, but I don't find them. They are usually scattered in three rooms, so I move from room to another, mentally wondering how to dress, and telling myself that in the evening I should leave my next day clothing on a bed I do not use. But it is clear that if I did such a logical and organized job, I would not be who I am. During summer I’m quicker, but during winter my donning gets slower because I dress in layers, like an onion.
Since the moment I find clothing suitable for wearing to the final result it takes me exactly an hour: from ten to eleven. Actually, since nothing is exact in my life, even for wearing clothes I tend to delay. While the slow overlap of garments can be repeated, changing the pairings. Two or three times a day, hip pain and falling objects constantly accompany my time, leaving very little room for anything else. If you also add the afternoon rest, the actions that I make have almost the flavor of miracle. I read a newspaper and after trying the adventure of a Sudoku I stay still, prisoner of those evil thoughts that accompany me since childhood.
At that time, they use to come only at night, now they have increased their presence. This afternoon, for example, after resting and sowing as always combs, handkerchiefs, shirts, caps, scarves, pens, paper, sheets, socks, shirts, creams, pills and pencils, I dressed like a queen of diamonds because at 5,30 pm I had to go to the inauguration of a painting exhibition set by the association to which I belong, the "Dis / Order of the Knights of mortar (Malta) and of all colors." (In Italian, Malta the Island and mortar are written the same, "malta"). As usual, I started walking up and down the corridor and through the rooms, collecting “a bit here and a little there” bags, scarves, vests sleeveless with sleeves, jackets, hats and keys, money, handkerchiefs and phone. If we belong to earth, I bow to it constantly: I sow then I collect. In fact the major floor is the earth. My friends, ironically as always, say to me that things do not fall as they used to, maybe even the law of gravity changed.
Moreover, each room has its falls. This morning I stayed for a long time in the kitchen and between one movement and the other I collected, since slipped down to the floor, knives, spoons, forks, two slices of bread, a lid, a small narrow and tall pan with a long handle made just for my off balance status and in its inside two eggs were becoming hard-boiled, but hard-boiled they were not, so they got mashed to the floor also. Not to mention my fallings on the ground, in my studio. There, things fall by themselves. As soon as I open the entrance door, an air current suddenly comes to life, so strong that it raises from the work table sheets, pens, pencils, brushes, set squares, rulers. The cabinet doors open so that notebooks, photographs and folders full of jobs glide to the ground. My studio is the kingdom of the winds. Here they chase each other and collide. Here they are born. It is quite useless to close doors and windows, the winds come from the cracks and in my studio remain and multiply.
In addition to daily falls, there are those that happen once in a while and those are the strangest. I managed, without experiencing any noise, to drop from my cycling pockets a very good camera and a wonderful green bag chock full of precious things to me, but of no value for those who found it. My equilibrium is unstable and perhaps this condition is the cause of falling objects. Actually I place the useful and the useless always at the edge of the table, the bedside table, the bed, refrigerator, library, cupboards… shortly, of any support surface. I go back to the attempt of getting out from home this afternoon and trying to make sense of my wandering in the rooms and in the hallway in search of what to wear, while the hip, during my evolutions "turn right, go straight then turn left", starts to ache. I look at the confusion that surrounds me and I start to feel unbearable.
The coming and going gets every day even more complicated by further oversights, so the operation is becoming more and more intricate. Not only is it increasingly difficult to leave from home, but as soon as I close the entrance door I immediately re-open it, because, amazingly, I forgot the studio's or bicycle keys, or the phone or something else. I'm waiting for that day on which the losses, falls and hip pain will be such that I will no longer be able to go out. That will be the end of me.
The Dis / Order at the Fresco
But not this afternoon because I have to reach my association’s friends who are at the exhibition already. It is my wish, now, to mention our meetings which are marked by a deep involvement and a strong desire to meet friends who share a dis /equal creative force. Our meetings often take place in the bar at the aperitif hour.
In a time when I am, like the things that surround me, in a free fall, I find again the pleasure of relationships. In these meetings–confrontation, a state of empathy comes into life so that, along with the company of good wine and food, it suddenly opens a timeless reality in which we feel free to reveal ourselves and at the same time we become guardians and witnesses of a common beauty: the beauty of our city constantly endangered by disastrous political choices. In this enterprise we are a very special kind of fallen or lost angels. Like in a underground river the feelings, the complicity and the projects to be undertaken and the already implemented ones multiply because "the artists are among the few to work the lands of absence and to plow their slopes meticulously, bringing free vitality seeds. It is their way to entertain them in the world, their way to fill the vacuum leak. They gradually reconstruct identity maps... " (Roberto Barbanti).
Here, this afternoon I have to reach these friends for a new venture. Very late I enter my street of wonders. Similar, in the world there is none. At the distance of two arms, on my right, a procession of famous people who have passed through the history of Ravenna and now painted on "their" bikes accompanies me. Here fiction and reality join hands: they enhance each other. I have already written about it, but time has increased its meaning. In Ravenna it is among the most photographed works by tourists and has become a familiar image for the citizens themselves.
Rain, cold and humidity have affected the paintings but have increased their real and authentic quality. What is my perception? My gaze looks at the route and I see that the pictures are all special. Uniformity of particularity, because they are combined into a single whole: the actual bicycles leaning on those painted. Daily life "coming and going" gives vital form to the story. It is a fantastic piece of art. But today I'm here for another risky operation: a never seen exhibition. The setting up of an exhibit in a popular bar and walls that will welcome the works, coated with floral wallpaper, still recall once again (like the procession, in the street) the strength of the creative play. I do not think in different forces, the force is only one, the game - just one. It is all matter of measure. The "visual" works confused in the walls – an addition - are playing "hide and seek".
People have lost the pleasure to recognize them, they are no longer accustomed to raise their heads and so almost everyone present at the Fresco, except the artists and their friends, do not see and do not hear anything. So I return to nothingness because art spins around it and with it starts to play again and again. Yesterday, in the afternoon I was there in the bar, there were only the artists adjusting their works. I sat down and from the window, at the distance of two arms, I could easily converse with Teodora, Oscar Wilde, Totò, Dante, Marguerite Yourcenar. But today is the time of the appetizers and there are many people. I lean on a corner cupboard. A gentleman enters the bar, bows and collects scarf, headband, gloves and says: "Are they yours?" And I answer "Yes, thank you."
January 3, 2017
I'm in my studio re-reading what I wrote days ago. The wind rests here by my side. The confusion that surrounds me is still. I take a look outside. It's night. Between me, the rising moon and Venus, nothing.
Translation by Renzo and Eleonora Pasini