At what point is the night

Publish date 22-03-2021

by Gian Maria Ricciardi


Suddenly, we found ourselves alone in the desert of the virus ... "Everyone is in the heart of the earth", as the great Salvatore Quasimodo writes, "pierced by a ray of sunshine and it is immediately evening". It was a city for many, too, almost 70 thousand. Alone, before God and the mystery. Alone, in front of the immense. Alone, facing a ruthless pandemic that drives us crazy. Alone, the hospitalized, who cannot talk to anyone because they have a ventilator suit and fear of the unknown. We have no news of them for days, despite the good will of doctors and nurses to whom our spiritual kindness goes for what they give us at home, in hospitals, in residences for the elderly. Thus we find ourselves: powerless in the face of evil, petrified by pain, now with the hope of the vaccine but silenced by anguish.

It happens to us, in the age of words: how many useless (from social networks and on TV)! How many bad and said to feel, to strike, to make suffer. Now, it's the unspoken words that hurt us inside.

I remember a parchment that the ex-deportees in the Nazi concentration camps gave me, we read: «You have listened to our words and their silences. Together we will walk the path of memory ». That's right because, at times, we just couldn't listen before; now we greet our affections only with the eyes, the heart and the crime. Suddenly, like a hurricane, the mass encounter with pain fell upon us. For us, children of consumerism, it is an experience that, like everyone else, we would have liked to avoid. Sometimes you can't and you cry: crying helps. It helps a lot, like faith, and offers us an anchor to hold on to.

Our grandparents, during the war, went for cover. It was known that the danger came from heaven, from spies, from hatred. Today, the sneaky, cynical and cheating enemy is hiding. We are alone, in heated houses, connected to the internet, with the fear of contagion and the widespread suspicion of the disease. We can strive not to cultivate only the anguish of Mary, sister of Lazarus: "Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died". He is risen. Like Jesus. Yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

More than any other, Christmas 2020 was the beginning of the year of hope, of rebirth, even in the suffering experienced or perceived. Yes, it is fair to ask: "Where is the night at?". It will pass…. Because there is a light ... Without it, the world would be gray, banal, heavy, unbearable. That light will guide us, it will warm the days, the hours, the minutes, the looks and, when we can, the hugs.

I know what it means when a hand is detached from yours: it is desolation, anguish, distress. It is very hard to bear with our frailties, mistakes, envy, work, children, school. But the way out of this isolation of uncertainty lies only there, in that star. Either we believe it or we let the world turn, but on the contrary, like now.

It is written in the Qoèlet of the Bible: "There is a time for ...". Here, perhaps the time of tears, chills, tremors, weakness, dismay is ending, the sun is rising for a new day. One day that will come.

Gian Maria Ricciardi

NP Gennaio 2021

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