Despite the fear

Publish date 20-11-2020

by Alberto Brigato

February 2020 in Italy… ALL STILL.
Woe to those who move, not a foot out the door, not a yawn out of place, not even a handshake, for heaven's sake ... We have to wait for the Coronavirus to turn around again! Too bad that we, still, do not know how to stay, the mind runs and the hands immediately behind.
We must always be at our best, have the latest signed t-shirt, the latest smartphone ... without talking about our body, affectivity or the people we hang out with. If you don't appear, you are nobody, you don't count for anything and so this sad condition also affects the things we own and things that lose value a minute after you buy them.
This lockdown has forced us to review our life a little bit, starting from the house, the things and people around us, up to inside ourselves.

The result was a job like ants: empty the wardrobes, clean the old attic with its old memories, expand the attic and above all free, free the spaces, free the mind, free words (as needed) and the heart, more space that perhaps we have occupied with all those thousand things that, if you think about it, are not really necessary. The generalized order of "Stop everyone!" made everyone equal, smoothed out diversity. Someone also saw their neighbors face to face, forgotten by the last embrace of the World Cup: uncertainty and above all fear made us all equal, all a little looking for something. We have seen two completely different searches that in the end are very similar, one dictated by the urgent need to eat and one by the need, more or less veiled, to find.

In a lucky pun, Ernesto has enclosed this situation in a single sentence: "People are hungry for bread and hungry for God." Hunger, like fear, also makes us all the same and, after the anxious rush to the supermarkets, we made ourselves available to our neighborhood, to all those who would not even have arrived at the supermarket.
And then there is the other hunger, which is less obvious, one could also ignore it, not the belly but the heart growls. It is a hunger that dries up from within, that sets the dissatisfied mind in motion, which is not satisfied with a standing aperitif, hit and run relationships, shots of happiness: it is the hunger for life.
We need relationships, we are used to being surrounded by messages, tweets and emails that tell us how others are, where they are and what they do, but with whom we really talk, with whom we connect feelings and relationships that make us grow, that value our our time, to our doing? In the end, standing still, in the forced silence of the pandemic, someone inside speaks and if we can't move a muscle outside, so as not to lose the game, then the heart moves.

How difficult it is to remain still, still, still like children playing.
We who are always called to run, only to touch the person in front of us, the situation we are experiencing, never touching anyone, never really entering into a relationship with the other. I am reminded of a beautiful clip from Walt Disney's Fantasia film where the music pushes us to dance and dance until we realize that the person we are dancing with is no longer close to us.
Crocodiles and hippos, all the same, all in time, as long as we can, as long as we last ... And we get lost, looking far away for what we are close to, chasing dreams, adventures, more or less real possibilities, which in the end we need to believe again, to carry on a little longer.

Ok, maybe now the virus has turned around and can't see! We are at the beginning of October and something is moving, someone more courageous I know takes a step forward, but it is a start!
Shops, restaurants open, you go back to work, more or less smart. We are back to life, we can't say normal, but it's life anyway! Made up of commitments, relationships, those human contacts that we have missed so much and that make life a little fuller, in the true sense of time and quality.
But let's not hide the fact that a bit of fear remained: we removed many superfluous things, many superficialities that certainly weighed us down, but also covered us a little. They hid our little imperfections that bothered us so much, but that also make us unique.
It's a bit like a friend arriving at home that you weren't expecting early in the morning: you are still in bed, with tousled hair and pillow-shaped face and he rings the doorbell, you try to settle down as best you can. , but stay like that, "nature!".
The fear is that of having to start over in a different way, a way that we also have to invent a little, to which we must necessarily adapt our habits, our standards of normality, reinventing ourselves from within.

At this time it is normal that there is an inner movement towards ourselves and towards others, many people have contacted us to start volunteering in the Arsenale. It is a movement that leads us to come out of ourselves, to give a little of our time, of our abilities for others and also for ourselves: doing "a little good" is always good for ourselves too.
Sometimes the needs are clear immediately: "I don't want to be alone anymore", "at least I'll have a chat", "so I feel useful", other times we discover them together, with a little time and we find ourselves similar!
So slowly we move, distant so as not to touch each other, close to build relationships, slowly, not to be discovered, because in the end I'm game we would also like to win! … STAR!

Alberto Brigato
NP October 2020

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