There was a time (but it was already some time ago)

Magritte

There was a time, but it was already some time ago.
There was a time when we were younger, and we thought we were going to be real changemakers, and we could have an impact on the world we lived in. There was a time we collected speeches, articles, we subscribed to petitions, we supported everything was green, was fair, was in line with our values.
And yes, we had great values. And we were sure we were going to make something big out of them, something important, like writing a novel or writing poetry, because our words were our swords.
Or we were going to become war reporters, and write about the atrocities of conflicts. Whatever we were going to become, we were going to be proud of ourselves. We were going to be able to look at our image in the mirror every morning and feel good about ourselves.
There was a time, but this was really long time ago, when we fell in love. Falling in love was simple and complicated at the same time. We could fall in love with a movie and cry our eyes out. With a book. With a line. With a rhyme.
We could fall in love one summer evening in the Coliseum with an American guy who was going to leave in two days, spend the night thinking about him and spend the following day looking frantically for him in every hotel in the area he had mentioned he lived. But oh, the moment we found him. That kiss. How many buses we let go before letting him go.
We could fall in love with someone we had never seen, living far away from us, for his writing, because we wanted to be the woman he was so clearly – or had been  – in love with. We could fall in love out of curiosity. We could write to him, holding our breath for his reply. He could surprise him by coming to visit us. But oh, the moment we first laid eyes on him, under the Cupid statue in Piccadilly. That moment. And the loss, afterwards. The sense of loss. The excruciating pain.
We could fall in love while stile at uni, with someone who was preparing his speech for his simulation of a UN Security Council meeting. He would repeat his speech by whispering it in our ear, while holding our hand, at the Christmas market.
And there was a time when we really fell in love, and that was really it. When we were in the same room, the two of us, a room crowded with people, full of noise and music, our eyes would lock, and everything else wouldn’t make sense anymore. No more noise, no more people. Ignore he or she who is talking to you. Just the two of us. Except that it was horribly wrong, and it couldn’t be, and it broke our heart. It really hurt, like hell. And that was it, folks. We lost a big piece of ourselves and we are still engaged in a neverending quest to find it. Do we still fall in love? Yes we do. Does it fell the same??? Does it???
There was a time we felt pretty. There was a time we felt free. There was a time in which even making the wrong things made sense.

There was a time we didn’t know our place in the world, and we were afraid, but this made sense too, because we were confident we were going to get there, and, once there, we would just know. Love at first sight.
And now? Now we are plain scared, because we are older but none the wiser, we still are helpless and clueless and we don’t belong anywhere. We just don’t belong.

I have used “we” because I really hope that, in all this ranting, some of you have felt the same…at least once..at least a little bit..that I am not tha scary odd bugger out of a mad, but still comfortably homogeneous, crowd.

Have you ever felt the same? Have you?

There was a time, Guns N’ Roses

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4 thoughts on “There was a time (but it was already some time ago)

  1. ros says:

    There was a time… there was once upon a time.. c'era una volta…
    « C'era una volta…
    – Un re! – diranno subito i miei piccoli lettori.
    No ragazzi, avete sbagliato: c'era una volta un pezzo di legno. »
    Inizia così una delle più belle favole del mondo… così, con uno degli incipit più belli della letteratura mondiale. C'era un tempo.., c'era una volta… inizio della storia, inizio della favola, entrambe – storia e favola – senza principi nè principesse…la favola, fra memoria e futuro, non si apre come le altre nè tanto meno si chiude con il 'vissero felici e contenti' ma contiene da quell'indefinito e lontanto 'c'era una volta' alla sua conclusione tutta la storia del mondo, tutte le storie degli uomini… “mentire rubare giocare ascoltare pentirsi amare”, così la sintetizza in sei parole, sul forum un romanzo in sei parole del Corriere della Sera, una lettrice. E anche la storia racontata da Ophelinha, credo si possa riportare in sintesi a tali parole… 'mentire' (a se stessa?), 'rubare'… rubare i propri sogni e rubare il finale…. giocare… giocare con i ricordi.. ascoltare o meglo non ascoltare il proprio cuore, le ragioni del cuore, 'pentirsi' e soprattuto 'amare'…
    Rubare il finale dicevo… in Pinocchio il finale non è il 'vissero felici e contenti' perchè vivere non è un continuum in uno stato sospeso come nelle favole tradizionali. Si può vivere felici – uno stato dell'anima e non uno stato d'animo – e anche contenti, a giorni alterni o a minuti alterni o per un certo lasso di tempo, ma il finale classico presuppone un tempo infinito e sempre uguale come anche quello che precede la favola.. nel c'era una volta.. il tempo è sospeso, indefinito: 'cera una volta 1 anno fa o mille, è indifferente. Nella storia di Ophelinha, invece, ha importanza perchè è vita reale. Così il finale che troverà Ophelinha non sarà un 'vissero felici e contenti', ma sarà il 'ho vissuto', perchè lei non sarà di quelle persone che han scelto di non vivere e di stare a guardare mentre la propria vita passa davanti. Anzi il finale di Ophelinha non sarà uno perchè un giorno si volterà indietro come il poeta Neruda e confesserà, confesserà di aver vissuto:”Queste memorie, o ricordi, sono discontinue e a tratti si smarriscono perché così appunto è la vita… La mia vita è una vita fatta di tutte le vite: le vite del poeta.” (Pablo Neruda, nota introduttiva di 'Confesso che ho vissuto')

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  2. Ophelinha says:

    @Ros: grazie, grazie, grazie per le bellissime parole.
    Ophelinha e' un personaggio fittizio…esiste, non esiste, non importa davvero, perche' come ha scritto Saint-Exupéry “L'essenziale e'invisibile agli occhi”…o ancora, Montale “le trappole, gli scorni di chi crede/che la realtà sia quella che si vede”. Parte delle storie raccontate sono vere, altre forse sono sogni, altre ancora sono semplicemente impressions chosen from another time…
    Il blog inizia senza presentazioni, semplicemente con una poesia, Un altro finale: ed e' questo il finale che auguro, a Ophelinha, a me, a tutti voi.
    “Abbiamo bisogno di un altro finale.
    Un finale semplice,
    che non faccia male.
    Un finale di more e di aria di mare
    che cancelli l’odore di mandorle amare”.
    (@OphelinhaPequena)

    Un finale da reinventare, perche' a volte siamo stuck in a moment and we simply can't get out of it…e allora occorre essere in grado di cercarsi/trovarsi/ritrovarsi.
    Concludo con le parole di Steve Jobs, dal suo Stanford Commencement Address:
    “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
    Stay hungry, stay foolish”.

    Quando non sei dove vorresti essere, quando non ami quello che sei e quello che fai, quando non ti ritrovi piu' in quello che sei diventato, quando sai di stare sprecando tempo ed energie, quando sei consapevole di non avere il coraggio di essere diverso da quello que sei, quando pensi di non potere…allora ci vuole davvero un altro finale. O tanti altri finali, forse.
    Un abbraccio

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