On The Hunger For Truth, or The Real Taste Of Life

( Andrea D’Aquino)

I’ve already written about how some people (you may read it like: almost every person who wants to discuss something nowadays) accuse me of being too impartial on various issues (sometimes they’re aggressive accusations, sometimes they come with a tone of admiration, but always too tyrannical — why it is that we have to live accusing each other now?); I have already written about how modern manichaeism is becoming a dangerous disease (one more to the list — hello, depression!); I’ve written about how cruel is the way we’re choosing to deal with our ideas, the way we’re trying to propagate these ideas — imperative, cutting, intolerant, deaf. In fact, this is what I write about the most, and the more I write, the more I realize that I am a professional at deceiving myself — I write thinking that in expressing my feelings, I’ll be learning how to rationalize them better, but on the contrary: the more I rationalize my emotions, the more I lose this ability to create filters to rationalize things, thus allowing more emotions to enter me, like ornaments of children’s parties that dirty the house for a tired mother to clean in the afternoon. What I want to say is: the more I think I’m learning, the more I see that I don’t learn anything, and it makes me feel desolate. I don’t get discouraged, I only feel tired (sometimes more physical than mental); it makes me be certain that I don’t even know my uncertainties anymore.

I dreamed last night of a flower that, after blossoming, smiling to the world, illuminating it and illuminating a passionate soul, was in a state of dryness — its petals closed like a heart outside a body that diminishes itself if not kept on ice; parched, tired of her brief existence, but not exactly sad, the flower said a silent farewell to the world. It wasn’t a painful goodbye, it was natural, expected, inevitable. As a spectator of the dream, I watched a child come running, extremely happy, holding the hand of an elderly man; I watched them crouch, scrape the ground, and plant some seeds, right next to where the flower was, already dead, withered, but still with a tone of beauty unique and exclusive to roses (the first time I saw poetry in roses, still an adolescent, somehow too childish for a teenager, was in Shakespeare, and see how the world is too cruel now, especially with souls who like to be sensitive: today, some people say that women and roses in poetry is a typical cliché of the cynical idea of ​​woman as an extremely fragile being, and there are those who insist on not losing the touch of kindness that nature gives to all human beings who take the poetry from it. I’m part of the second group, and I consider myself a feminist. It’s not impartiality, believe me). I don’t know if I was the girl of my dream, and if the man was my grandfather. I know that the weariness of the rose that was leaving this world was as natural as the new rose that would germinate from that planting.

I was twelve years old when I was advised for the first time to never give up on my ideals, no matter how difficult things turned out, how complicated life was or how bad the human being could become before my eyes. Along with this advice, I was also told to fight against my selfishness and my vanity. At the height of my precocity, I remember being extremely offended for being told, as a child, a pre-adolescent, to control my pre-disposition to egoism and pride. How could an adult say that to a human being in process of character formation? Following this thought of revolt, I understood why these advices didn’t require deep investigation. Back then I used to read about revolutions, about philosophical aspects, about biographies of great historical figures, about wars, about human fear, about everything. I read fiercely, I ate books, I wanted to understand things, I thought I understood things. I hardened myself with so much information, and today I’m softer than the melted sugar of my grandmother’s dulce de leche pudding, and I try to recall all the things my heart nested during my subversive adolescence. An adult should have the easiness of a child in understanding kindness, the strength of a teenager in fighting evilness, but it’s not given to us the opportunity to have the wisdom of an old person who chooses to truly live, to leave behind all the disappointments that we may encounter in our ways. They want us to learn how to fly without allowing us to grow wings — and they throw us from the top of a mountain without mercy or pity.

I have also written about how we must learn to be gentle with ourselves, to forgive ourselves, to have more faith in our actions. I’m not capable of any of this, and it’s for this reason that I always remind you to don’t follow the words I write — at least not as someone who counsels, or who tries to teach you the correct steps and attitudes, but as a person who is also trying to discover things. I wonder if I’ll be one of those writers who write for the drawer and eventually die without having known the world, even though traveling all over it, without having uncovered even one of its great mysteries, or whether I’ll die a little satisfied with the life I’m leading. I remember, from so many biographies I read, that none of my favorite artists died being sure of something other than life is too complicated to be fully understood, although it can be fully lived. I think, then, that the most we can have, after all, is the certainty that the good thing we’ve done today will be worth something forever. Will this guarantee our place in paradise? Probably not. May we die still being fanatics for learning.

I feel this strange need to apologize, with an absurd frequency, to my own words — it is my demagogue optimism wanting to be forgiven for the pessimism that hides in words of hope, or for the hope that is oppressed by pessimism. I like to think it’s because I’m too empathetic with all my feelings. And this is why I assure you that I couldn’t possibly know the healthiest way to live — it’s difficult when you know the lightest ways and insist on choosing the heaviest ones to go on. But it’s part of being — you know, human.

We refuse to be who we really are, and so we live in this constant search for something, for anything. I hope we can make this search, at least, interesting.