Thursday, 8 December 2011


It was one of those timeless farms. Timeless, not because it will last forever, but simply because no one actually really knew how old it was.

It was one of those centennial Lego houses. A quarry being dug out as slowly and steadily as the drop of water that carves the hole in its stone, oblivious and anonymous, depending more on the youth and strenght of those who carry it, than of the faces and voices of those who grunt cursing its effort.

One generation had chosen the spot, another had turned the hut into a cellar, the other had started storing wine in it, yet another selling some of it out. If none had fallen into the temptation of drinking too much of it, it was probably because all of them had always had, in some way or the other, books or music to drive them crazy enough.

I try to remember a child I used to know quite well, and who had been transplanted away from those chalk clad walls, like a lugubrious monument to the school his great grandfather had built for the village, and to those inhabitants his grandmother and all her seven sisters had taught. Like a school blackboard that had been countlessly written upon, like the prayer of the multiplication table, until it turned white, unerased and yet unkept.

Like all the children, this one was a messenger of the truth. Someone to whom adults unwillingly confide their unguarded self, someone who listens beyond their understanding, and that, at some point of indecision, confronts the plot of our expectations with the treason of our methods. Someone once said children are cruel. No, it is the truth that is cruel. And if destroying the illusion of a child is something traumatic, destroying that complexity of the illusion of an adult is something that will reveal, not the harshness of cruelty, but the unfairness and blindness of revenge.

There were three brothers. The eldest one gave the child his first guitar and beat him up on the instigation of his wife. The second one stuck some chewing gum on the child's hair and said we are all like dogs, we are all here trying to pee to mark down our territory and broke the guitar. The third one said we differ from the dogs, because if they have food, shelter and sex, they are happy, and threw all his toys into the rubbish bin.

The child grew up and told me he liked clay. To him it was a mixture of blood and earth, and that was the reason some silly book accounted us all as having been created out of it. I saw him a few years later in my travels, and he had spat on his Alma Matter and was begging on the streets. He had abandoned everything. Maybe embraced everything, who knows.

One thing is certain, at least I think so. He had embraced his destiny and the entirety of its mystery. Being almost, if not the same age as he is, and when I had no longer been prone to be surprised to see what life does to people and what surreal outcomes do to vanquish your innocence, I recently got some words from him.

If I remember them correctly, they told me he had now had a child of his own, and he advised me not to fall into the temptation of the adults, which is to immolate the comradery of childhood to the selfishness of turning to the upcoming children to resolve why you have forfeited your dreams. Actually, I think he said, you should be very careful when dealing with children. Raising them is not bringing them up into your world, rather entering theirs and simplifying it for them to move freely. Making it come true.

The only hindrance I have found in my tortuous way was the punishment for wanting to learn what I was bound to become and to the fact that are no words, no palpable categories to describe it. If you ever happen to have a child, let it loose, let it grow, let it be.

If we all do it like this, we will be surprised to find ourselves in whatever sad and ridiculously inevitable predicament as falling sick and fearing withering, surrounded with younger people who actually care and understand our dreaming away.

I wonder where he is now. I just hope he has found the happiness of a child.

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