Back from Africa, everything seems to prove the newly acquired awareness that nothing is fixed, no certainty is granted, situations are made of their own absence at any time, and that after all I’ll be ok even if everything seems to fall apart.

I’ve lingered for a while in my old and cherished entertaining habit of dramatising the void, the silence and the absence of sense, until I’ve decided to choose, freely, again, and make my own path towards what matters to me, in spite of all the frustration, the disappointment and the lack of validation that often packages and defines the early stages of creation.

It’s been fun, I’ve enjoyed representing and suffering and sharing, I’ve met new friends who now know my core and my dark side, as well as my power, and these new friends are now on my side as I get ready for a completion ritual of some old structures that are just about to go down, for good.

It’s cold and windy today, the air wraps the skin and tingles the soul as my memories recall mid february in northern Italy did, as a kid: getting ready, for carnival, a pagan ritual tolerated by our catholic politics, cutting and sewing cheap colorful silk for our costumes, preparing the big pyre in the main square of a village lost in the fog (much like in “Amarcord”, which is, in fact, set in, more or less, the same area).

The carnival costume would always turn out to be too light for the weather, and kids would be wrapped in thermals and woolen layers, and gifted with the unwanted burden of some odd-coloured stockings and tops for years to come; the pyre, slowly building up like a scary and deadly column to burn a puppet witch on (symbol of winter, of things old, dying and cold), would then make everyone sweat, for ten minutes or so, during the big day of orderly and ritual madness.

Hypnotised we’d then go back to our lives, a bit intoxicated by the smoke (healthy stuff for primary school kids) and absolutely certain that the boring winter was going to be over soon, even if no confirms of this shared belief would seem to appear from the weather, environment or the weather report lieutenant (in Italy you had to wear a uniform, if you wanted your weather report to be believed by the public), for weeks to come.

Nonetheless, we knew it was over, once again, and we’d nurture a big garden of plans, desires and dreams for the new season, nannying them with endless patience, cherishing the last drops of winter: cats by the fireplace, roasted chestnuts, heavenly sleeps. We were sure it was going to be over, sooner or later.

My new friends have met me during my transition, and I am accompanying them in theirs. We sit on the fence of our metamorphosis, and there’s no doubt we will recognise it’s still us, after the transformation: we’ve met somewhere deep and true, it doesn’t really matter that we don’t know how this baby will look like, yet. You never know, when you are creating, about the details of the future. You don’t need to know, it’s too soon, everything will make sense later. Tranquil hope feeds the creation, I cherish the calm and exciting sense of belonging to this group of people who are simultaneously and together pregnant of their own future and of their own selves.

The witch is burning, it’s coming down. What a violent metaphor. It’s a pagan ritual, after all, it’s not meant to be politically correct. I am letting go of things dead and cold, that were alive and warm a while ago. This one witch, also, was a beautiful spring last year…

I let go of one of the friendships I thought were going to be with me forever, of the assumptions and expectations around it. It’s taken me a while, but the completion ritual is approaching, and I am not in a rush. I’ve prepared properly so far, spiritually and practically, I’ve let the pain hurt as much as it had to, I’ve lingered in confusion, I’ve spent much sweat and hope on my attempts to fix a friendship. I’ve done the chasing, the self-stabbing, the colluding, the worrying, the lot. I let you go, my friend: I’ve told you about my short movie, going to a festival in Berlin, of how it feels like the first day of kindergarten for my first born. We talked for years about having it set in your backyard, then you disappeared for a story of chair delivering and a non-discussed issue of martyrdom. I’ve told you about the new wave of politics in Italy, what two years ago seemed like a mirage is now happening, you’ve shared it all with me translating and subtitling for you, for the others, daily. You’ve held my hand during the hard road, the were many words from me, your meaningful gaze, your support. Now there’s only silence, avoidance. I let you go. It’s been my pleasure to share hearts and a home for a bit, I thank you for being on my side so many times and I wish you well.

Spring is coming and I have no idea of what it will resemble. I’m not worried at all, though. I am patient and I’m getting ready.

This time, without any mustard stockings, because the past is over and, thankfully, you can only be 9 years old once…