I am fantasizing about meeting a man, whom I often listen to on YouTube. He is a famous writer and psychiatrist in Italy and wrote many books. Sometimes I get discouraged while listening to one of his conferences because of the sidereal distance between my real life and the vision of what it could be, which I capture from his words. Still I should Thank him for all the times he was a good company together with my insomnia and source of new inspiration in the emptiness.
His last book is about the Courage. I never realised how this word is crucial for me. I always had a lot of attention and space for emotions, fears, memories. The Courage I took for granted, like it just turns itself on when it is needed, with an automatic pilot. And for so long I have been convinced of this automatic process that I do not even know anymore where the ignition key is.
Sometimes we confuse the survival mode with the courage. It is not courageous to be constantly running away, like a wild animal does, when it smells danger. Some ‘dangers’ cannot be simply escaped with a sharp bend. They are in front of us, they call for our attention and resources, they challenge us to speak up and face us. To be able to dig out our real consistency of humans.
I drew his portrait. Maybe one day I will find the courage to give it to him.
From the book “Il Coraggio” (“The Courage”) by Paolo Crepet (Mondadori publisher). I translated a few sentences.
“There are words whose meaning gets destroyed as soon as we pronounce them, as Wislawa Szymborska wrote about the silence. Other words, like courage, love, friendship, should be carefully used for being sacred words.”
“The Courage is not for everyone but only for those who have it, as Alessandro Manzoni said, or for those who do not know yet, they have it.
It is an action of the heart, not only etimologically. It is an exercise to train oneself to a life, which is capable to escape mediocrity and consensus at any cost.
I would like to talk of the courage that we need to invent to create a new world, if we do not want others inventing it on our behalf. The courage that young people need to rediscover in order to not end up sad and resigned, uncapable to believe to their dreams any longer. The courage that we all have to find in ourselves to start an ideal and ethical ‘Renaissance’.”
Portrait: Paolo Crepet
Willow Charcoal on paper 27,5 x 37,5 (image is zoomed in)
All images © 2018 Rosanna Gaddoni
All rights reserved