When I wrote L’assente, I was transported far away, immersed in the flow of writing. Without thinking, the words followed each other on the page. Now they alternate like stones and do not fall like dew droplets. We change, our readings change; different languages, travelling and living in different countries; activities and feelings change. But I do not mind; in fact, the important is to keep evolving and let the writing follow our path, let it change with it.
Maturity brings different rhythms, our attention changes. Awareness makes us less fearless and more laid back. Some consider this to be a regressive process, in which a certain indolence supplants youthful vigour; the will to change is weakening and the acquiescence to preserve things that already exist is strengthened. And yet, things change all the time only to stay the same. Now there are many memories that emerge solicited by present events.
The thing that immediately comes to my mind is that the success-failure dichotomy has lost value for me, instead the idea of life itself has taken strength: things of life are worth because they are experienced and not because we put them on the plate of a scale that reveals to us how successful we have been. The experience is a two-faced Janus, it is a moon with two sides; it is a combination of opposing forces that never gives only a positive or just a negative outcome.
Think about that desire that you haven’t been able to satisfy in the past – how much it has beset you not being able to realise it; but also think about how much renunciation itself has taught you, how much the obstacles on your path have made you strong, how you can now easily find balance in the storm. Think about how the anxieties of the past fade away and a tranquillity of living takes over your days. Isn’t this a significant stage for your happiness?
I can’t write novels, I never wanted to write any. I wrote some short stories, but I’ve never been a plot writer, a character builder, an intrigue chiseller. When I started I wrote poems and my prose was an almost automatic stream of consciousness. I feel like a poet and a philosopher; but what great words are these! Huge. Massive alpine mountains that no one can possess and do not say a word about themselves. They are and that’s it. So, I am neither poet nor philosopher, but Man. A small man who is amazed at the mysteries of emotional, intellectual and material life, one who does not understand how simple are the things that make us satisfied.
And yet, there is so much poverty in the world. Too much. There are so many people who have nothing to live for, who live with very little. Even in those who live with less than necessary, however, one finds the possibility of joy and love. The human being, who remains so, knows how to find the little things that make him serene, or even happy. Of course, for those who live in comfort and vice, for those who live in a society based on the search for the infinite expansion of material goods, for those who live in the always dissatisfied desire of having more and consuming more, it is not easy to understand how we can live moments of happiness and serenity by having and consuming little. Man gets used to everything, especially to comfort, and to food abundance, drugs, medicine, news, debt, military power, incapable politicians, digital screens; in short, if the human being does not have principles and values, is an extremely adaptable being – who creates living conditions that a couple of decades back would have been considered inhumane. He becomes an instrument of anything. Obsessed with the desire to survive, he adapts to everything, transforms, bends, restricts himself, suffers and accepts the dictates of the society in which he lives, especially if the latter is very advanced and leaves little – or none at all – room for individual choices.
The more technologically and industrially advanced society is, the more the individuals are similar to each other, the less free they are to choose. The creation of standards is Man’s constricting net. Standards are the meshes of the steel netting that holds society together; this, progressively and inescapably, becomes the playing field of centralised and strong powers that are built and firmly based on the homologation of thought and feeling but, above all, of action. The homologation of behaviours is the primary purpose of the engineers of our societies. The normalisation of being is the goal of strong powers; it could not be otherwise. They must keep the flock in the enclosure. It must be led and kept where its shepherds want. This is nothing new, it has always been so. However, the instruments and objectives have changed.
The human being in his individuality is an unspeakably rich and interesting creature, capable of ascending and evolving, of joy and love, of creating and destroying, in short, it is worth being Man. But homologised in a rigidly organised mass, reduced to a series of behaviours equal for all, diminished to the minimum of its potential, lobotomised and without individuality, it becomes a monster.
Well, I stop here knowing that I’ve let myself be a little carried away by the development of what wanted to be simply a recollection of my young-me-writing. Have a nice day!
(c) Maurizio Bisogno
This book is intended as a sentimental education for those who believe that growing up can be a conscious act. The book goes deep into the soul of Sigi, a young man looking for a personal and creative expression of his feelings. It explores the inner life without qualms. The prose is often lyrical and intimist.
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