We have really enjoyed reading these journal extracts from some of the Fabulamundi playwrights based in Europe, posted earlier this year in reaction to the days of isolation during the pandemic. We hope you enjoy them too!
Titled In Its Original Language As – Esercizidilibertà (Ancheiohopaura) – Or “Freedom Exercises.”
March 20, 2020
If I had children today, I really wouldn’t know what to say to them.
After painting a colourful world on a sheet of paper, after the dinner ceremony with tap water, after the games, after sleep, after endless hugs, I just wouldn’t know what to do to enable fear to pass, and to allow time to pass I would have nowhere to go, and to explain… I would have nowhere to begin.
Maybe, then, I would only talk to them about how many people they will be able to meet, how much air there is to breathe. And of the sea.
And they would say that all these things can already be imagined and that it is only the grown-ups who doubt them, because, beyond the house walls, they don’t know how to look.
March 24, 2020
There is mystery and fear
the hands are armed weapons
and an expectation of the truth, which is not always sincere
They asked for it
and I did it
(on command I answer)
I washed my hands three times every time
My dog doesn’t go to the park and I don’t go to the sea
I do everything right
apart from not knowing what is right
But there are magpies and hares
and sea monsters almost ashore
we need someone to tell it to
March 25, 2020
The lady with the small dog named Luna explained to me that the police stopped her yesterday, crossing the park from the police car, and told her that no, she really shouldn’t let her dog enter the dog area.
Even if she is alone, she cannot do it. Never.
She has to walk on the sidewalk. Always.
And not walk more than two hundred metres.
I imagine that the police will have measured them in very precise steps, those 200 metres, or with a very long and very flexible tape measurer, or maybe they measured them as a straight line with that red laser-type light. I do not know.
However, now the dog area was deserted while there were at least five people on the sidewalk.
So I entered, with Olmo, my dog, little Luna and the lady.
She was happy; I think she felt how she did at fourteen when she went to smoke on the balcony so as not to be seen by her mother. A very strict mom.
But she left after two minutes. Telling me the police frightened her.
The police frightened her more than the disease.
Then, I thought no. Come on. No.
Fear of viruses, the dark, nightmares, narrow streets from which you cannot escape, fear of dying, are fine.
But the fear of existing is not.
That is not.
Because I do that. I do my exercises of freedom and I discover small, subtle and good things, and I like the clean air of March, that freezes hands.
Now I stop lowering my eyes, because I’m not lowering them out of sadness, I’m lowering them because I feel guilty.
Even though I’m not to blame for anything.
We are not to blame for anything.
Aside from the guilt of living.
And everyone does that.
March 29, 2020
The sea of my childhood was an ugly sea, full of ugly houses, full of ugly algae. But it was mine and it was windy.
In March, it was always windy.
In the morning we went to sunbathe, leaning against the walls, sheltered from the sand, facing the light. My grandmother wanted coffee at the bar, my mom said take off your sand-filled shoes. My brother… I don’t know, I don’t remember.
Will that place still be there now? Will there still be wind?
I would like to check it out so as not to be afraid of another place disappearing. But I can’t. So, for a couple of weeks, I’ve been sitting by the open window and listening. I listen to the sound of the sea. And I don’t care about the noise of a cellophane sheet on the neighbour’s balcony. I barely care. All the places where I’m not, I tell myself I am there anyway. I am there, even if I don’t see them. I am there. In spite of my absence. And the wind blows everywhere.
March 30, 2020
What if, suddenly, nothing was predictable anymore?
We know nothing at all, ever again.
No predictions. Ever.
Only uncertainty. Indefiniteness.
No numbers, no probability calculations, no statistics and no dates.
Nothing at all.
No birthday because you don’t know when the year falls, no Christmas, you just guess. No Easter; that changes date anyway.
You choose a random day, whenever you want. And that’s it.
I’ve been thinking about it since this morning.
Today was supposed to rain heavily and tomorrow it was going to snow, but it will not snow. I don’t want any more predictions, none, ever.
Nothing to know and nothing to control, only the present of the present.
Only the present, present in itself.
No more predictions.
Tomorrow I look at the sky and see how it is.
Tomorrow will come.
April 5, 2020
The lady opposite, on the first floor, always has the blinds lowered and the security railings on the balcony window closed. Always. I thought she wasn’t there. Or that she didn’t exist.
Then came her voice.
“Disobedient”, she shouted. “Disobedient!”
It occurred to me that “disobedience” was a post-G8 protest movement, I vaguely remember such a thing, so I look out (finally I can shamelessly express all my voyeurism for the life of others) and look down.
I don’t see anything.
I look harder.
It is not the disobedience that I expected, people with banners, screaming, five provocateurs coming together to challenge the #iorestoacasa system.
The disobedient are a mother and a three-year old girl walking on a deserted sidewalk. To be honest, actually, the father was there too, about five meters ahead, with a shopping bag.
The lady opposite screams, “go home, do not go out as a three.”
Three in all, across the street, I see.
Mom screams, “what do you want? My husband wants to do the shopping.”
The lady replies, “of course he doesn’t, what shopping can you do with that little bag?”
The husband turns and asks, “do you want to come down lady?”
The girl looks.
She looks at everyone.
She continues to look even when the lady goes back in her bunker, with her fear, her anger and her history. Which I don’t know about, it’s true.
The girl looks. Even when daddy picks her up and mom complains.
The girl looks and doesn’t understand anything.
She reminds me of the daughter of a friend of mine who said, on the phone, “you know that virus, no? That extremely dangerous virus that infects everyone.
Here, now I have that virus. It is the virus of all against all.
Save yourself, if you can.”
I cheer for the little girl.
The world is hers, not ours.
April 9, 2020
I don’t hear the voice of tomorrow’s story
I do not know her.
It will come in time
the evening will come when I will be present with myself
in the morning
at the point where the clock ticks
when I turn the tap on in the kitchen
when there is love.
At the exact moment of happening
not before and not after
in the present.