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!
Italian Author Valentina Diana is one of the Fabulamundi selected authors for this project. You can read more about her here and the original text here.
little words from the apocalypse (more or less daily diary by Valentina Diana) – part two
March 13, 2020
My grandfather used to say, don’t sing uphill in the mountains, hold your breath for later, you sing downhill. Instead my father, he sang uphill for about a kilometer a kilometer using his feet to beat the rhythm.
I, lover of stones, collected them and kept them in my pocket until there was no room left. My mother said, collect all the stones you want but don’t ask others to carry them for you. So, sometimes, if I worked too hard, I threw away one to save another. The stones saved were the most beautiful of all those encountered.
When the tour was over and we got to the car, my feet were cooked, on my skin and between my toes, red lint and yellow wool socks. At home in the evening they gave us pink aspirin, for lactic acid, which was good and melted on the tongue, like a strawberry. The stones stayed at home on the marble above the radiator. They mattered more than me, whether they were pebbles with golden flecks or very smooth and blue ones. Then I had the stones you love so much many years later. A professor had made us look at them under a thin section microscope and there, for the first time, I had a sense of dizziness and wonder looking into the stones. It had been like a mystical vision, I think, although I can’t be sure.
For me the stones are the story of the climbs, of the pockets full of something to save, of the songs that had to be sung, even though we shouldn’t have been singing, and some cooked feet. But also of the history they already carried inside, which was another, more inaccessible, unspeakable memory of something that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
like a precipice of time
March 12, 2020
If someone in Chieri has a copy of Virginia Woolf’s Waves to lend me, could they leave it for me on the first bench of stone in Piazza Cavour in front of INPS?
I can’t stand anger anymore. I can’t stand the preachers of good either. I like the instructions of the appliances, the details, the arrows that indicate, the numbers associated with the
functions and the enlargements of the more complex pieces. I don’t want to participate in anything anymore. I want to sit here and read about the functioning of the whisk and the different programs of the washing machine. I like humanity when it comes to me like this: distant, silent, expert in something.
Today, here was full of little birds who wanted to say something to each other, all together
I too, at times, would like to go back to a place in a time. There are places where they, once there, if there you come back, play bad jokes.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have come to tell me they are not worried, the end is near. I didn’t let them in, I didn’t want to talk to them. But later I remembered that Jehovah’s Witnesses had come twelve years ago, to tell me they are not worried, the end was near. That time I let them in, offered them coffee and we talked while I ironed. I had told them that the end was not near and that, if they wanted, I also had cookies. Poor Jehovah’s Witnesses, now I agree with you: the end is near. No coffee, no biscuits. I do not iron anymore, I fold and go.
(notes in the morning)
This unreality, which is consolidating, which speaks of anomaly and bewilderment, seems to be the emblem, the symbol of something that we still can’t see, which has been under our eyes for some time, in the form of a mutation, decay, of the senses and lymph nodes, of everything healthy and natural.
Once upon a time there was a simple idea, the design of a house with solid walls and a strong roof, which protected against snow and wind and storms. The wind is gone, the storms are gone, the snow is gone, the roof is unmade, the walls are cracked. Everything trembles at night. A voice from the dark repeats, Stay light. Lightweight and ready to travel.