Where is happiness

51ma1I2v19L. SX260

I'm a quiet man. I'd happily stay in my neighbourhood meeting those three or four friends I still have, but this doesn't mean I'm closed-off, on the contrary, I love to get out of my comfort zone, even if it doesn't seem. I don't have a great sense of defensive, and like all peaceful people, I can change my state if my quite is disturbed. In short, one for the money, two for the show, three to be ready: don't step on my blue shammy shoes.

One time, looking at my father, I was smiling thinking about the retirement days. Since he missed, memories come back in a different light. I remember our walks together, I remember when I accompanied him in the country to take the wine from the wine merchant on Saturday, or the water at the source. maybe it was a primitive system of existence, because many aspects revolved around finding food and drink. Think again about it, it wasn't so bad and it wouldn't even be now. I'm happy when I recover the old rhythms, pushing away the frenzy which strangles me.

Those memories are interposed by life as it's now. Work is at the basis of the existence of a person, but it also takes away a lot. On the one hand, it distracts us from the obstacles we have in our life, on the other it deflects from happiness, because pursue the goals of others knocks the wind out of you and your joy of living, attentive to the harmony it needs. Really few persons have a profession or a craft they love, and it is a great privilege.

We have only been taught to produce. Even you, really you in your little: you have to do your part to feel integrated. You need money to live, because life costs more and more. There is no stress-free world. Actually stress is the primary engine: it shakes you, it moves you, it consumes you, even if you feel OK because you have a work. Actually, you burn like paper.

During my walks, I met two old friends. In other times, we would have been lost in discussions about the next referendum, or we would have talked about Fidel's death, regardless our personal points of view; or we would have talked about the football derby: instead, we discussed about our pittances, about life which absorbs you and sucks into its gears, about companies which oppress you by taking away those few moments of rest and conviviality.

When you think about where serenity and happiness reside, you feel so stupid and childish. You lose in a run-up, you can't stop if you want to stand on your own feet. You don't think, sooner or later, you're going down.

Recently, I was reading La casa sulla collina of Cesare Pavese. A text which had escaped me for some reason. Getting up while everyone is sleeping is something still gives me a thrill, so I got into the habit of reading it at night, when perceptible noises become clear. Pavese tells war stories about civilians who are escaping or seeking refuge, or about a conflict takes you away your few certainties, your few comforts. The expectation of death touches you which - at the bottom - raises you from an invisible situation. It's very present or, at least, I've felt that way. I thought about hired workers at the mercy of increasingly restrictive contracts, spaces of existences which vanish because their time belongs to the master - I still use this rhetorical term - who pays them. This is also war. Different, but it is.

You understand - nice find, huh? - you're no longer the same of a few years back. Young people tease you, your superiors would take you out elegantly, after all they despise you. You look at yourself and you look exactly like your father, who is gone. You look at that picture and repeat: where is happiness? I'm sure it exists, but you have to go get it. No one will give it to you, on the contrary, it's passed for something else. This presupposes a fight which can last a lifetime, without however reaching it.

I hear talk about revolution, almost always out of turn. A revolution requires the subversion of a constituted order, So I would say to a young revolutionary he/she has to invent a world which considers the exercise of not working, succeeding to move on. They will call it "adolescent utopia", but everyone would embrace it, passed the turning point. You can't say I'm a dreamer, because this stuff has already been said by someone else.


© Enrico Mattioli 2017