who’s slave of habits,
following every day the same paths,
who doesn’t change gear,
who doesn’t risk
and who doesn’t change the colour of her clothes,
who doesn’t speak with unknown people.
who let’s television be her guru.
who avoid a passion,
who prefers black and white
and the dots over the I’s
instead of a mix of emotions,
the very ones who make your eyes spark,
those that make a smile out of a yawn,
those that make your heart beat
over mistakes and feelings.
who doesn’t turn upside down the table who is unhappy at work,
who doesn’t risk uncertainty
to chase a dream,
who doesn’t let her
at least once in a lifetime
escape from sensible advices.
who doesn’t travel, who doesn’t flee,
who doesn’t listen to music, who doesn’t find mercy in himself.
who crashes her pride,
who doesn’t ask for help.
who spends her days complaining
about her bad luck
Or the unending rain.
who gives up a project
Before starting it,
who doesn’t ask questions
About what she doesn’t know.
Let’s avoid death at small doses
by having in mind that being alive requires an effort
than simply the act of breathing.
I am not religious, on the contrary, to be honest I define myself as an atheist, yet I am convinced that each of us needs in our life a “Gospel” or “Koran”, or whatever you prefer to call it, whether it is really a religious text, or the verses of a song by your reference singer-songwriter, or the articles of a social or moral law.
Well, these verses by Martha Medeiros, often mistakenly associated with Pablo Neruda, have always represented for me a sort of direction written in the stars to follow along the changing paths of my life. And the beauty of the stars, just like the timeless words of a poet, is that you always find them everywhere. Just look up and I am always there, whether you are in Italy, the Canary Islands, Dubai or Bulgaria (and I have not mentioned locations at random).
I don’t remember exactly how old I was the first time I read them, but what I can tell you is that through an involuntary process of appropriation, these words have been one of the many mantras I have constantly referred to in my life.
However, I remember that, while I was reading them, the sense of amazement at the beauty of the text alternated with that of “anxiety”. A positive anxiety, however, as it is not linked to fear but rather to the desire to live.
These words taught me that life is not a gift, as Christians say, but above all a duty to the extent that we “must” give value to every single moment of our earthly journey.
Perhaps for this reason, from a very young age, I left the certainties and the ease in which my peers lived to start traveling the world and working around the world, always living life with an ardor that makes me think, in terms of mental image, to the drivers of the old steam locomotives who, dirty with soot, struggle to fill the boiler with coal that allows the heavy train to run without stopping.
Fire to burn
Here, in a nutshell, I feel like that driver there, and that fury in adding firewood I have always applied to all my passions, whether it was work, personal relationships or equally personal interests.
The “lukewarmness” is a temperature that has never belonged to me but, I won’t hide from you, that living with such fury has its advantages but also its disadvantages; the value is linked to that sense of profound satisfaction that one feels when one’s enthusiasm, one’s hunger, become viral and infect the people around. How many times, especially at work, have I found in some of my collaborators that extreme propensity for improvement and continuous learning which are essential to be able to offer a quality product in a highly competitive market.
At the same time, however, we feel a certain amount of frustration when we do not find the same vigor in work as in personal relationships, in those around us.
There the difficult part begins because, inevitably, the frustration is joined by the doubt of having wasted time and, for someone like me, the only fear of “wasting time” is something devastating.
That’s where photography comes in… Yep, that’s her. Reading the post so far it is likely, I grant you, that you are thinking “Ok Roberto, all very nice, but why are you talking about these gorges of the soul on a photography blog instead of on a psychoanalyst’s couch?”.
The answer is very simple: photography has always been the litmus test for me to be able to discern the moments to remember from those that could easily end up in oblivion.
If a moment, a landscape, a portrait, a look, an expression, a color, a play of light … If any of these things deserved a shot from my reflex, it means that in that instant I felt I wanted to give them a some immortality.
Photography has allowed me to stop time, no longer understood as the lens aperture interval, but as infinite; every time a piece of life ends up on film we make it eternal and therefore immune to that death of which the lines of the poem speak.
So photography also becomes a sort of redemption from that frustration I was talking about earlier.
Failed projects, regardless of their nature, work or otherwise, return to have full meaning within me if I wanted to associate a photograph with them.
If I photographed it, it means that no time was wasted; if I photographed it it means that that was a time to remember, and if a time must be remembered it means that it was worth living, and if it was worth it, it was not time wasted.