There is a place that only I have seen. It is a place that only I will see. I’m not feeling at one with it this time. How could it be when this tiny corner is so beautiful it almost frightens? Here you can be yourself (if you’ve already had the chance to understand, once and for all, who you are), and, luckily, a completely different being. This natural peep-hole shows you how, in this city, behind every microcosm, behind every claustrophobic alley lies an immensity, made of everything that is worth living for. Even the sandalwood scent coming from this beautiful woman. From here you can only catch a glimpse of her white veil, that you would like to grasp, so as to unveil her face together with the far-away stories she must be treasuring. The music of her soft voice melts with the harsh sound of that angry man, who is screaming in that Venetian dialect that brings you back to earth. Now that you know you’ll be staying here for a long time (and you seem to have already forgotten what time is), you lean your head, drunk with so much beauty, on your hand, sighing. Your breath is a vital blow that seems to be what makes gondolas slowly move, while the twinkle of white boats, gleaming in the sunlight, makes your eyes water. The foam tracks they draw while crossing each other make you wonder who they are bringing, which stories and goods they are exchanging, as they’ve always done. There is always the chance to travel far back in history in a place like this, but for now you’d better pay attention to this wonderful picture nature is trying to show you: a seagull has just landed on the sea, and he is slowly sliding on that blue water, before getting his prey. Keep focused on the sea, and you’ll start travelling underwater. Here another Venice lies, with its history and its future, or maybe its dreams, the dreams the city set aside for you. Here lies your own future. Those sunbeams making water fret are indeed trying to brighten your expectations and your decisions, your ambitions and your fears, which seem to have always been hidden there. If you keep looking all the way down, in the deep recesses of the sea, you can see they can’t stop flowing, just as everything in this ever-flowing place. Keep focused on this emerald blue, which was ocean blue yesterday, and green the day before, after the greyish, almost white hue which mingled the sky and the sea, on that day when a thick foggy layer made you forget about the Alps usually peeping out from behind St Mark’s bell tower. Don’t let your mind wander, now that the sun, joining the gentle sound of the bells ringing, is slowly falling behind Santa Maria della Salute. You’ve asked it to stop, but it’s gone again, after striping the sea with red and orange shades that remind you of the fresh smell and sweet taste of the tea you usually sip in the city, and which seems to come all the way from China. It looks as if all existing pink nuances have gathered in this place. They almost make you dizzy. The sky is on fire now, it is getting into those tiny windows behind which people are standing and looking at all this, just like me. From this single, incomparable, secret corner you can see the whole world. And, above all, you can see your life, cradled by a gentle breeze that keeps you going, with its ebbs and flows, its unstoppable fluctuations, its blurred but beautiful colours, its stories, its exchanges and its people.
I’m sitting here in the fading light of one of these stunning sunsets I will always dream of. And I think I will never stop missing this place, as you miss someone you’ve never known thoroughly, but that you’ve always loved to the fullest.
by Alessia Maselli