Log on to literature! MY LITERARY LOG

Literature = writings in prose or verse; especially: writings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universal interest, considered to have value as art and not just entertainment.

Talking of literature with students often means bringing along complaints, grumbles, moaning, yawns... discontent, in other words. But why?

Because young people usually link the word literature with "old-fashioned boredom written centuries ago by people who didn't feel like finding a proper job". And that is what it may effectively seem on the very (very, very, very) surface. But is it really so, if we investigate literature just a little bit deeper?

DEFINITELY NOT!

So...if it is not a waste of time, what is really what people call literature?

Literature consists of all the written works of art able to convey a message both in the past and today. It allows you to draw parallels, connecting ideas, therefore understanding more, living more. It teaches you to avoid prejudices and wrong choices, because you encounter them while turning the pages, while "living someone else's life". Literature brings about awareness and information, making people grow little by little addicted to it. It creates a tight bond between the reader and the masterpiece. Like a lichen on a rock. It represents the culture and tradition of a language or a community, it makes people feel something. And no, this is not valid just for retired over-70, this is more relatable to us students than we all think. My task here is to dispel this myth of "literature = useless boredom" and to relate it to our everyday life of 21st-century adolescents. So... LET'S START!

PS: for the novels' plots have a look at the Wikipedia's links I provided (Wiki is surely more knowledgeable than I am ;) ).

A Beautiful Monster

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

Monster = any creature so ugly or monstrous as to frighten people.

This is probably the first word that crosses anyone's mind regarding the main character of Frankenstein: "it", the creature (no, not Frankenstein, that is the doctor's name!). Yet the definition of the term sounds a little bit ambiguous. Why?

Because it is highly subjective, as it is related to the personal consideration of things. What frightens some people, in fact, could not be frightening for others at all.

Yet, both at Shelley's time and today, the comparison with what has different looks from us seems to delete all the different shapes of mind and to make everyone agree.

In fact, the creature made by doctor Frankenstein is considered a monster by everyone, so much that this word becomes even its name. Everybody despises it, or, for better saying, its looks and the incessant shouts, glares and comments aimed at it make it spoil to its deepest core: in fact, the “monster” bitterly bumps into the unwritten laws that rule society (like the power of outward appearance) and it suffers for these rules, for being an outcast because it does not fit the standards that would make it a “worthy creature”. It needs to let off steam and it does this in the only way it knows: it imitates how people act towards it, it becomes a real monster.

And we can not allow ourselves to be indignant in front of such an inhumane treatment towards an innocent creature based just on the first sight. Or better, we can be stunned because of such viciousness, but we would be hypocritical. Why?

Because that is exactly how we behave towards people with a different skin-color, dress sense, sexuality... We tent to have a dig at them, to watch them with a provocative demeanor, to belittle, avoid and exclude them.

Frankenstein foresees some of the worst plagues of these days, such as social isolation and bullying (here there is a really well-made site to know more about this problem and to prevent it: https://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/). Fearing the different is a spot on the human soul that few people try to wash away, making it seem almost "normal" to live in a self-made cage, surrounded by an army of carbon copies. This brings about loneliness too, one of the most lethal "messes" of humanity, and if it is unjustified, or what’s even worst based on prejudices, it an unbearable burden to carry.

Nowadays the most common targets of this invisible form of violence are gradually becoming migrants, victims of free insults and disdain, whose already-tired shoulders must endure not only the difficult journey, but also the collective scorn. People need to be reminded more often that being a refugee is a state no one chooses for himself and that feeling unbearably persecuted is something that can happen to all people in all countries, as no one is born “immune” of this possibility. Migrating is rather an act of bravery, it means leaving certainties in favour of loads of question marks. Where am I going? Why am I here? Will I survive? Questions that pound into the heads of refugees during their journey on those makeshift rafts that embody paradoxically both their unique rebirth and the starting point of their future sorrows.

In the last few years I began growing more interested in the world around me: now I watch the news, sometimes read the papers and look for information on the Internet. Many important and striking events and situations have followed one another in a rush in the recent past, as it is normal to be on a planet that shifts its shape within months. One of these occurrences is a common denominator among months, though, especially in Italy: migration. Through medias, we are bombed by loads of data regarding whatever number of people fleeing for the whatever time in this month towards whatever European country. But, paradoxically, the more we bump into the migrant issue, the less we really know about it. That happens because instead of feeling emotionally involved by the unnatural exoduses of these poor people and perceiving the seriousness of the problem, as soon as we hear the words “migrant” or “refugee”, we link them to detached and incorporeal numbers, no more and no less of those reported by journalists yesterday or a week ago, making the importance of each one of these men fade in the unclear shadow of numerals. I bet that if a sample of common people was asked to state from which countries emigrate the majority of people and why this happens, they would not be able to give an answer. I for one. Why? Because, especially on television, rather than casting light on the roots of this endless migration, reporters and politicians egoistically focus just on the effect these arrivals will have on their nation (where will migrants stay and who will pay for their needs). This wrong hierarchy of information brings about several misunderstandings and misinformation among the citizens, who cannot possibly grow accustomed to something that is perceived as a dangerous invasion to be stopped by walls and return flights. Luckily enough, these sources of information are not the only ones, even if they are the most spread. Literature, satire, advertisement and technological products can offer a point of view of the issue different from the mainstream one, if only taken into consideration.

And that is what Mary Shelley does in Frankenstein, whether on purpose or not: she raises awareness. Though the struggles of the creature, we can identify with the everyday life of an innocent social outcast. A victim of an insane society. But a therapy does exist...

Being humane does not demand resounding and heroic deeds, because even “simple” smiles, kind words or gallantry can make one’s day. On the other hand someone that treads on the dignity of another human being can certainly not be considered humane. Humanity and dignity are two concepts linked by a third one: respect. In the end, it is all a game of showing-receiving respect. A game that must be played by everybody. And we must stand up and speak out when we notice to be teased with lies and try to make the difference, it does not matter how big or little it might be: it may be a tiny clean drop in an ocean of polluted ones, but may still set the example for the neighbouring ones. Because we all desire to be valued and to matter: a request of love, of attention, of care inevitably belonging to human nature. We all need to be considered human in the same way, no matter which skin colour, religion or gender. People starving, drowning among the waves, being denied the possibility of escaping from a certain death; people mocked because of their nationality, sexuality, physical appearance; people exploited, slavered, treated as commodities. They all deserve to be valued, to matter, just like us.

Today's society is a sad painting rich in hues and light and darks, covered by layers of dust collected by loads of misinformation. It is up to us wiping it out, by developing a true and active interest towards these poor people and involving them in our society that defines itself as civilized, but is it really so?

The Power of Words

Paradise Lost - John Milton

Demagogue = a leader who tries to influence people by making emotional speeches.

As well as to some contemporary politicians, this definition suits perfectly to one of the main characters of the poem Paradise Lost too: Satan. In fact, he basically develops from being an ordinary figure, an angel among angels, to being the leader of his own kingdom thanks just to his ambition and eloquence, conveyed to the reader in his famous Speech.

Actually, Satan manages to accomplish all his objectives by leading and brainwashing countless other angels, making them see their "boss", God, as someone whose main tasks are punishing and giving orders, someone they should stay away from, rather to be submitted to.

And in Paradise Lost this revolutionary vision of God as a mischievous figure and of Satan as an epic hero, so different from the one communicated by the Bible, is rendered in a so good way, that the reader gets truly involved and is led to sympathize with Satan. Why?

Because through well-thought-out words he persuades his audience that saying farewell to the happy fields where joy forever dwells is worthier that being subjects of someone that has nothing more than them, besides physical force.

Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.

In his glorious speech, Satan makes the other fallen angels believe that in Heaven they are not free, he makes them despise what they had so far accepted, he calls them friends. Satan knows that a simple choice of words can make the difference between someone accepting or denying his message as well as he knows that the words people use can influence how they are perceived by others. They factor into the decisions people will make. They can both build and destroy plans, dreams, relationships. Satan knows that to achieve his ambitious goal he must have his audience by his side and so he flatters and bewitches it. He warns his followers that they would enter a dreadful realm, somewhere in antithesis to the place they have lived in until that very day, but the way he depicts the two kingdoms is so well-studied that in the end his leadership would prevail over rational thinking.

The mind is its own place, and in itself // Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n

Words have always been one of the most powerful means available to humans, both at Milton's time and today. Something as ordinary as language, a medium we use to connect with others everyday, conveys ideas, establishes rapport, inspires and generates energy. Words seem so insubstantial, yet possess tremendous power: they enable either to build something or to break it, as if they were stones, light or heavy depending on the case. Words hold a secret strength, they occupy the space between thought and action. As a filter, they can make our perception of reality change.

"Words are free. It's how you use them that may cost you."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-hyder-zahed/the-power-of-spoken-words_b_6324786.html

Moreover, Satan chooses to make his voice heard not just by having a talk with his followers, but by delivering a speech, in order to make his words acquire an even greater importance. A speech is in fact a formal address, delivered to an audience, that seeks to convince, persuade, inspire or inform. Through it, Satan has fulfilled his objectives, but so have done many other figures really existed too, that with their words changed the world. Here there are some examples:

  • Elizabeth I
I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust. I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too.
  • John Fizgerald Kennedy
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
  • Martin Luther King
I have a dream that one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
  • Mahatma Gandhi
In the democracy which I have envisaged, a democracy established by non-violence, there will be equal freedom for all. Everybody will be his own master. It is to join a struggle for such democracy that I invite you today. Once you realize this you will forget the differences between the Hindus and Muslims, and think of yourselves as Indians only, engaged in the common struggle for independence.
  • Malala Yousafzai
Dear fellows, today I am focusing on women's rights and girls' education because they are suffering the most. There was a time when women social activists asked men to stand up for their rights. But, this time, we will do it by ourselves. I am not telling men to step away from speaking for women's rights rather I am focusing on women to be independent to fight for themselves.

So, words can trigger revolutions, incite people to fight for their rights, make their day. Here's a fun list of words that we can use to make people smile :)

But more and more often, blinded by envy or anger, we use words that should not be uttered, words that belittle and insult. Negative words can have long-lasting results that spread far beyond the person to whom they were hurled. That's why you should...

A Brand-New Start

Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe

Rebel = someone who opposes people in authority or opposes accepted ways of doing things.

We are not used to linking the words rebel and Robinson Crusoe, as the novel is written in a two-dimensional way that prevents the reader from investigating the personality of the characters. Yet he is. Why?

Because Robinson definitely takes a stand against the figure that he should respect the most: his father. He rebels against the path he had already chosen for his son, he makes his voice heard and decides not to become a lawyer in favor of fulfilling his thirst for adventure: he wants to become a tradesman, and that is what he will actually turn into.

Robinson is a man with both strong willpower and determination, a man whose will is destined to prevail over everything and everyone else: he manages somehow to overcome all the difficulties he encounters. In fact, he opposes his family and manages to live out of his element and to create his own "society".

Are all the decisions he makes good? Quite the opposite, the core of the whole story is a catastrophe, the shipwreck, caused by his ambitious longing of travelling by sea. But, at least, he has no one to blame for his doom, but himself. This is quite a positive thing because it means that he has had enough strength to pursue his objectives, no matter how wrong might they have been.

If we think about it, Robinson Crusoe sets a great example for the contemporary society, which instead is characterized by uncritical acceptance. Man has always found "uncomfortable", both at Defoe's time and today, rebelling to the rules and this is both positive and negative.

In fact, rules are statements that explain what someone can or cannot do in a particular system and, even though most rules are written in order to be followed (and it must be so to live in a safe society) sometimes it is necessary to "bend the rules". People must just be careful and distinguish these two cases.

What rules are made to be broken?

  • The ones that limit your rights

Such as the Jim Crow Laws, have you thought about what the world would be like if the Americans hadn't stood up and spoken out against the racial segregation? REBEL!

  • The ones that limit your freedom of choice unjustly

For instance, the ones that forbid the burkini or the ones that, at the opposite, compel women not to show a single inch of their body even at the seaside. Why can't they be free to choose their apparel themselves? Can it turn somehow into a life-or-death matter? REBEL!

  • The nonsensical ones

For example, the ones some parents impose to their children: does deciding how many hours a day your daughter must study or choosing the secondary school of your son have any sense? REBEL!

And this is what is meant by saying REBEL: waking up and realizing that ultimately everything we do is by choice and it is up to us whether we want these decisions to be ours or we are happy with resigning ourselves to what our family, society or social standards want us to become. And at this crossroads we all know we should take a stand against what other people choose for us: we ought to behave like Robinson Crusoe, following our dreams, hoping for the best, because if we just surrender and stick to unfair rules and ready-made decisions, we will never be truly free. And this modern kind of "self-slavery" is one of the worst ever because having a heavy heart, full of regrets and of "what ifs", is a prison no one can escape. We are not meant to live the life someone else wants us to live, so go after YOUR dreams and start creating the life YOU want to live... NOW!

a matter of discomfort

Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift

Discomfort = a feeling of being embarrassed.

This is basically the word I would use to summarize Gulliver's Travels, if I was asked to simplify to the very core the extremely complex and rich-in-satire plot that hides behind its surface of novel for children. Why?

Because whatever land he finds himself in after several hijinks is a place where he feels uncomfortable in his own skin, both on a physical and on a psychological level, so much that at the end of the book he will not be able to stand humans and their smell any longer.

Among tiny or giant creatures, absent-minded or wise beings, Gulliver is always the "different" one, unsuitable to cope with the inhabitants of these imaginary lands.

And this is extremely relatable to everyone, both at Swift's time and today. Who hasn't ever wished to disappear in an unappealing situation, either in front of a public, in class or at a family lunch? Although he is seen as a character for children and he goes through fun adventures, in the end, Gulliver is extremely unenviable if we think about it, because he perceives everywhere he goes, both the strange fantastic worlds and his country, unsuitable to him. Like a migrant, he travels unceasingly, without ever finding peace, relentlessly.

He is asked to adapt to the different situations he faces, but this is not always simple, both for him and for us nowadays. Because people have two possibilities to preserve their personality and cope with every circumstance they face at the same time: either they have the ability to adapt, being somehow like a "kaleidoscope", provided with many faces, or they have a so strong personality, that they refuse to adapt at all, since they do not feel like caring about what others think. And both are rare and somehow "dangerous" possibilities: in fact, the former can make you lose sight of who you really are, since changing shape is a quite destabilizing activity that can make people lose control and awareness of their true nature (the theory of the masks by Pirandello renders perfectly this role play); whereas the latter requires enough strength to overcome the "law of conformism" that undeniably rules the contemporary society.

Conforming means treading on your personality to make it become like the others, like society wants it to be. It is an uncritical and habitual acceptance of the customs, rules or styles of a group. It is a halt of thinking, reasoning, learning, acting impulsively. It means being like another brick in the wall, and certainly not in a wall built up for you.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said:

When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else, you surrender your own integrity [and] become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being.

And we cannot hide behind the fact that conformity is a survival strategy for us, because we let it become part of our culture, to the point that we feel sheltered if we conform to the standards, to the mainstream.

But, if we think about it, worthy people, the "remembered ones", are always outstanding, creative, unique beings. It demands a great effort to stand up against an army of carbon copies, but the outcome is extremely worthwhile. How can we detach from the crowd?

Through studying, looking for information, being curious, reading. Books make us acquire empathy, expand our range of experience, connect with the world. They are a gift more and more disregarded, but astonishingly valuable. And what about you, are you keen on being a brick in the wall of conformism or are you prone to building up your own intelligence, therefore a life shaped by yourself for yourself?

a puzzle of beauty

William Blake

Complementary = adjective linked to things that combine well together or look attractive together.

Opposite = something that is utterly different from something else.

Complementary opposites. This oxymoron is essentially what Blake's artistic production, with specific attention to The Songs of Innocence and The Songs of Experience, revolves around. In fact, Blake can be seen as a transition point in English literature. And transition means change, means innovation, means courage to go beyond paradoxes and limits.

The limits, in this case, are embodied by the "manacles" of conventions. In fact, conventionally speaking, contraries stay to each other in a linear or chronological sequence, like in a "either... or..." game. Opposites do not "attract" (as is stated in a common way of saying), rather one excludes the other. Based on conventions, in fact, Innocence and Experience could not coexist, as gaining Experience means become acquainted with all the evil in the world and therefore losing Innocence.

Not only does Blake challenge this paradigm, he even criticizes it very harshly. According to him, contraries are concurrent and simultaneous states that constantly interact, linked by a dynamic relationship. And negating this mutual ever-lasting connection means losing the very meaning of these pairs of words, neutralizing their nature. Due to the poet, contraries are necessary to the world, so their value cannot be dismissed by a shallow adherence to conventions.

A way of losing the meaning of things can be attaching labels to them. In fact, conventional labels like "right/wrong" or "good/bad" make a half of the pair of contraries completely dominate the other, making the latter be considered morally inferior and so to be treated with scorn. To this often follows an attempt to erase the wrong alternative. But what is a pair with just one half?

Nothing. And the world is so worthy and remarkable because it is extremely rich in colors or, for better saying, in hues. In fact, nothing is really black or white and shades are the result of participation and mixtures of colours, their joint and twine. Deleting colours would mean getting rid of these hues, therefore losing beauty: the attempt to attach the label "wrong" to black and to look merely for white, would mean lose all the shades of grey that make the world so various and valuable. Like in a puzzle, all the pieces are needed to create the whole figure.

In fact, people couldn't have strength without moments of weakness or light without dark, love without loss or calm without anger. And even though sorrow can be difficult to endure, without it the moments of joy would not taste so sweet. It is like holidays after school, to relate it to our life as students. So why do people attach such labels?

Every word is somehow a label, from our very name on. So, labels are necessary in order to communicate. They are used to define. It is when this need to define gets out of hand that it may become a problem.

In fact, labeling is gaining more and more importance, not just showing the value of goods, but of people too. And, what’s more, labels seem to be very sticky, glued with an adhesive that stays fixed in the mind of people for a long time. Especially nowadays, actually, the name of something seems to be insufficient to define it, so it has to be accompanied by adjectives related to nationality, size, skin colour, economic well-being etc... And these are the labels that, even though may seem harmless from a rational point of view, can be dangerous and hurt, since their meaning goes beyond themselves. Because "black", "fat", "Pakistani" or "poor" are not plain words as "table" or "pen". They carry about dark unjustified connections, like that with the words "criminal" and "intruder". Insane and irrational correlations born in an as much sick society that lays its basis on prejudices and stereotypes, on one "right" and many "wrongs", rather than on hues of the same whole, humanity, each one worthy and to be respected, as Blake masterfully wrote.

So, labeling is not always a cause for concern, rather it is often very useful. In fact, it would be impossible to catalogue the information we process during our lives without the aid of labels like "friendly", "tasty" and "harmful". But it's important to recognize that the people we label as "black", "white", "rich", poor", "fat" and "thin" seem blacker, whiter, richer, poorer, fatter and thinner just because we've labeled them so, just because we make one colour hide the palette of hues that render him/her extraordinary. Labels are distancing phenomena, they push us away from each other. Let's instead stick together, like in a puzzle.

the extent of love

John Keats

Love = a strong feeling of affection and concern toward another person or thing.

Okay, nice definition, but let's not restrict ourselves to it, since we are talking of something which is ultimately indefinable. Love is a controversial issue to develop, isn’t it? It has so many meanings, intensities, durations, addressees. But one thing is sure: it changes you, worming its way until it gets comfortable in your heart and head, affecting your actions and thoughts. It is something overbearing, indomitable, inspiring, all-consuming. Otherwise, it wouldn't be Love.

As Keats masterfully did through his letters, I too tried to jot down a metaphor that is aimed to depict what I imagine the motive power of the world to be like. To me Love is a canvas. White at the beginning, it is up to us whether to draw first with a pencil or to cover it immediately with colour. It is up to us whether to paint with a well-defined shape in mind or to let it evolve freely. It is up to us whether to use bright colours or cold ones. It is up to us whether to work hard to make it acquire value or to dedicate ourselves to it light-heartedly. It is up to us whether to make its creation last days, months, years or a lifetime. Love is up to each one of us.

I tried to put into words the description of one of these "Love canvas" I have been painting forever and this piece of writing came out "in one breath". It is a letter dictated literally by Love, so I am sorry if there are passages that may seem no-sense but my heart told me to write just like this and I couldn’t help but follow it.

Dear Grandmother,

I often think of you. Well, of what I imagine you to be, actually. It was definitely not fair leaving us when I was just 6 years old, out of the blue. I may not remember what I ate last week, but even though it happened almost 12 years ago, I still have clear in mind the moment when Mum told me you had become an angel (by the way you did a wonderful job in bringing her up, I could not ask for a better parent, really). That instant is imprinted in my memory and it often crosses my mind, do you know? However, except for that, I have just a few blurred memories of you, but from what Mum told me it would be impossible for me not to be grateful. And not only for your cakes and your lasagne, which I am sure tasted great but that I unfortunately cannot ever try again. I mean I am thankful to you for all the Love you gave me, which I know I did not correspond properly at the time, since I was too young to appreciate it fully and to luxuriate in the privilege of spending time with such a great human being. I wish I could see you for a while, I would give anything to have a real talk to you, I have so many things to say. For example, I got to know some years ago that you “helped” St. Niccolò, the one who used to bring me thousands of gifts on every 5th December. And I believe it to be magic that, even though you flew away at the end of November, on that 5th December 2005 I still got a present from you. You already bought it for me, as if you wanted to be there no matter what, who cares about that shitty thing called death! It was a green tracksuit with one of the Winx on it (you knew my taste, didn’t you?). And what about the milk foam of cappuccino? I always sipped it from yours when Mum went to work and we had breakfast together, as various photos of me with a white bubbly moustache can demonstrate. You would surely be glad to know that it is still my favourite part of that kind of coffee. You see? Love, the true one, sticks to people, it is an adhesive that if glued properly never leaves anyone grow up alone. I think putting your tiny granddaughter's straight hair in curlers has not been as easy as pie, has it? Yet that struggle makes this not-so-tiny-anymore girl here smile today. This is Love. It does not know limits of time, of space. It goes beyond everything, overcomes every difficulty, every boundary. It is a bond so tight that even now, after all this time, I feel a strong rope that connects us, as if there wasn’t a sky between us. I think knowing to be loved carries along the awareness not to be alone, therefore it helps us looking on the brightest side of life and believing a little bit more in ourselves. There was a period some time ago when I was extremely angry, not with you but with that cruel fate that brought you away in the blink of an eye. I thought it was absurd to toil to lead a life in which you struggle to build a house and start a loving family if then everything can just vanish overnight with no apparent reason. It is pointless to study, work, marry and be mother-of-three if then a stupid illness can rush through your veins and take you away within hours, isn’t it? No, it isn’t. It is not pointless, you have not lived and loved that intensely for nothing. Every second of Love you gave the world as a gift was not vain at all. It is the part of you that still lives in us, that bitter joy we feel when we remember you.

I do not know whether I can claim to have already loved truly and wholeheartedly in my life, but I have surely experienced Love. In fact, I encounter true Love every time that Dad wishes me to have a good day before leaving for work and every time Mum looks after me by cooking my favourite dishes, but also every time I have a look at the photos of my first birthdays with you, with our cheeks close in front of the cake, Grandma, to the point we became almost the same person. There was a time some years ago when I started crying as soon as I saw your face, whether on photos or videos. Without any rational reason tears just started streaming down my face and my brain got full of “what ifs". Because the truth is that I think life would be just better "if" you were still here. The truth is that I terribly miss those Sunday lunches, those Christmases at your place, those Wednesdays at the market together, I miss them even though they are just blurred memories. The truth is that I desperately want to know what you would think of me as a person, I want to know whether you would be proud of me. Because I am proud of you. I am proud of a woman that within 52 years left a so deep mark in so many people. Do you believe in superheroes? I do. And you are one of them, it is just that the power of invisibility was not the best choice you could make, but that’s how it goes sometimes. And I can’t help but accept it even though it is a fairly bitter pill to swallow.

I asked you many times to make it less bitter by showing yourself in my dreams. And you once did it. It lasted like 5 minutes but these made me wake up with my heart almost bumping out of my chest. I remember it very well. We were in a hotel, there was a revolving door and we did not manage to meet. But then out of the blue I do not even remember how (but that is definitely not the point) we overcame that turning force against us and suddenly we were there, hugging tightly and playing that kind of game which was like “who manages to say I love you last wins". Well, do not think I am conceited if I say that if we played it for real I would probably win. I have so many “I love you” stuck in my throat gathered during all these years that I could not possibly lose. And then we both know you would never miss the opportunity to please your granddaughter and to make her happy by letting her win, as you did when we played Briscola at the seaside.

I do not know whether you would effectively read what I am writing, I do not know where you are now either. But I surely know that wherever you are you are keeping an eye on me. I feel it. People believe “hope is the last to die". I do not agree. There is a moment when it vanishes. It does know boundaries. Conversely, Love does not. I would not define it the “last to die” either, since what is death against the most powerful force on earth? Death has just to admit to have little effect on it. Actually, it can even make Love boost, since when something is always available its worth tend to "decrease", whereas when it gets lost its real value comes out. Well Grandma, I definitely did not need your loss to know that you were a treasure. A treasure I would have loved to enjoy a little longer, but that I do Love so intensely and deeply, no matter what.

With all the Love in the world,

Giulia

Giulia

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