I step out on the balcony and it hits me like a slap in the face. Black, velvety sky spread out above meinto infinity. Silent and magical, full of shining stars, which are so far away, but somehow I feel like I’m holding them in the palm of my hand. I see the moon, far beyond my reach and embracedin a silvery fabric; it warms mewhen it allows me to see past the Earth, when I can just watch it, while it slowly vanishes in silence, almost in a shy way,until the night becomes a mysterious box without light. And all that’s left is emptiness. I love people who can catch these moments, who notice celestial signs and don’t bury their heads in the gutter, but feel, smell, notice the life that keeps bubbling around us. I take a deep breath, a bird, caught in a cage, and I think again that there must be somebody watching us from above and that from their perspective our troubles must seem like a grain of sand that doesn’t shine all that much. I feel that every move, every development around me is filled with meaning and there are no coincidences. Things simply are. Always where they’re supposed to be and in a way that makes the most sense.
In my dreams, I ask the world: is this what magic is? Have I finally found it? And then it hits me: there is a game called life and I was lucky enough to be given a chance at it. Perhaps this is the magic I’m looking for, even though I get afraid sometimes. I look at Sofia and see that our mental processes are one and the same. The fear of being different that makes you blend in with the crowd in the end. You wear a mask and open the umbrella so the stars would only have a limited effect. Somehow, we get the feeling that our children inherit our personal stories, because we have no way of protecting them from history or karma. When I was little, I lived in Africa and spoke English; it seems to me that it was easier to exist in the middle of wilderness, there was no need to label things or compartmentalize. You were simply human, probably black or white, and that’s another story. Then I came to Slovenia with undefined luggage; a bit of English, some Italian and parents who didn’t know the meaning of borders. We simply were. Somewhere in the world, it didn’t matter where, as long as we were together. My brother was a genius who started school in the third grade and was already at university at 16. And all they wanted to know in Slovenia was, why can’t he write with a fountain pen; they let him write in pencil in Ghana, or whatever it was that suited him best. And me. I was just a little girl who couldn’t understand why everybody was angry in stores. I guess I couldn’t find smiles and kindness anymore, just frowned glances and fruits that tasted like plastic. Sometimes I think that is when something went wrong.
The more civilized a country is, the more they have to compartmentalize you, perhaps to try and better understand you. But still; does anybody honestly and profoundly understand us? Does anybody actually care for our emotions, vision, everything we truly are, what we have become? Are we lucky enough to wake up next to a person like that every morning? I’m not sure the modern life allows for ties that deep, even if we are freshly in love and have a life companion at home. I’d sooner say we’re all lonely, like wounded animals looking for a safe shelter. And there’s no guarantee we’ll ever find it. Were we ever meant to?
People used to ask me when I was a child: “Are you Slovene or Italian?” I could never answer, because I’m neither meat nor fish. This question actually always made me wonder: Wheredo I belong to? Do I belong to anyoneor any placein particular? And does that even matter? I live in Slovenia, we speak Italian at home and I feel very close to Italian culture. If I really think about it, I have deeplyset roots in Slovenia, all I miss are open minds and a bit less envy, because I honestly think it will be the death of us. We put so much effort into watching the Jones’s grass grow greener that we forget to tend to our own garden. This includes the garden of emotions and moral values. The fact that I know Italian has often put me in an awkward situation and it’s because of the environment that I felt that way. I reached a point where I almost persuaded myself it’s better to know only one language, the language of the environment you live in, because that would mean fewer remarks about the open or closed vocals in my speech, and far less trouble dealing with complicated grammatical rules. Intererstingly, how I would never judge a person by the language they speak, but rather wouldwant to know whether they’re a good person or a shadyone. But I suppose that’s a matter of upbringing. And intelligence.
Sometimes it’s utopian to think of freedom. Our mouths are full of words that feel like freedom, but actually they mould us when we’re still in kindergarten. We make ourselves believethatwhen we will grow up,we will befree as birds, when we won’teven have wings anymore‒they’ll betied together or even cut off, just so we wouldn’t even think of flying. But the desire remains. There’s a fire deep within us that takes us far away from everything eachnight. It takes us where we want to go and there are no borders. Somehow I feel like the velvet night keeps our hidden dreams safe and keeps them in special drawers where we can find them later. Because you justnever know, when you stop believing in yourself. Or as Roald Dahl would say, those who don’t believe in magic, will never find it.
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