The green ray is a light you can only see for short periods in the clear summer evenings, just after sunset.
Figuratively, it is something more meaningful, it is an inner light to be looked for where it dwells: in the silence.
I live in a dreaming reality, where my spirit is free from the confines of my body and can merge to become the very things it loves.
In the desert paths of this ghost village I come across sheltered views and corners of far away places in my memory and I feel myself at home again, treading again the sand of Ostia like when I was 18.
There, looking at the sea from behind a gate rusted with salt and sitting on a beached wooden rowboat thrown close to a wild hedge, I drop anchor in Itaca harbour.
I was just a boy when I used to go and see the sunset over the sea.
I reached the very end of a wharf and, overlooking the sea from the rail, of a boat balustrade, I remained in contemplation and imagined to set sail after that mirage of light.
I used to have some bread with me, I still remember its taste…around me water, the look in the sun, inside me a dream: that of good luck.
While the sky was getting dark slowly and the night was thickening behind me, my eyes could see nothing but light.
I could feel the allurement of a question within my soul: what was my wondering before the sea, my gazing into distance, my expectation…?
Other people were looking at the sunset, each one was secluded by modesty and need of contemplation of those who are in a deep intimate relation with themselves.
I recollected my thoughts: “the man looking at the sun…the man in front of the sea…”
I spent my life revising and analyzing these thoughts. I have used art as a way to experience and I have been sailing for forty years on that water I dreamt of crossing.
The backwash is beating and beating from the depth of time onto the beach of my consciousness together with my heartbeats. It’s a well-known voice, reassuring as a lullaby song.
My waiting is full of hope, silence, peace: I know that everything comes and goes.
I always have the same dream: that of good luck.
There is a recurring question:” What do you think while you are painting?”
Of course I understand the meaning of the question, let’s say it’s rightful curiosity, it’s a sign of consideration for me, it’s something like the urging I address God with to get him to explain what crosses his mind when he says his thoughts are not mine. It’s difficult to let a stranger take part into such creative process, it’s actually something hard as it is to get one’s existential bearings: as difficult as heart-searching.
I would reply – the answer is right here on my face…just read it in my look.
However…maybe…to answer the question is also a duty towards myself, because it is difficult to get those who do not know the tricks of the trade to believe that a whole research into life is clear in a light blue background streaked by few disjointed multicoloured strokes of the brush. It’s even more difficult than tracing the cause of a wrinkle engraved on the face.
You need to know the background to a story to understand it, therefore I would start turning to my past.
A glance at my past
When I was young, I painted my imaginative and loving dreams, I also wrote passionate love stories “ to love without face and to the faces of love”. I called my paintings “Eden”, “Flowers”, I wrote poems, I painted beautiful women, spiritual lights, I borrowed the palette from the tropics, I relayed the distances, the hours, the days, I passed through the ages and I opened channels of communication, always casting a glance at the sea, the horizon, waiting for a ship or a South wind, which could bring the smell of far-off summer islands.
My early paintings were naïve, full of mistakes and experiments, they were tragic, strong, bizarre, heavy…they were full of energy and intention.
The following ones were well thought-out, complex, intense, descriptive, passionate.
In my latest figurative period I have reached a great formal perfection, making layer paintings and building nine-floor palaces, veil after veil.
My critics and my admirers have praised my art for its sweetness, fantasy, sensuality, for its poetry, its feeling and pathos, its spirituality and I have let them do it. However I guessed there was something else, something that almost contradicted that exuberance of life which could warm the heart, giving oblivion.
The cornucopia was not the true message.
At last I have understood. I have understood when I have reached the horizon with all my being. That same level which had been unconsciously my source of inspiration since I was a child; that is to say when I have discovered the plain truth with my maturity, taking it up completely in a rational and certain choice.
I have loved everything I have done, but now this story is over: I can’t believe in reincarnation, the body is given once for all to let us experience it, then it passes away.
I have known happiness in my life. The kind of happiness which has remained untouched in time, because it didn’t have a body and I can still smell it in the air as a fragrance. Something vanishing which I cannot explain, reminds me of Itaca and provokes visions I am a witness of.
There’s rhythm in my life, the passing of time draws rising orbits, centre turning, increasing in speed close to a liberating freefall.
I only save the present time, the one of “silence”, of prayers “with inexpressible moans”, as I had realized and contemplated from very far away, looking about the last pages of my book.
This is my study door. I have put a sign here, to show a passage.
I’ve just turned fifty…and maybe the time has come to invent a new youth: beyond this door a blue world is opening up for me.
english version: Alessandra Gaggini