Hanno detto alla parola: ora sei libera
ma la parola non aveva forza per dire: non mi serve.
A cosa serve
se non ho parlato quando serviva?
Sono rimasta priva d’ali,
sono rimasta senza cielo,
sono una vita priva di sogno,
sono un sogno privo di vita.
Hanno detto alla parola: sei libera.
Difficile, ha detto la parola, quanto difficile
credere d’essere liberi;
dopo aver mangiato le proprie sillabe,
dopo essere rimasti stroncati
anche la libertà diviene prigione.
Hanno detto alla parola: la libertà vive.
La parola disse:
sono come Costantino che dopo la morte ancor viaggia.
Hanno detto alla parola: tu sei la libertà.
Per capire ciò serve ben poco
ma al posto dei suoni
ne uscì sangue.
(Traduzione di Anila Resuli)
Xhevahir Spahiu (Malind, 1945) è un poeta albanese che ha vissuto sulla propria pelle l’incarcerazione della parola: nel 1973 il regime comunista ravvisò nella poesia Jetë un richiamo a frasi di Jean-Paul Sartre, scrittore francese proscritto dallo stato. A Spahiu costò il divieto di pubblicare per due anni e, naturalmente, l’ostilità ottusa del regime di Enver Hoxha. Quando, nel 1979, riuscì a pubblicare un’altra raccolta, questa venne ritirata pochi giorni dopo la vendita perché giudicata “malsana”. Un’atmosfera alla Grande Fratello di orwelliana memoria quella nella quale i regimi oltre la cortina di ferro costringevano i loro cittadini a vivere – anche in Polonia, Cecoslovacchia, Ungheria, Jugoslavia, Germania Orientale, Bulgaria, Romania, e ovviamente in Unione Sovietica. Questa di Spahiu è una delle tante testimonianze di come la libertà di parola e di pensiero venisse sistematicamente calpestata in quei paesi in nome di un ideale poi dissolto dalla Storia.
LA FRASE DEL GIORNO
Battersi per difendere la libertà di pensiero (o tout court la libertà) del nostro prossimo, è il cardine di ogni etica individuale o di un gruppo, la conditio sine qua non di una società che aspiri a differenziarsi da quella degli sparvieri.
MARIA LUISA SPAZIANI, La Fiera Letteraria, Aprile 1973
So little done, such things to be. – Alfred, Lord Tennyson
” During her lifetime (1925-1964), neither the camera nor the critics were very kind to Flannery O’Connor. She was as unphotogenic as she was unapologetic. The camera’s harsh lens couldn’t capture the intelligence, passion, imagination, exuberance, witt and grace her family and friends knew and loved. For much of her adult life, the camera only recorded a honed sense of the grotesque- that southern specialty- with all its satire, black humor, and pathos, nor her obsession with religion.
She was a cartographer of the human soul, and her searing words gave expression to the yearning misfits. The characters in her novels and short stories were forlorn and flawed, searching for redemption whether they knew it or not.
Redemption was a major theme in Flannery’s work as well as the thread that held her life together. “There are some of us who have to pay for our faith every step of the way and who have to work out dramatically what it would be like without it,” she wrote, “and if being without it would ultimately be possible or not.”
Her rural Georgia surroundings, coupled with her affliction with lupus at twenty-five (the disease that killed her father when she was a child), contributed to a deep sense of isolation, for she was unable to care for herself and lived, until her death at thirty-nine, with her mother.
What her close friends remember best about Flannery was her determination to revere and savor the gift of every day. Her close friend (and editor of her letters), Sally Fitzgerald, calls it “the habit of being”, a deep joie de vivre that animated her daily round.
Flannery’s passion for life, Sally Fitzgerald tells us, was “rooted in her talent and the possibilities of her work, which she correctly saw as compensating her fully for any deprivations she had to accept, and as offering a scope for living that most of us never dream of encompassing.” Her mornings were sacred, reserved for her writing, but the rest of the day was devoted to being Flannery.
The habit of being- the exultation in the present moment- is an exquisite concept, one that could enrich our lives beyond measure.
We’re all habitual creatures, but usually we practice the habits of doing: getting up, making breakfast, getting children off to school and getting ourselves to work.
Then there are our habits of brooding: projecting into the future, dwelling on the past, nursing old wounds, holding imaginary conversations, indulging in comparisons, conducting endless mental calculations about money, gnawing on regrets, second-guessing inspiration, ruminating on problems at work, anticipating the worst. The habits of brooding are rooted in the past or the future, and they can rob the present moment of all harmony, beauty, and joy.
But what if, as curators of our own contentment, we deliberately cultivated the habit of being: a heightened awareness of Real Life’s abundance?
The habit of being is a grateful appreciation for the good surrounding us, no matter what our circumstances might be today. What if you always knew there was going to be a simple pleasure to look forward to every few hours? What if you made sure there was? How do you think you would greet the day?
Flannery O’Connor generously offered struggling writers advice. To one she wrote: “Wouldn’t it be better for you to discover a meaning in what you write than to impose one? Nothing you write will lack meaning because the meaning is in you.”
I believe this passion for discovering meaning extends to the art of the everyday as well. Once you commit to cultivating the habit of being, nothing in your daily round will lack meaning because you’ll discover that the meaning is within you.” (Simple Abundance, A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach)