After three years, this time I was again in Italy for the First of January. Which is also my Grandma's birthday. I was with my mom at her home – one of the most sacred place of my memories – and, as usual, I was devoured by her beauty intertwined with my struggle to let her see it. She was used to be an incredibly beautiful woman, incredibly charming and strong in her firm gaze, dressed in great unique and bizarre style, always walking next to her equally stunning husband. But aging, for her, is anything pretty. She never accepts nor understand all the compliments I and my cousin Mary try to give her – not for kindness, but for our own need: as beauty lovers, we can't handle how she's blind to her own light. Yet, part of her charm totally comes from her severe and constant judge on everything, starting from herself.
She is the Empress of her complete, authentic Ruin *
and nothing can change her mind
But I can't give up, and I tried to sketch her essence. After my whole life trying to portray her, that's my best attempt. And it finally satisfied me. She also saw herself there, which is not an easy result. I think I got that her so severe gaze, but, at the same time, all that Whiteness I love so much. Her inner child I connect with and I need to stand up. She often wears white, her hair are now white as the snow, with some pale blue fading out, and all her energies have this acid yellow purpose knocking in. It is so tender, to me, to look at this flower of my life. So, so severe, so angry and disappointed by anything nature arranged, yet so sensitive to tenderness in any non human creature she meets, but so, so blind to her own fantastical, tender, sweet, magic-cotton-purity forbidden smile greeting from any curve on her.
There's only one moment when she share her magic-cotton sweetness of spirit nudity: when she smiles. Which is the rare gift I always look for when I'm with her. Talking with her may almost turn in a videogame, for me, where each smile is my score.
But after having shown her this sketch, I actually got one of her best smiles, one of those come together with total surprise and emotion, as something in herself is whispering "hey, perhaps reality is a bit nicer and sunnier than how you see it". One of those smiles which is almost more a wide open mouth with wide open eyes because of that part of herself that is intrigued by starring at magic and yet slightly disappointed by the suspicion of being wrong about finding everything so negative. And that's how I got that smile on her, on the First of January 2016: while drawing her, my shoulders suddenly jumped, remembering out of the blue that as that was my first drawing of the year, my first drawing from 2015 happened as I woke up at my dear friend Jessie's place, on her couch, in the urge of picking my sketchbook and sketch my Grandpa Carmine (as a tree), while thinking of a huge painting to base on it. As I told her this – that she and her husband had been my first drawings of 2015 and 2016, by chance – she got this wide open eyes and wide open mouth.
I'd just want so much
to finally let her suspect a little bit that
"the Universe is a conspiracy on her behalf",
and not the complete other way around.
Her name is Alba .
and it means :
Sunrise * * * *
I'll be back on this.
* Ma la vecchiezza è una Roma senza burle e senza ciance che non prove esige dall'attore ma una completa autentica rovina.
Andrea Pazienza che cita Boris Pasternak, Pompeo