Every time I wake up, I have to scratch on the surface of the glass to remove the thick veil of condensed water that the night stuck on it: then, I can finally see the shapes of the trees outside, the peaks of the mountains on the horizon, the bodies of the first people passing in front of the Refuge. I have been hiking the Alps for four days now, and my thoughts are finally flowing fast as the water of the creeks and the trees’ leaves when the wind blows.
I wouldn’t say this is real freedom, but it must be something very similar to it. The movements of the clouds passing over my head let me imagine what real freedom could be; something very close but still unreachable, just as those clouds. I walk up and down on the hills and sometimes my mind goes back to the life of the valley: things are different, down there, as people are way more nervous and intoxicated. I can still remember the face of people back in Rome, when I entered a bar and small old men were watching the news on TV. Then, I could only hear the noise of their voices full of hate, screaming at one another, talking about nothing, but still with a reason to be mad, apparently.
Such a memory does not harm me anymore, and on the crest of the mountains I run as a verse from Kendrick Lamar, spitting the hate downwards and just trying to get to the top. My personal lifestyle has changed, as I walk from 8am to 4pm and then sleep until dinner. Then I eat something and go back to bed.
I have done some of the strangest dreams, up in the mountains. Pictures, photograms from my everyday life merged together in some kind of strange collage, and then they all converged towards some kind of kaleidoscope. Everything always ended up with my brother’s hand scrolling my shoulder and him screaming that I had to wake up. And then, back to the same routine.
As a matter of fact, I have started to think differently. My thoughts are oxygenating, I would say, and they loose weight and climb up on the top of my curls and from there they fly up in strange figures, like cigarette smoke.
Reality seems different, from up here. It’s not that I want to escape my everyday life, but maybe I just realized that there is a whole greater world above our heads, and sometimes we can feel its presence, grasp its essence, just for an instant. The world of the mountain is teaching me resilience, but also resistance I think: beauty is all around me, when watching the sunset from the terrace of the Refuge or under the sun of midday. The fact that things are beautiful despite what men do or what they don’t makes me hope that resisting is possible, even when you leave the mountains and go back to the city. Maybe the flow of the wind will carry me back home and it will still inspire my night fantasies and make my thoughts grow bigger as it does with plants under daylight.
Finally, I am still here, on the edge of the bed, I should wake up and start walking once again. It’s raining today, and I can also here the noise of the drops on the glass. I would like to stay here some time more, to stay up on the top and try to touch the clouds, or to run as fast as my brother can. Now that soon or later I will back home, I want to go back to the bar and order a coffee, or maybe even something more complex and challenging. But the mountain should have taught me something, and I will resist as everything does up here. Maybe, one day, there will be gardens even in Rome with creeks and butterflies and fog like the place where I am now, and the air will be as light as a holiday memory. That all remembers me a song from Jimi Hendrix, with the guitar tune coming back again and again, screaming like the wind.
“Just let it groove its own way
Let it drain your worries away yeah
Lay back and groove on a rainy day”
Outside, it’s still raining and I am still dreaming.
“What interests me is living and dying for what one loves.” (Albert Camus)
What I love is telling stories about beauty, about courage, about fear. I hope you can appreciate them and then write your own ones.