OMEN

Only the well-read man is free.

(Epitteto)

In good luck culture is an ornament, in bad luck it is a refuge.

(Aristotele)

OMEN

SOMETIMES I AM ASKED WHY I HAVE CHOSEN TO LEAVE HOW MUCH WILL REMAIN FROM MY LAND PASSAGE TO AFRICAN CHILDREN.

Until my mother died, I did not realize the meaning of certain sensations that I began to feel from an early age; when she passed away, finding among her things this little story (written in the footsteps of one of her) wrapped around that doll, I sensed that the feeling I felt for that toy was not only of great love, but a prelude to what would be then happened

STORY

A modest puppet, dressed in a gray sand-colored hairy cloth. On what must have been the head, a woolly wig of painful hue rested, curly locks descended to cover the empty and expressionless gaze; without a nose, instead of a mouth, a small crooked cut sent back a sad and resigned expression. The girl never separated from her, inseparable companions of games, placed in the basket of the bike, to pick flowers, to the cinema, to the river, with her shopping, in church, everywhere. “What a disgusting filth!”, said the mother of the little girl who, at that word, was holding her doll tightly. The mother wondered for a long time where she had found it, sure that it was something thrown away who knows by whom, who knows when. “Maybe she got it from the gypsy woman to whom I offered a coffee with milk, she certainly had it from her,” thought the mother and it didn’t make her quiet. Having read, the mother, of black magic and pins planted in dolls and possible effects, sought reassurance from her friends, between fear and hope, a little ashamed of her superstition. “Hopefully it won’t hurt, I will throw it away one day,” she said to herself. The little girl then hid it where only she knew she would later find it.

She no longer looked for her, distracted as she was from the school, from which the stations of her life started; a life of which, once she grew up, she wanted to understand the meaning that she believed to have found when she felt that the task would be to protect her parents: an adorable mother, fragile, kind, generous and the adorable father who was perpetually a child. She thought she had succeeded, and added to the pain that followed their death, to the bewilderment when one is no longer a child, the feeling of having no other purpose…

At that time, I did not ask myself questions about the morbid attachment to that object.

I was too young both to ask questions and to understand any answers: it was the answer that sought me out.

I look at this little doll and I am seized by the memory of that ancient love; it resembles those children who entered our homes forcefully through television reports, described by volunteers who deal with them, the miserable life they lead documented in the stories of the witnesses. “Those” curly locks are their hair; the sad gaze of the doll, that of the many abandoned and wounded by wars; everything puts his finger in the plague of our sins. I always felt that I was indirectly responsible. I remembered Paolo, that big big boy mocked by his companions because of his chocolate brown skin, abandoned by a mother who one day had returned home with her head shaved. Basically, I adopted him, defending him from everyone, chasing after those who mocked him, helping him with his homework. I have always felt strong sympathy for black people and when, reading, I learned of how the West, the colonialists, the African rulers themselves had looted those peoples of their possessions, I realized that all this could have happened especiallybecause of the ignorance of those people. Lover of culture, I believe that it alone can make everyone independent, free and able to choose. Here is the reason why I intend to help them, providing them with study materials, prizes to the best who, I wrote in the will, will in turn have to help with the fruit of their work other good and unfortunate children.

An action that will allow me to keep my initial desire alive over time.

Biancamaria Benuzzi – L A L A –

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