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The Maestro and Margherita (Excerpt)
By Rosa Arlotto
Friday, July 21, 2006
Not rated by the Author.
The Maestro and Margherita is a romantic trilogy about people desperately seeking love.
Everything may happen but I wouldn’t forget nor would I want to forget Amedeo and
That wonderful night of travel. I shall remember it as the happiest trip of my life.
To think that my friends and I had been furious for not having caught the last train. Had we not missed that train we would not have met Amedeo and I would still be uninterested, unenlightened a perpetual wonderer without purpose, without anything to stimulate me. I would not have known love. What luck it had been!
The conversation in the train department veered in many directions, though more pleasant and trendy was the intention of his voice. He spoke naturally, coherent in soft lyrical intonation enunciating original and isolated opinions and judgments. Sitting pretty in the soft penumbra of the cabin in an advantageous spot, his hand frequently running whilst a head of capricious hair, he appeared a man on top of his game, prosperous, on top of the world.
I’m no sure why Amedeo impressed me from the start whether it was his husky, promiscuous Atlantis body, his tanned complexion complementing his selective taste in fashion and manner of clothing, which was, at any rate free of negligence. Or was it the draw of his eyes occasionally hazing out at the deep blue sea along the Partenepean coast, itself a scenery of endless feasts of vitality and colors, and the suggestive appearance of a silver moon slowly penetrating subterfuge fertile fields , glimpsing on orbits of hilled coasts looking like an amphitheater .
He spoke in a precise vocabulary, meditating practices and symbols as a person of worldly knowledge would, using a way of speaking practiced only by those au fait and competent people who are capable of producing images by inventive symbolism. Those who heed us to think, to command admiration and respect... We went on discussing contemporary events and issues of interest in any case. I had never heard anyone so vigorously denounce social injustice, human deprivations, depredations, and people
Inability to talk for themselves so passionately.
In an endeavor to prevent myself from seeming too anxious and absorbed I would ask him often to help himself to the basket of food I had with me, full of spicy and juicy sausage and egg omelets my friend Lisa prepared and packed for us. Or wire my eyes to the silver moon slowly penetrating subterfuge fertile fields, glimpsed on orbits of gentle hilled coast and pretend to be half aware that he exists or that I have been moved by emotions and the awakened sensation I felt had often lead me to visions my own.
Of which I had not been aware existed. However, how shall I describe the stimulating buzz session that was to follow. As a talker Amedeo was furtively moving on the stage and talking plenitude and my girlfriends who never take any way out, however thinly held, began the spat between them.
Fay my friend argued well and slowly, picking up the baits from underneath:
“No other man before him saw better the evils that men inflict on each other,
Karl Marx could not be more religious, he has truly embodied the essence of Supreme Good, the doctrine of Incarnation, in fact hasn’t he liberated religions? Rescued religions from barbarism? Didn’t he also believe in nature and the importance of working together with nature?”
“No.” I heard Amedeo profess. “Though he might have done the best to meet this challenge, given that our spirit continues to realize itself in the sphere of history and continual relation to nature. Marx however, and Hegel, continue to limit the role of nature and actually believe in man taking full and complete control of nature. Marx never argues of the necessity and means to control nature, as technology has obviously proven to be the most successful economical apparatus to overcome poverty. What he does argue in his book is the control of the few over the mass, of people restricted and unable to elevate themselves to the class elite. Of he mass that has become the tool. The dead organism, the diabolic machine”
“Yes, I like that. It has truth. I agree socialism was intended to liberate the conditions of enslavement. Conditions, which because of an industrial revolution and of capitalism were created, but I think Marx says man and nature should not be alienated and cut off
From one another.”
“He was particularly concerned about the very enslaved and why not?” Fay put in.
“Remove the tools... the apparatus…” it was difficult to interrupt the flow “the opulence... and possessions... from the few lucky ones who have become corrupt and despotic and then place them under social control for the availability of all humankind. Aren’t people better than objects of exploitation?” He spread his hands and then ruffled that unruly hair once again before answering his own question.
“Certainly and it is indeed a wonderful and Utopist vision to wish that man, degraded…
Humiliated by manual labor... enslaved and alienated by class... advance to economical
Apparatus and the wealth belonging only to the few privileged “
So began with Amedeo the first tentative and strange inventions to courting...
Once he had begun to stimulate our attention, he rapidly found the response so
Enticing he seemed eager to establish beyond doubt all that he knew. By Marxism
As he conceived it, political philosophy could never incarnate mystical beliefs nor establish itself effectively in the political sphere.
“The world is orderly and perfect,” he maintained, as an old recipe for human happiness
He recognized that if humankind wished to understand and be made to be witness to the truth everything should be acknowledged. Just as everybody’s function in this universe has to be. Just as some things are as immutable as the fixed stars and planets sweeping across equal areas in equal time about the sun and that everything that is and exists has a right to be and a function. Like the atoms in cells essential to the function of an organism each operate a role and unique purpose. Some men distinguish themselves
Above others. That too is being in proportion and in relation to this world around him. Even the very smallest of men or a man with the most trivial occupation in life is capable and can attain happiness, can succeed in life to the fullest... Marx though the last of supremely great political philosophers suggests we renounce individual happiness. Sacrifice for the sake of the mass and in so doing forget freedom, and the free choice that is so sacred to man. Moreover, we heard him speak further of men’s impossibility to be able to talk for themselves of human condition and tragedies as we also watched clouds ascend to the horizon of a red sunset and violet twilight along the coast. Yes, I often think back on that night of travel and all the wonderful emotions he was able to stir. I think about how the intellectual rapture often lead me to gaze above at the most dazzling sun still in collision with the moon and Amedeo’s eyes and that seemed to follow me, his soothing voice as it were climbing in the domed sky playing on rotating alternating clouds
From the indigo of the blue sea, I remember Amedeo in the dimming light of the day
As it were, a reflection in flight his voice like chromatic symphony continues to present at the base of these colors in a complete composition of light and sound.
The dread with which I had awaited his letter was a clear symptom that I was experiencing a sensation and a completely sentiment to which I was accustomed to.
Wonderful things began to happen when I began reading his letter, words just flowed within in the deep of my soul, a river of sweetness and anguish assail me each time
I came to the end of the letter:
“I wrote earlier that I remember you with much liking, very true , I remember with a motion of pleasure and a smile you and that cordial and romantic night of travel. I will
Surely remember it as the most beautiful and pleasant trip of my life, and if you promise
Not to mistake me for the common silly Italian parrot (it would hurt me) I confess that in more than one occasion I have been tempted to embrace you, caress and kiss you such was the tenderness that you inspired. Do not accuse me of lightness or the usual Italian thing I am simply referring to you that which the instinct had suggested I do. It was a nice sensation because it was wonderful and spontaneous and it is something that does not happen to me often and for this reason, I remember it well. If this offends your sensitivity or other I apologize, the intention was not to upset you. It was a beautiful thing, created and caused by the natural and healthy grace you express so I have wanted to return it to you….”
For my sake, learning that Amedeo had understood all that I would have wanted to convey to him he that he had been as surprised and astounded, feeling that something had began to happen in our lives filled my heart with gladness. The certainty that he had inside what I had and that we were both on the same island filled my heart with so much love and excitement that my life without him had suddenly appeared tedious.
To read his letters was to hear poetry for the first time, to hear his voice on the telephone everyday for me always reason of profound emotion and immeasurable joy, it was to hear for the first time the harmony of my own soul. We would talk for hours just as one would with a person that has become an integrant part of our being. In every thought and motion he began to be a integrant part of me infinitely marvelously extraordinarily I fell
In love with him that I could not even, tolerate the idea of having to go on living without him.
In some other time and from someone else’s lips these words might have sounded absurd and for literature, in some other instance I would have probably started to laugh, so much I would have thought him an ass instead I heard bells ringing, I heard music:
“Marvelous sweetness you have brought in, I thank you and bow at your gentle power.
It is miracle; it is beauty that what has been born inside me…
“Don’t grieve Natalia,” he said” don’t grieve. I love you. I need you. I need you more now because I know I’m no longer inaccessible strength, inviolable and fierce, now that I have you inside I know I wouldn’t have to hate myself anymore. Don’t show me fears,
I am the way you hear me and will feel me. I want to have you close to me, your soul, your Self-confidence, your calm maturity. I am feeling something that I do not recognize and it is wonderful to let myself go and be transported on wings of your poetry. It’s beautiful, so much more so that for so many reasons, my life, a life such as my own always grounded and resting on the most pitiless and ruthless rationality, but now that I have found you, you are the most precious goodness I possess, now that I have discovered you I don’t want to be, moreover, neither can be the same as before. You are the universe of infinite sentiments and I thank you a thousand more times because you have removed me from a rigid immobility…”
Words have strange sounds, they are cold and impersonal, warm and sweet, weak and
Powerful, exaggerated but never adherent to reality, in this case they do not say how deeply touched I was, enraptured by the power of love. Amedeo had but one fault he so very far away and that soon was to become agony, the cause of misery and melancholia.
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