I’m writing down on the first page of every book I read, the date I will never forget, I’m writing down COVID-19, and I’m sure my memory in the future won’t need any explanation.
A Pandemic was declared by the WHO (World Health Organization), we are all forced to stay at home, to go out only to obtain essential goods or for medical emergencies; some people think it’s a plot, they believe that Covid-19 is a biological weapon, instead other people believe in science. Of course we know that nature is rebelling, it is stopping us in its own way, the global pollution is decreasing, we can read it in the maps by NASA; there are no cars around the cities, the industrial plants are closed together with the factories and the workplaces. The impact of this forced quarantine showed in few weeks a clear climate improvement. It is like a punishment from above to which we must obey. A chain which passes also in the houses and among the relatives, we feel the lack of people that we could see before and now we are not allowed to see, no hugs, no kisses, only virtual images which we will begin to hate after too much time of addiction. We dream about a coffee with a friend, a journey with a mate, a walk in the city center; we start desiring people who are dear to us, finally giving them the right weight because before we were too busy to run from an office to another.
Now we have a great opportunity and resource: time. It allows us to know ourselves and elevate to noble things. So, let’s start learning.
Here a small list of the endless things we can do during this bittersweet quarantine.
Ten things to do during this bittersweet quarantine:
1. Read the tale “Voce di bambù fiori di pesco” by Yasunari Kawabata.
There are no more suitable words in this moment to narrate the relationship between man and nature. A tale-hope to the illumination.
Kawata is certainly an author who is able to describe this indescribable. Read this tale in the silence of your rooms. It will help you.
2. Train your mind with “il giro della mente in 80 test”, a scientific book with nice psychological tests which will measure your intelligence. If you are lucky you can do it with your relatives, and you will have fun to nourish your brain health.
3. Cook good and healthy things, and if you are unable, it’s the moment to learn!
In “Il grande ricettario” by Gualtiero Marchesi, the chef’s bible, you will find more than 1200 Italian recipes revisited by the great Master of Culinary art. You are always in time to cook “trippa alla Fiorentina” and play and vote with the diners like in “4 ristoranti”.
4. Speaking of cooking, Philippe Daverio, popular art critic but also good eater, shows and explains us the birth of good habits at the table in “A pranzo con l’arte” by Rizzoli. Did you know that the habit to eat outdoor comes from the golden age of King Louis XV? He picnicked during the game hunting and he ate the food which was cooked before by the chefs of the Court, such as Arancino, an invention of the chef Federico II of Svevia in Sicily. With Philippe Daverio you never stop learning while having fun.
5. Write a sort of “logbook”, pages that tell your mood and the events of these days. Take some of your time to go down to the darkest and most hidden side of yourself and turn on a light. With each passing day, you will illuminate the whole house.
6. Write a letter to the person you love. Love has infinite forms, the recipient can be a friend, your mother, your sister; turn your thoughts into words because words have a strong force. Everything you don’t say because of your shyness or cultural legacies, color it on a blank sheet with lovely and kind words. It will be good for you, for your relationships, it will be honey for your heart.
7. Start a course on calligraphy. The volume “Lettering creative ma non solo” introduces you to the art of calligraphy. You will come back to the ABC as the first day of primary school but with the objective to turn your “doctor writing” into a “geisha writing”. Only then you will be able to bag the poetry of desperate love and stamp it with a sealing wax (obviously red and with your initials). Writing in a silk robe, with a quill on the coiffeuse of your bedroom will inspire you a lot.
8. Do something you always postpone. Very often we find excuses because we are lazy, insecure, listless, because we don’t think we can do it, because we are scared of changes, results and judgments. Let Covid-19 and fears outside your door and abandon your own dreams: the book you have never written, the photo you have never taken, the words you have never pronounced. Let yourself go and follow the wave of impulsivity, at least now. Do it.
9. Taking care of your body helps the mind to be freer and more reactive; never take it for granted. Prepare a warm bath with half a cup of bicarbonate and ten drops of Oil31, a miraculous mixture which is good for every ailment. Bicarbonate is anti-fatigue, relaxing and tonifying; Oil31 instead is antibacterial, painkiller and antirheumatic. While you are immersed, you can listen to “Tristano e Isotta” by Wagner and sip that 2012 Barolo Docg which you were guarding for a special moment. That moment has come.
10. Watch all the filmography of Wong Kar-wai. A lesson of grace, sublime photography and Chinese poetry. Master of erotic art and romantic sentimentalism his women are beautiful and ambiguous. The atmospheres of his movies, nocturnal and dreamlike, hot like an oil lamp, the main characters, slippery as paper lamps.
In my opinion, one of the greater filmmakers alive.
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