There a million roles we play everyday, daughter, brother, husband, wife, worker, friend, lover, and the list goes on and on. But sometimes I find my job or role is just to cheer someone up, or listen to an old lady on the phone as she complains about the changes in her world, or let a little kid make me laugh. All day long we have opportunities to lift people’s spirits and allow them to lift ours. By allowing this to happen I feel pulled into the larger energy of the world around me. I’ve been reading Quiet Chaos by Sandro Veronesi and falling in love with his beautiful sentences. He gives the feeling of serenity amid the most chaotic experiences. In this particular moment, two brothers are about to save two women drowning off the Mediterranean coast.
The minutes that follow take place in a kind of high-voltage trance in which my only sensation is of unity with my brother: the questions about what happened, the lifeless old man on the beach, the blond man trying to resuscitate him, the desperation of two children crying, “Mamma!,” the dismayed faces of people pointing fingers at the sea, two little heads bobbing between the waves, and no one taking action. Standing out from the frenzied stasis is Carlo’s gaze: blue, intense, filled with a boundless kinetic energy. His gaze says that, for some inarguable reason, it’s up to us to rescue those two poor souls and that, in reality, it’s as if we already had, yes, as if the whole business were already over and we brothers were already heroes to that rabble of strangers, because we’re extraordinary aquatic creatures, we are, we’re the sons of Poseidon, and to save human lives we can tame the waves now just as easily as we tamed them earlier on the surfboards. Not to mention that nobody else seems capable of doing a thing.