Today marks my first two weeks in self-isolation.
A long time ago I decided I was going to be happy no matter what the circumstances were. It’s a promise I made to myself after having spent years worrying to reach some goal that somehow would have changed the way I feel about life in general. It never dawned on me that happiness is not the by-product of an external factor but rather something that springs spontaneously from within. I guess it’s part of a spiritual path everyone has to walk sooner or later.
So rather than worrying about the bad news (after all good news is no news as they say) I’d like to share with you some positive aspects of my self-imposed quarantine. Not that it should change the way you feel about all that it’s happening a tiny bit, but at least you get to hear a positive whisper in the mid of screaming tragedies.
Let me start with the fact that, unlike a tons of people living in big cities out there, I’m very lucky for I live in the countryside. Actually, I live in minuscule hamlet of 300 souls on the top of the hills between the district of Turin and the district of Asti, in Piedmont. You could say I have lived in self-isolation for almost 3 years now. The only thing that makes the news here is wild-boars. There’s a lot of them, especially in the summer. Apart from that the place is completely bare, no bars, no restaurants, nothing. A month ago you would have said this is a desolate God-forbidden place but right now it’s paradise.
For one thing I can take long walks and see not a soul around.
I have memories of my father (he passed out in 2014) telling me countless of time how living in the countryside was much better in times of war. He was 12 years old when WWII ended. Usually I shrugged off those remarks as looney talk but boy was he right. Sorry dad.
At the moment I have food, nature, good health, and lots of time – springtime is just a few days away, days are getting longer, birds are tweeting like crazy. On top of that I live in the best era mankind has ever seen. Apart from the fact I have the Internet, our technological society as a whole has made incredible advances.
Keep calm and carry on
Just compare what is happening right now to the Spanish flu of 1918, today we are able to speak about the idea of coming up with a vaccine. I don’t care if it is 1 year or 3 years away but just the fact we can conceive the ‘idea’ of finding a vaccine, i.e. that this lies in the realm of possibilities, is an incredible difference between what is happening now and what occurred 100 years ago. So yes, the situation is bad but humanity has passed through much worse, we’ve just forgotten about it.
Having said that after the storm has passed (which sooner or later will) the world will look much different. It is the end of the world, but only the end of the world as we know it. Apart from new lifestyles (which will have a certain influence on theatre and the entertainment business in general) a new World Order will emerge out of all of this.
In my next post I will dwell on what the future may be like in the medium and long-term. However, I want to leave you a taste of what is going to come (***spoiler alert***) China will become the hegemonic power of the world overtaking the US in the moral lead.
The fact that, in Italy, we are receiving at this moment millions of masks, ventilators, and technical expertise from the Chinese will leave a mark for at least a generation in the mind of millions of people. Life goes on, and politics goes on as well. When it comes to diplomacy Chinese are playing bridge while Americans seem to have clumsily forgotten the basic rules.
Enough about the future though, as the curtains are closing on the old world we used to know, ready to open once again after this long intermission and stage before us the wonders of the new world, let us concentrate on the present.
The present for the unemployed theatre actor and producer
… to be continued