Scatta, modifica, pubblica

Li osservavo, mentre indaffarati si precipitavano giornalmente su ciò che aveva attirato la loro attenzione.
O meglio, su ciò che pareva essere diventato l’unico motivo per il quale vivere.
La condivisione della propria quotidianità con il mondo della rete.
Si affannavano a scattarsi fotografie e a mostrarsi felici e completi. Il picco di questo impegno lo si notava durante le feste.
Immagini di famiglie sedute a tavola, di gite fuori porta o di radunate tra amici per passare quella festività insieme.
Una valanga di scatti, foto e video. Ogni creazione accompagnata da una frase banale e ripetitiva che la si ritrovava nel profilo di qualcun altro.

Il processo era sempre il medesimo: posizionati, sorridi, scatta e controlla. Riposizionati, sorridi di nuovo, scatta e ricontrolla. Così fino a quando il risultato catturato dalla fotocamera era abbastanza finto da sembrare perfetto. Per raggiungere il livello estetico più alto i social network mettevano a disposizione programmi per modificare le foto. Una volta raggiunto l’apice della bellezza, l’ultima e la più importante delle azioni: pubblica.

Pubblica la tua foto finta che utilizzi per far sembrare la tua vita felice.
Pubblica e condividi tutto ciò che fai con persone che fingono di interessarsi a te.
Scatta, modifica, pubblica.
Fallo di nuovo.
Poi di nuovo ancora.
Continua così fino all’infinito.

Li osservavo e ridevo.
Mi lasciava senza parole l’impegno che impiegavano nel scattarsi una foto e la cura maniacale nel ritoccarla.
Ogni tanto giocavo a prenderli in giro. Commentavo qualche contenuto, facevo un paio di complimenti e nelle risposte vedevo questa esplosione di felicità. Ci credevano davvero alle mie parole.
Quando mi divertivo. Erano così tristi e frustrati, ma non se ne sarebbero mai accorti.
Avrei voluto essere come loro, riuscire a impegnarmi in quella maniera in azioni tanto futili.

Gezim Qadraku

Annunci

Lettere d’autunno

È arrivato l’autunno.
Le temperature stanno diminuendo.
Piove sempre più frequentemente.
Il grigio colora la quotidianità di ogni persona, con qualche accompagnamento di diverse tonalità di marrone, arancione e rosso, delle foglie che abbandonano i rami.

Ho appena finito di mangiare, sto lavando le stoviglie. Lascio che l’acqua calda mi cada sulle mani mentre il pc riproduce musica mediorientale.
Le note portano la mia mente altrove, lontano dalla stanza di venti metri quadri che mi fa da casa da un anno. Un posto nel quale, finalmente, dopo ventisei anni, mi sento a casa. Che roba strana la vita.

Il mio pensiero va a te. Mi chiedo cosa tu stia facendo, cos’hai mangiato stasera, come procedono le tue lezioni. Ripeto le parole che mi hai scritto nell’ultima lettera.
Abbiamo deciso di andare avanti così, scrivendoci delle lettere, inviandocele per posta. Stiamo imparando ad apprezzare l’attesa, un foglio di carta e il tempo che uno continua a dedicare all’altra nonostante la distanza.

L’acqua calda mi dà sempre più sollievo. Sono un tipo freddoloso e ora me ne andrei volentieri in letargo. Mentre passo la spugna sulla pentola penso a cosa potrei scriverti. Per un attimo vorrei non doverlo fare più.
Vorrei fossi qui.
Vorrei condividere questo piccolo spazio con te, ascoltare questa musica con te.
Preparare da mangiare per due.
Condividere il letto con te.

Ti scriverò questo nella prossima lettera.
Ti scriverò che vorrei tu fossi qui.

Gezim Qadraku

Muri

Quando decidi di costruirti un muro attorno ti senti ricordare il solito monito: “fai attenzione a ciò che lasci fuori”. Chiunque nella sua vita abbia optato per questa soluzione, lo ha fatto perché ha sentito un grande bisogno di isolarsi. E se una persona decide di abbracciare la solitudine, lo fa perché non vede altre strade percorribili.

Esattamente come coloro che scelgono di lasciare il proprio paese ed emigrare, cercando un futuro migliore da qualche altre parte. Stare da soli non è facile. Farlo per davvero intendo. C’è chi scappa e non ha bisogno del muro. Semplicemente va a vivere lontano da tutto e tutti. Oppure ci sono quelli che rimangono, ma iniziano a mettere su mattone sopra mattone, lasciando fuori tutto quello che reputano dannoso.

A volte si finisce per considerare dannoso ciò che fino a poco tempo prima si pensava parte fondamentale della proprio vita. Sono convinto che tutti abbiano iniziato a prendere in considerazione la solitudine nel momento in cui si sono accorti di non essere ascoltati. Abbiamo tutti bisogno di confidarci, di esprimere le nostre paure, di condividere le nostre gioie con qualcuno.

Smettiamo di farlo quando ci rendiamo conto che nessuno ci ascolta. Quando chi ci sta attorno ci chiede perché facciamo una determinata cosa, ci domanda che percorso di studi abbiamo scelto – dopo averglielo ripetuto migliaia di volte – quando chi dice di volerci bene e di essere pronto a fare qualunque cosa per noi e non riesce nemmeno a ricordarsi la data del nostro compleanno se la togliamo dai social network. Mentre chi solitamente non si sente ascoltato ricorda ogni dettaglio importante della vita degli altri. 

Se dici di voler bene a qualcuno, di amare una persona, ti ricordi tutto di lei. Palahniuk ha scritto che la gente ci chiede come abbiamo passato il weekend solo perché vogliono raccontarci il loro.

E così quel monito iniziale non fa più alcuna paura.
Si è pronti a lasciare fuori il più possibile da quel muro.
Col passare del tempo ci si accorge di essere soli.
Prima lo si accetta e prima si inizia a vivere per davvero.

Gezim Qadraku

Ti ho cercata

Ti ho cercata tutta notte
Ho sognato soltanto te
Ci siamo incontrati nei sogni, come succede da tanto tempo
Ti rincorrevo e tu continuavi a scappare

Volevo parlarti
Non so cosa avessi da dirti di preciso
Correvo più forte che potevo
Ma tu eri sempre più veloce

Ho aperto gli occhi e ho continuato a cercarti
Nel letto non c’eri
Non ci sono più tracce di te
La stanza odora della tua assenza

È un odore atroce, non è rimasto niente del tuo profumo
Ne è passato di tempo
Avrei dovuto abituarmi della tua assenza, ormai
Ma come faccio a dimenticarmi di te?

Gezim Qadraku

I wrote a book

“You look much better, you know?
Last time you were destroyed.”
“We met here after my story with Erika was over, right?”
“Yes, exactly. Now that I think about it, it seems like an eternity has passed.
What have you been doing all this time?”
“I wrote a book.”
“Excuse me?”
“You got it right.”
“My God, that’s wonderful. And what it is about?”
“About her.
About me.
About us.
How my life could have been with her by my side.”

Gezim Qadraku

 

Happiness

While watching the mixture of colours that painted the sky, I reminded of the passage of a book I had read some time ago. I didn’t exactly remember the words the author had used, but he described the magic of being happy and being able to see it.
It rarely happens if you think about it.
Unhappiness or wrong time is more and more outrageous than a good time.
In those moments, I realized that I could never forget that period.
That was one of those days when you prayed that they might last for eternity.
It was still a matter of minutes before people finished their working day and clogged the streets.
It seemed that the little nature still present in the city was enjoying its last breath, before witnessing the usual race of human beings.
It was still winter according to the calendar, but the heat of the sun’s rays gave the feeling that spring wanted to start its course earlier.
Everything seemed to be dressed in the indescribable colour of the sky, a pinkish-orange that left you breathless.
There was no doubt that it would have been a perfect sunset.
I went out for a walk after a warm and endless regenerating shower. I used to feel the chills of cold when I went out at that time, especially after washing. But that day was divine. The light spring jacket proved to be the right choice. I walked without a real destination, letting myself be hit by the sun’s rays and trying to enjoy the sounds of what was around me. Children crying, birds chirping, and the breeze caressing my hair.

The best thing to do was to find a view from the top of the city. I wanted to be in the highest possible place to enjoy the goodbye of the sun and the arrival of darkness.
I was delighted at that time, and the funny thing is that there was no specific reason. For years, as I think everyone, I had mistakenly connected happiness to a goal, to a person or always to something.
That was definitely the happiest period of my life, even though I was far from all that was most dear to me. Yet I didn’t care about anything or anyone anymore. For the first time, I liked the person I was looking at in the mirror.
It was inexplicable happiness that no one could have understood. I didn’t waste time trying to share it. I remembered Oscar Wilde’s words, he wrote that when he liked someone, he didn’t reveal her/his name out because of jealousy.
I did the same with that part of my life, I didn’t show it to anyone and tried to enjoy it until the last drop.
I remember one detail of those moments, I always looked up.
I stared at the sky and tried to touch the stars.
I was happy, and everything seemed to be possible.

Gezim Qadraku

 

Direction nowhere

First days of May, but looking at people’s clothing it seems like late autumn. You can still see scarves and woolen hats.
Today is an odious day. Unceasing rain and biting wind. The classic to spend in the living room under the blankets, eating until you can’t eat any more while watching some useless program on television.

Instead, I am in this small village in southern Germany. I arrived a couple of minutes ago and the next train is in an exact hour. I have a tour of circumspection and I realize that the station is equipped only with a library and a bar. That’s all.

I enter the bar and order an espresso. The waiter asks me if I want to drink it “at the window“. That would be the series of tables arranged with a view to the outside, the parking of the station, or in a more secluded area at the bottom of the room.

I opt for “the window“. I don’t want to miss such a view. I take my place and observe the combination of colors of the chairs and tables. Light green and brown. I like it. It gives me the idea of a split between new and old. I sip the espresso with some fear, but I am happily surprised. It’s not bad at all. Perhaps low expectations play an important role in the judgment. I take out of my backpack the book I’m reading: “The sympathizer“, the Pulitzer Prize of 2015.

I read in a language that is not my native one and live in a country where another language is spoken. I’ve gone so far as to handle four idioms with enough ease. One never knows how many goals can reach. Between one line and the next, I let myself be distracted by the people who arrive at the station. I look up more and more often and enjoy the spectacle of everyday life. I look at people and try to guess their lives. It’s an exercise I’ve been doing since I was a child.
I created stories in my mind starting from reality because it has never been enough for me. Meanwhile, a young girl, too young, running with a stroller attracts my attention. I always wonder what motivates people to have children while they are in what is undoubtedly the best age. She enters the station and disappears in a blink of an eye.

Meanwhile, a stream of teenagers enter and leave the station like ants. I look at their faces and the way they are dressed. It reminds me of the importance I gave to the appearance when I was their age and the total disinterest I felt in school. As I resume the reading I feel a man behind me ordering something speaking in Italian. He knows the waiter. The two of them exchange a couple of jokes. I like the feeling I get when I understand someone who speaks a language other than the local one and this does not have the faintest idea that there is an unknown person around who can understand it. It gives me a feeling of power and control.

I have always needed to keep everything under control. Especially when I’m in a public place I don’t know. I keep reading while I keep my headphones, but all I really do is check the situation around me. I hear a gentleman asking the waiter where the sugar is. I have it. The cashier I assume points towards me and I hear the man moving to my direction. He touches my shoulder and, almost embarrassed, asks me if he can take the sugar. I pretend to fall from the pear tree and play the part. I am one step ahead, I have always been one step ahead. Nothing catches me unprepared. It is impossible to surprise me, I always know what happens, especially if they are people I know. People have become so predictable today that there is nothing interesting about establishing relationships. You only need to go around every social profile to have an almost perfect knowledge of an individual. And then they’re all so interested and focused on themselves. No one observes or tries to understand who is around them. They are impressed when you tell them the smallest details after a short conversation and they don’t understand how you were able to understand them so clearly. It’s so easy for me, a kind of hobby I’d say.

I keep reading, along with pauses to observe people outside.
I like it. For a moment I think I could live in the stations. That wouldn’t be a bad idea since all I need to do to work is my laptop and a Wi-Fi connection. I check the clock and I realize that forty minutes have passed. In twenty minutes I have the train. In ten minutes I get off the table.

I close the book and start to think about my next destination. A town in the south-east of Germany, on the border with Austria. A new reality, new people to know and stories to tell, at least I hope. I don’t know what I could call this period of my life.
As I get up, the words of Ghemon in the song “Voci nella testa” come to mind.
A rhyme says: “direction I don’t know well“.
I modify it, I could call this precise moment of my existence “direction nowhere“.
I don’t know where I’m going, but that’s okay.

Gezim Qadraku.

Coffee time

I remember that at that time I got into this habit of writing a list of the things I wanted to do during the day.
I had read a few motivational books and everyone suggested that I should have written down my daily schedule as soon as I woke up and then, before going to bed, mark out all the activities that I had been able to do.
It gives extra motivation, they explained. When you go home and check how many things you were able to do you feel a sense of pride towards yourself. Otherwise, it is still a useful tool for understanding how to organize your day.
It was a time when I woke up really early every morning, practiced Yoga, trained before going to work and I had totally changed my diet. Habits light-years away from my past everyday life.

After meeting her, I started to leave a space between my activities for her. We met each other in the office corridors. She worked two floors above mine, but very often she had to go down. One day she needed to talk to me and it was a great excuse to take a break and have a coffee. Just the time for a short chat and that became a routine.
“Coffee?” and we met somewhere, with these pauses that began to grow longer and longer. And everything became more and more interesting. She, her ways of doing things, her habits and her shyness that never disappeared. I immediately mentioned to her that I should have soon left that office. My skills were needed by our employees in another city.

Moving to work, something I’d always loved. A point that probably played in my favor during the interview job. I had given my full willingness to move and move periodically.
But in those days, the only thing I wanted to do was go back and no longer give that availability.
I understood why I’d always wanted to move so much.
I had never had a reason to stay in a place before.
I realized that I never thought that I could have missed someone.
I had never told anyone, saying goodbye to them, “I’ll miss you”.
The time had come and I just didn’t know how to handle it.
I would have missed her. That was not much but sure.
I still missed her before I left, I missed her even though I saw her every day and I hoped that every second with her would last forever.
Although we knew that nothing more would come, it was still something. A new feeling that had upset my everyday life.

It was fine in those moments.
We were not the kind of people who need to talk to understand each other and this had brought us closer from the beginning, as all those people who at least once in their lives have been silent with someone for a series of minutes without feeling uncomfortable can well understand.
Without feeling that terrible feeling of having to say something.
It happens rarely, with few people, and it’s right.
We went on for a period that now seems infinite to me – on second thought – but at the time I felt a blink of an eye. Until I told her because, in the end, the things have to be said. And you have to do it by looking people in the eyes. Which was easier for me with her. I felt comfortable looking at her, I felt safe inside her pupils.

It’s never enough” I confessed to her, stroking an eyebrow and losing myself for the umpteenth time in her eyes.
What?” she asked me, in a surprising and curious tone.
The time with you!“I replied, smiling.
Somehow trying to show her how happy it was to be with her.

Gezim Qadraku.

Il tempo di un caffè

Ricordo che in quel periodo mi ero preso questa abitudine di scrivermi la lista delle cose che desideravo fare durante la giornata.
Avevo letto un po’ di libri motivazionali e tutti suggerivano di mettere per iscritto il proprio programma quotidiano appena svegli e poi, prima di andare a dormire, segnare tutte le attività che si era stati in grado di svolgere.

Da’ una motivazione in più, spiegavano. Quando torni a casa e controlli quante cose sei riuscito a fare, in caso positivo, provi un senso di fierezza nei tuoi confronti. In caso contrario rimane comunque uno strumento utile per capire come organizzare la propria giornata.
Era un periodo nel quale mi svegliavo veramente presto ogni mattina, praticavo lo Yoga, mi allenavo prima di andare al lavoro e avevo totalmente cambiato la mia alimentazione. Abitudini lontane anni luce dalla mia passata quotidianità.

Dopo averla incontrata iniziai a lasciare sempre uno spazio vuoto tra le attività per lei. Ci conoscemmo tra i corridoi degli uffici. Lavorava due piani sopra al mio, ma molto spesso era costretta a scendere. Un giorno necessitava di parlare proprio con me e fu un’ottima scusa per fare una pausa e prenderci un caffè. Giusto il tempo di una breve chiacchierata e quella diventò una routine.

Caffè?” e ci si incontrava da qualche parte, con queste pause che iniziarono ad allungarsi sempre di più. E tutto diventava sempre più interessante. Lei, i suoi modi di fare, le sue abitudini e la sua timidezza che non ne sapeva di voler sparire. Le accennai che a breve me ne sarei dovuto andare dal quell’ufficio. Dall’alto mi avevano fatto sapere che le mie capacità servivano a dei nostri collaboratori in un’altra città.

Trasferirsi per lavoro, una cosa che avevo sempre amato. Un punto che probabilmente aveva giocato a mio favore durante il colloquio. Avevo dato la mia piena disponibilità nel muovermi e spostarmi periodicamente.

In quei giorni però, l’unica cosa che volevo fare era tornare indietro e non dare più quella disponibilità.
Capii perché avevo sempre avuto così tanta voglia di muovermi.
Non avevo mai avuto un motivo per fermarmi in un posto.
Mi accorsi che non mi era mai successo di pensare che una persona mi sarebbe potuta mancare.
Non l’avevo mai detto a nessuno, salutandolo: “mi mancherai“.
Era arrivato il momento e non sapevo proprio come gestirlo.
Avrei sentito la sua mancanza. Questo era poco ma sicuro.
Mi mancava ancora prima andarmene, mi mancava nonostante la vedessi ogni giorno e speravo che ogni secondo con lei potesse durare per sempre.
Nonostante fossimo coscienti che non ne sarebbe scaturito nulla di più, era comunque qualcosa. Un sentimento nuovo che mi aveva scombussolato la quotidianità.

Si stava bene in quegli attimi.
Non eravamo quel tipo di persone che hanno bisogno di parlare per capirsi e questo ci aveva avvicinati sin da subito, come lo possono ben comprendere tutte quelle persone che almeno una volta nella vita sono stati in silenzio con qualcuno per una serie di minuti senza sentirsi a disagio.
Senza provare quella terribile sensazione di dover per forza dire qualcosa.
Capita raramente, con poche persone, ed è giusto così.

Andammo avanti per un periodo che ora mi sembra infinito – ripensandoci – ma all’epoca mi parve un battito di ciglia. Finché non glielo dissi, perché alla fine poi le cose bisogna dirle. E bisogna farlo guardando negli occhi le persone. Cosa che con lei mi riusciva più semplice. Mi trovavo a mio agio guardandola, mi sentivo al sicuro dentro alle sue pupille.

Non è mai abbastanza” le confessai, accarezzandole un sopracciglio e perdendomi per l’ennesima volta nei suoi occhioni.
Cosa?” mi domandò lei, con un tono sorpreso e curioso.
Il tempo con te!“replicai io, sorridendo.
Cercando in qualche modo di mostrarle quanto stare con lei mi rendeva felice.

Gezim Qadraku.

Which war?

There was war in Kosovo and I was in first grade.
There was war, but I didn’t know.
I never heard that word at home.
Yet our people died.
My grandfather died in those days and other relatives of mine.
My mother lost a part of herself forever.
And I didn’t notice anything.

There was war in my country and yet my life continued.
I went to school and training.
I used to play in the park with my classmates.
I used to watch cartoons, do my homework and who knows what I dreamed of becoming.
Maybe the astronaut or maybe a footballer.

There was war, but I didn’t know it.
My parents watched the news secretly.
They talked in a low voice with their relatives.
They were hiding everything from me.
They didn’t show the pain that was destroying them.

Then the war ended and we returned to Kosovo.
We entered a house I didn’t know about.
There was my grandmother, uncle, aunt, and my cousins.
My grandfather wasn’t there.
Maybe he is gone somewhere, I thought.
But then everyone began to cry and I understood.
I didn’t ask for anything because I immediately understood what had happened.
I had seen the damages the war had done after we got off the plane.
I had seen the houses destroyed by the flames, the marks of the bullets on the buildings, the streets full of holes, the faces of the people.
I was seeing the war now.
Now that it was over.

There had been war and I hadn’t noticed it.
Now that room full of people seemed to be the emptiest place that existed.
The walls were completely white and empty.
The furniture was ugly.
The people were sad.
No one laughed.
The smell of death was still there.
There had been war and it had ruined our lives, but I hadn’t noticed.

There had been war and I hadn’t seen my parents suffer.
They had hidden everything.
They had not shown the slightest pain.
Then I understood how much they loved me.
I told myself that I should have done the same with the people I loved.
I should have only shown them the happy part and never the sad part.
I should have never told them how much I was suffering.
I understood that that way I would have only made them feel bad too and I would have never forgiven myself.

There had been war and my parents had kept it all inside.
They had unwittingly taught me how to handle pain.
Crying inside.
To always show the smile.
Not asking for help.
To say that everything is fine.
There was war, but I didn’t know it.

Gezim Qadraku.

(Wikiwand Images)