The fascination of this place
is not about what there is
but about what is missing.

This is not a cliché.

May 2015

03 May 2015

From Ischia to Corvara under a single sky

Is the sky always the same? When I see only grey from the windows of our spacious breakfast rooms, I say to myself, “No, it is not always the same”. But when it is blue coming in from the windows, then I say to myself, “Yes, maybe we do all live under the same sky”. We are not divided between north and south and, most of all, the distance separating mountains and sea seems much smaller.
“Everyone thinks that the sea is one thing and the mountains another, but this is not so.”
Over the centuries, we began distinguishing between north and south for reasons of navigation. Following the stars. North Star and Southern Cross. The sailors were the ones to read the sky. And we never stopped doing it. When it is blue out there surrounding the mountains, these mountains that are by now my own, like the reefs of my island, I can see that it is the same blue that caresses my sea: a blue that starts out light and then, as the hours pass by, gets more intense. And then it gets light again before darkening to a deep midnight blue, like in the famous song by a well-known Ladin singer. Ok, I am starting to ramble a little. Of course, it is when everything here is blue that I feel closest to my island. I see it peeking out from behind the Sassongher and I want to show it to everyone who happens to be there in the room having breakfast: “Take a look over there, that's Ischia down there, can you see it? It is so beautiful! How can you not see it?”  Then I smile and think about the line from the song by the great Neapolitan singer Pino Daniele: “Je so pazzo”. Always makes me smile. 
So many songs have been dedicated to the blue of the sky, but the most famous one in Italian is probably the one by Paolo Conte, made famous by Celentano. Sometimes I think that the magic of songs is spread through the light of the sky. This is the only way to explain how you can like a melody “regardless”, as Totò would say. And again, music, like the colour blue, brings the mountains and the sea closer together. Everyone thinks that the sea is one thing and the mountains another. But no, that is just something that we want to believe. The sea and the mountains play the same music: the music of beauty. This is why they have so many similarities. When you are at the top of a mountain, what do you see? A wondrous and boundless expanse of sky. And when you are in a boat out in the middle of the water, what do you see? A wondrous and boundless expanse of sky. And so the sky is our roof, wherever we are. And the sky is what brings the world closer. Of course, between mountains and sea the difference is in the state of things: liquid and solid. And in the liquid, we find fish, and in the solid, mountain goats. But think of this: when you are looking at the surface of the sea, when it is placid and calm and clear, and you note the ripples of the waves, what do you see? Lots of reflections, a sparkle that never fails to enchant me. And if you look up close at the rocks shining in the sun, what do you see? The same sparkle, scattering in the wind. But I am not trying to convince you that the mountains and the sea are the same thing. Not at all. What they have, however, is the same fascination, the same magic: they both speak the language of the heart. I know, I know, now you are saying, “Here is the typical sentimental type, all heart and soul”. But no, no, let me tell you something true: there is a little bit of the Mediterranean up here, I feel it, I smell it, I see it. And when I am looking at the sky from my island, I see the profile of the mountains reflected in the water. Of course, this does not happen every day. Just when the blue is enveloping everything around. Then, even the air seems lighter and it is a joy to go outside, after taking care of breakfast, and fill the lungs. And feel that everything is closer, even if very far away. And feel that we are a part of this world, which is too often mistreated. And for just an instant, I can see my island right here, before my eyes. And I thank this blue, which has taken me far away, from the juniper to the rosemary. And for just an instant, it seems like I can touch the sky with my hand.

Franco d'Orio