It was a cloche hat, delicately crafted from hemp knit, with a grosgrain ribbon and a matching flower. It spoke of warm and distant places, where skilled hands had turned it into a work of art, only to surrender it and place it in that faraway window, on an anonymous street in a city of the world, where life is made up of moments to seize, and he would have bought it for her. That quiet mystery, offered to his sight, finally awakened the ancient intuition, pinned by someone in a past time, who began to go barefoot at the beginning of spring and remained so until the end of autumn.
On a winter evening, in a wide and important square of that city, where once Chiron educated Achilles with a bow, the rain was enchanted by a baritone note of a saxophone playing “Summertime.”
They struggled to halt the motion, trying to access that inner royalty that resides in each of us, but often remains confined behind impassable walls. The bitter pain out there seems too intense; and it is preferable to remain confined, prisoners of our fears. And so, in the absurd cruelty and paradox of the situation, we choose to hide from our loved ones the immense joy of sharing precious moments, fearing they may vanish like a fleeting dream. Often in love, we seek the death of something, an end to our suffering. Is death a cure? How weary we mortals are! In my contemplation of the myth, the wisdom of Thetis in entrusting Achilles to Chiron becomes clear. However, the mistake lay earlier, in not extending an invitation to Eris, the Discord, to her wedding with Peleus, the king of Phthia. Was it perhaps a genuine oversight? Eris, indignant, reacted with fury.
That love, our understanding, was like Achilles: almost immortal, if it weren’t for the heel that left traces on a winding path. From that goddess’s revenge, a series of disasters ensued. Love did not triumph over everything. At least not for the moment. But that is another story. The night flows, it’s five o’clock. The first ships leave the port emitting a roar of departure. Those who work at night head towards the end, and a new day begins, even on dry, poor, sun-exposed ground, where lavender grows lush and spreads a sweet summer fragrance.
The only adversary is the fear of the worst, which is more formidable than its own certainty. A truth we only understand when the end is near, when Chiron arrives, the key that unlocks the doors of liberation, the tool that dismantles every barrier, every cage, every structure, guiding you along the path back home. Healing is a form of beauty. Now I understand that Perseus and Theseus are leviathanic heroes, composers of ruins, archetypes of destruction, guardians of the threshold.
Chiron is the other face of Aphrodite.
‘I know that when we talk about beauty, we mean something different from what I mean.’ ‘What do I mean, you wonder?’ I think of the Gorgons Euryale and Steno, Medusa’s sisters. They took care of her and protected her.” I relive that morning – as told by Borges in the labyrinth – when the sun danced on the bronze edge of Theseus’s sword, while he marveled at Asterion’s love for death, with which he eased his sorrows. I think of Ariadne, who was not abandoned, but accepted the caress of sleep and, upon awakening, chose Dionysus, renouncing being the Queen of Athens. This is beauty. Healing.
Cronus turns to a new beginning, on a day like this, about nine hundred thousand people will be transported, while buses will make thirteen thousand trips and trains only thirteen hundred. Others will go on scooters. Someone will never return. Ninety percent of love affairs will be experienced in secrecy. Some will never know they experienced it. Certain friends will bid farewell with a cup of tea, or perhaps coffee, and talk about a child who will come tomorrow, complaining about their men, of whom they definitely know little. Some friends will learn to use their freedom. Very few are born free. The last will live a life of quiet and unaware desperation. A certain number of individuals will await fate, also known as ciorta, but only the bold will be helped. For them, however, there are no statistics. Finally, numerous pizzerias will prepare thousands of pizzas. I will eat one. Yes, that’s life… Now Chiron is a blue star moving near the Sun, looking down at us from the brightest part of the Milky Way. It’s almost six o’clock. Somewhere else, a cloche hat in hemp knit, with grosgrain ribbon and matching flower, has been worn. Finally, it has joined the sun, Chiron and Aphrodite have embraced.