The shearwater’s wing / L’ala della Berta
Leaving feels like leaving.
I decide to do it on a shearwater’s wing; to swim upon Posidonia forests, underwater.
My journey starts like a daydream, not to miss a thing, to look on the water surface at the blurred movement of the brown seaweeds of the depths. I proceed slowly. The wind moves the kayak while the paddle is the spine that holds my senses up. Confused, inebriated. I remain alert.
The land coming closer has got colours inside. I must extend my hand and touch it. I feel hot, cold, it is the stream that spits water inside the kayak. There is the breeze, and I can feel it. I can feel everything around me.
The wind drives me to east, inside the caverns eroded away by the sea, where the cliff is high and afflicted by the permanent rolling over of the breakers. This island is the unreal part of existence and the caverns are my dark caves.
I have found an earth in a lost paradise. Milton with his blind eyes, expelled from the Earth to Paradise, and I, with a single wing, there.
There is neither beginning nor end, everything here is static in that beauty that is going to fade.
It is a picture of a fragment, of a land that is already an island, of a spring that is already winter.
I still cannot see it all but I can already hear screaming from the other extremity and feel the blow of Tramontane, and the sour taste of Africa. I feel that, beyond those dramatic extremities hit by the wind, there is something waiting for me. Maybe there is the hell of souls locked away in the seagulls that fly restlessly, damned souls that will never be able to speak about that island because comprehension is put into words by teeth and tongue. The soil is solid and blood red as if it had rained for an unintelligible period of time.
As if the rain had squashed the flesh of those men who had crossed it and committed the worst sin of all.
I have always believed in the edge of the existence being somewhere; that edge that makes people lose their balance, that gives them the last doubt and offers them the final choice.
The line where Hell and Paradise meet. It is right here.
A botanic garden lifts on the blood, and it seems to have caught all the beauty of Matelda’s Eden.
The vegetation is low, smoothed by the wind, on its knees as a sign of reverence to someone who decided to create this island and to fill it up with all the fears. And to feel alone.
Because in loneliness, Bermuda Grass and Sea Daffodils can be born. When in doubt, the Salsola.
Fearfully, the Thorny Burnet. Hesitating, the Spurge. And the Scilla that could kill all the Graeae with its poison, resentful. And the Sea Rocket, the Glasswort, the Sea Lavender, the Sea Fennel, who knows in what forever lost feeling they were born.
It is certain that the Dwarf Palm Tree is the parent of all the plants since it knows how to survive if the sea wants to swallow the rocks. And again. Again.
Pits and eggs as uteruses laid down on the ground. Everywhere.
On a deserted island close enough to men to be inside of them
Being an island has meant to accept my limitations.
Being the shearwater’s wing has meant to understand I am able to overcome them.
Anywhere an island could be.
Even if it is simply inside of me.
Text Alessandra Lucca
Photography Alessandra Lucca
Translation Luca Di Giacomo