31-12-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo
We should now discuss what it is that makes life bad, unpleasant, sad.
Above all, to really understand what makes life beautiful, fulfilling, happy.
Who to ask?
In order to obtain an answer to this question, are those human beings who live in ups and downs, in flights and plunges, more reliable, or those who have always sailed in mediocrity, in waiting, in the sea of uncertainties and fears?
When in doubt, it is better to ask ourselves whether it is external events that have the greatest impact or whether it is all up to us.
Is it the people around us or is one or more loved ones enough?
One could argue philosophically for hours, especially if one still talked to each other and above all listened to each other.
If there is still someone for whom a government or a tax rate affects their mood, or who, deprived of an internet connection for 24 hours, goes crazy, what would we talk about?
Let's resign ourselves to the fact that we are not calling into question the highest systems, the involution and the barbarization of the species.
It's much simpler, inescapable, to say that 2020 has been one of the most shitty years of the modern era.
Certainly the absolute worst of the last 75 years.
Let everyone do their own maths, draw their own conclusions from this conventional 365-day stage.
Leave 600 of those quarantined, isolated, covered, restricted, masked, contained and sanitised. Of those infected, hospitalised, oxygenated, saved.
Of those with relatives and friends gone and not greeted.
Of those with frightened, frustrated, weakened, stressed, pissed off, bewildered, denialist or paranoid, compliant or fined individuals.
The virus, like a war, unites and divides, creates solidarity and enemies, respect and suspicion.
But in all this, happiness has always been revealed in simple things, in secure affections, in returning to the essential, to the past.
This time everything seems darker because you cannot see this desire, this impulse to think that one's happiness depends directly on freedom and not on the solidity of the cages we have slowly built for ourselves.
I, as always, don't have much to teach about happiness.
It is as if I were talking about an opposing cyclist whom I have been chasing for miles and miles and who I occasionally manage to get alongside. Sometimes he smiled at me, once we even exchanged water bottles.
But he's stronger than me and always starts pedalling away again.
It must also be for this reason that I moved to Kenya some time ago.
To stop pedalling after something that was perhaps even possible to achieve, but in the end was not worth it, because it would not give you satisfaction.
At least not for me.
My satisfaction lies in the quest, rather than in the result.
Here, just below the equator, there is no such risk.
You hardly ever get anywhere, and instead of cycling you prefer running and middle-distance running.
No climbs and descents, no bends and final sprints.
No Grand Prix of the Mountain or team games, gregari or champions.
Here the focus is on consistency, on keeping up the pace, on learning from the pace of those ahead of you.
It is hard work, but it is a familiar kind of hard work, close to the human soul.
The fatigue of a farmer, of a worker, of a mother giving birth and raising children.
A fatigue of battles, of conscience, of courage.
Of the need to be understood.
But without violence, without subterfuge or strange inventions.
With patience, will, respect.
With humility, learning day by day.
It is much more like existence, a marathon.
At the end of an unforgettable year, I send you these thoughts and wish you to find your stride again.
And when the dog weather arrives again, whistling happily, may you smile and think how unusual, but what pleasant nuances it can have, a run in the pouring rain.
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