Hearts among the mud- Alberto, Ancona

08/14/2015 - 09:00 AM

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Alberto, Open Access Telecom Italia, tells fears, memories and emotions during the experience of a flood.

The water begins to arrive, at first slow and inexorable, then increasingly fast, noisy, almost deafening. Fear catches you unawares, like when you are asleep, everywhere you turn you see muddy water advancing. Then you begin to see wood, tree trunks, objects which you normally expect to see inside houses, you are lost, you are incredulous, you hear shouting, you see fear in people's unaccustomed gestures, stupid and meaningless gestures. Here are powerful cars without drivers, swept away like twigs, bumping into each other, piled up in unnatural poses, you hear the sheet metal bending, they smash into each other, you hear roars coming from basements. The electricity fails, communication is no longer at our fingertips, our loved ones cannot now be reached and wild thoughts invade our minds, like the water. The course of the river moves to follow the roads with its irresistible power, and all we can do is hope that it will end soon, we can do nothing against nature's overwhelming show of strength. These are events that cut us down to size, they put us in our place. Then, unexpectedly, the fear passes, the adrenalin arrives, strong emotions are converted into energy, everyone becomes a hero in their fashion, people help each other, we work naturally in groups, everywhere you find two arms to help you, two eyes watching over  you. All of a sudden everything goes quiet, the silence becomes deafening, we look out over the disaster and for a moment tears run down our faces, as if symbolically to wash away that devastating ugliness, that drama that we have lived through. It is at this point that the best men come into play, indefatigable men, with gestures repeated a thousand times, which finally have a profound meaning, to restore what man is accustomed to having easily, which in our case means communications that can save a life, can bestow calm, can take away that lump in the throat. The best men come out on the field and, incredibly, play together without ever having planned tactics; they work tirelessly, find solutions to every problem, discover stimuli which no longer form part of daily life. They find in the mud, the effort and the desperation a profound meaning which we too often forget: Love for one's neighbour, love for the community, love for one's own work, love for the stranger in difficulty, love for life. After the effort, immense, filthy and interminable, there remain only the victims, the fears, the places dear to us which have been profaned, and the damage, so much, too much…

Alberto Cerioni, Ancona

Friendship can smooth the brow of rude despair

Richard Owen Cambridge