The painting

It was a wonderful day. One could have foreseen it from the first lights of dawn. The sun was already hot, but a pleasant and light breeze was swinging the shutter of the long window in her bedroom. In this way, moments of total darkness alternated moments of pure light which annoyed the girl’s sleep. In those days, she felt particularly melancholic. It was always like this: when the time came to go on holiday at her father’s house, she lived the first days with total detachment, as if she was dreaming, whereas she felt the surrounding reality increasingly blurry. Everything did not seem real to her: the breakfast with her auntie, the long speeches at the table, the family albums that were repeatedly looked at every night, the same clothes she used to wear. She asked herself a lot of questions, to which she could never give any answers. She read a lot, but she also skipped some descriptions and sometimes a few lines. She was elusive to everyone, and for this reason certainly attractive. Everyone thought so: her aunties who were continuously criticizing her even if they envied her a lot, her cousins, the house maids and the young gardener of the residence. While dancing, everyone looked at her; while eating, she was the most composed; at brunches she was the most elegant. Her loneliness was so natural that gave her a sculptural and majestic appearance. In spite of this, she did everything to go unnoticed. She hardly ever spoke, she only hinted at a smile when answering the many compliments she received. She never stopped talking after the meal, she was never late during the night. Nobody exactly knew what she did during her long days. Everyone saw and admired her only for the fact of being, of existing in this way. If only they had understood all the rarest and the most beautiful things about that girl. If only they had asked her to talk about her pain, if only they had understood her soul, without praising her, but smiling at her. If only she had had the slightest interest in presenting herself for what she was, in showing everyone what she believed in, we certainly would not have reached that walk in the sun. She would have liked to do that every now and then. She told herself to always be composed and punctual. And she would stand up at the first hint of a mistake, of a silly gossip of the mistress, of her uncle gross joke, of the vacuous speechify of one of the many guests of the house. Everyone would have admired her as always. They would have looked amazed at each other, the maids would have called everyone: from the cooks to the grooms. While taking her time and looking at her interlocutors and her audience without really seeing them, she would have told them all the injustices, all the pain, all her critical thinking about that small and useless bourgeois society, about its embarrassing protocols, its outrageous words, its elementary judgments, about the misogyny of the men of the house, about her aunt’s fake Catholic conservatism. She would have thrown the silverware on the floor, she would have rid herself of the burden of etiquette and false moralism. And she would have finally shouted at them that the house belonged to her father and that they had squandered all their wealth, they had condemned gallantry and they had forgotten the culture that their father had transmitted to his house. She would leave, free from everything and everyone with her disenchanted and, at the same time, high and evanescent gaze. But all this was not possible. It was not possible because, even if it was ideally perfect, women’s freedom did not exist at that time. She would not have been able to say what freedom really was. Nobody knew it. Nobody really understood this need of freedom as real. Therefore, she took her most beautiful dress, the white one. That day she also took an umbrella to protect herself from the sun. She had combed her hair and put on some make-up; she was beautiful. And she elegantly left alone for the long walk that led over the hill. And then she went up to the only place where she could have been free, for now and for a long time yet: surrounded by nature, with her head in the clouds. Amelia was satisfied, this could have been the story of this woman. She walked away from the painting, with a few steps back. The door opened, but that did not matter. She contemplated her work, until Diego entered the room and with an astonished look, said – My dear, this is so beautiful. That is the woman with Monet’s parasol-.

Published by Grandi Storielle

Siamo sei ragazze, Carola, Celia, Hannah, Livia, Morena e Sara che si sono conosciute in Erasmus a Chambéry e hanno ora deciso di mettere a disposizione la loro piccola ma grande arte per tutti.

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