Friendship, childhood, melancholy. The fertile memories of Fulvio Scaparro – iO Donna

Friendship, childhood, melancholy.  The fertile memories of Fulvio Scaparro - iO Donna Solon: The end of everything must be investigated. To many, the god gave a glimpse of happiness and then radically reversed their destinies ”. In the absence of certain news about my end, I try to reconstruct the beginning and especially those rare and fleeting moments in which “the god has given a glimpse of happiness”.

Fulvio Scaparro

One of these moments is undoubtedly the first friend I met in this land. Not the first peer, of course, but the first one I owe it to extraordinary discovery of friendship.

Since then I have had many friends and girlfriends, long or short friendships, calm or stormy, always deep, otherwise I would not speak of friendship but of company. In any case, nothing comparable to the discovery of friendship, an experience completely different from that of a son, brother, playmate and schoolmate, lover.

I know well that it is difficult to trace our origins and that anyone who talks about his own prehistory is based on finds and fragments that he reassembles with dubious reliability, influenced by the stories others told him of his childhood and from the stories that he himself has not stopped constructing starting from desires, needs, consoling or self-punishing fantasies.

The discovery of friendship

But of what happened in the first part of my story, something – so to speak – tangible still remains today and even if it is not so easy to explain its origins, it is precisely of this remnant of past time that I want to talk to you.

Stay there saudade the Portuguese term derived from the Latin solitas, loneliness, which includes nostalgia, regret, sadness, remembrance and happiness, something that closely resembles what I call ‘fertile melancholy’.

The words of Adieu tristesse, one of the wonderful songs by Vinicius de Moraes that were part of the soundtrack of a good 1959 film, Orfeo Negrodirected by Marcel Camus:

“Oui, mais le bonheur

n’est qu’une larme

here tremble sur le bord de chaque fleur.

Brillant dans l’ombre

à la fin in the tombs.

Ceux sont les premiers pleurs de notre coeur ”

[Si, ma la felicità / non è che una lacrima / che trema sul ciglio di ogni fiore. / Brillando nell’ombra / alla fine cade. / Sono i primi pianti del nostro cuore]

A fertile melancholy is better than an inauthentic life

It is not a pleasure to learn the hard way that ‘nothing lasts forever’ but a fertile melancholy is better than leading an inauthentic life pretending not to see that unhappiness can be fought and sometimes get even some temporary victories. Happiness can be approached, sometimes touched and even savored for a few moments: a destination with a powerful and inspiring yet always elusive charm. A ‘spasm of the soul’ defined it by Carlo Cassola in An arid heart.

The first childhood friend

The firm anchoring of the first childhood friend in memory is due to the fact that precisely therechildhood is a privileged moment. Childhood is the place of pure events, of the events not preceded by experience, of the absolute novelties, absolute beginners. So in Elegies by Duino RM Rilke talks about childhood: “[…] in that going alone / we had the joy that does not change, / we were there in a space between the world and toys / in a place that from the beginning / was created for a pure event […]”.

This explains why the role of the childhood friend is considered important in the structuring of personality, much more than that done by the brothers and sisters. The election of the friend of the heart is a choice while the family is given to us. Through the privileged playmate you enter the world of social relationships and the world, through the relationship between me and my friend, enters my family.

But it is certainly not the aspect of social relations that struck me so deeply.


Getty Images

We start from the sea

A little girl is building a Sandcastle on the seashore. Adults, not all fortunately, will shower her with praise if she is child will be good to play without bothering, if the castle is completed and if the product will be there, for all to see, demonstrating the little girl’s skills. But things are different for her. She will certainly be happy with the appreciation, but she will also want to prolong the pleasure of construction, involve the ‘grown-ups’, give life to the castle, make it the center of adventures… at least until it is destroyed. One wave bigger than the others and the game experience will end. But the once again smoothed sand is there ready for new ‘journeys’, just as it happens for the mandala extraordinarily complex built with patience by Buddhist monk and then canceled by himself after finishing them.

Only the best friend can understand

The adventures of children on the sand derive much of their charm from that intermediate and insecure place that is the shoreline. It is similar to the magical place of the perfect – and always precarious – equilibrium achieved by the tightrope walker, the dancer or the water carrier who walks elegantly holding a heavy amphora on her head. To achieve results like these ci endure hardships and sufferings, but it really seems worth itgiven that we get depressed and we lose ourselves when the search for ever new equilibriums – this game – is prevented to the point of being reduced to mere spectators of other people’s games.

Friendship games

With the friend of the heart this is not a problem. So it was not a problem for me and my friend from Roman childhood, to dig a deep hole along a sidewalk of Viale delle Medaglie d’Oro to reach the antipodes, imagine a monster half man and half snake, the “Viperuomo”who wanders around the garden of his friend’s house, think about it intensely at 4.27 pm on an August day when he is on the island of Elba and I am in my house in Rome.

Cultivate friendship

Man and woman get the best of life in being fertile more than in contemplating the product of their fertility, unless that product has within itself a potential for transformation and development capable of putting the desire back in motion. to take care of it, of rediscover the joy of being fertile. The relationships must be cultivated if they are to be kept vital and fruitful. If in relationships with people, things, animals, environments, with memories and with projects, you do not always find new meaning with the passage of time, those relationships are destined, in the best of cases, to turn into empty ritual, habit, duty without pleasure.

The end of the first friendship

The intense happiness of this very special relationship is, I repeat, short and unrepeatable. The end of the first friendship experience is often hard and painful because it is related to different growth rates of the protagonists. There is one who frees himself from the exclusive relationship of two and creates new friendships and one who would like to maintain the privileged relationship and suffers from the estrangement of the friend of his heart. The attempts have been pathetic over the years from find the childhood friend and disappointing any meetings, worse than meetings with old school friends.

“The Oasis of Joy”

Happiness is there but it hides. It is an oasis in the desert, perhaps a mirage. ‘Oasis of joy’ Eugen Fink calls her. He is not at hand. The search for him and the unlikely finding of him presuppose a withdrawal in ourselves e a distancing from what the world calls ‘happiness’. It takes courage, determination and ability to tolerate frustrationonce we see it, to see it get out of hand and disappear.

I remember when, in the mid-seventies, visiting an exhibition on Japanese woodcut in Milan, I came across an expression that I would later, more or less arbitrarily, apply to that terrible and fascinating territory that opens up in every passage ‘, the land of the no-more and the not-yet: ukiyo-e, images of the floating world.

“Between the light and the shadows”

Leonardo wrote: “Underneath things are insensitive shadows of darkness and figures […]. The things seen between the light and the shadows will prove more prominent than those that are in the light or in the shadows. ” It’s still: “Put your mind on the streets on evening the faces of men and women when the weather is bad, how much grace and sweetness you see them […] and this is perfect air ”.

“Perfect air is that between day and night. There is a lot of life between light and dark, precisely in that space that appears less appreciated, more hidden behind oblivion and indifference. More than the day we leave and the night that awaits us, Leonardo seems to invite us to appreciate the passage, the transition. Days and nights meet, merge and transmute in the intense time of sunrises and sunsets. Man has always felt the enchantment, the sacredness of these moments: quiet and anguish, nostalgia and utopia, hope and despair, the coexistence of opposites takes on extraordinary evidence against the background of a sky that “changes visibly “.

We imagined, my friend and I, to remain friends forever, in the joy of shared fantasies and games. But it was just a moment of “perfect air”, one of those glimpses of happiness that from time to time surprise us, enchant us and fly away, a “pure event” as Rilke calls it. *

(Part of this intervention dates back to 2007, on the occasion of the presentation of the book by Marco Garzonio Life as friendshipMilan, San Paolo).

What is Associazione GeA, Parenti Ancora

Fulvio Scaparropsychologist and psychotherapist, is the founder ofGeA Associationfor 30 years committed to supporting couples in crisis through family mediation.

“In 1987, by founding the GeA Genitori Ancora Association, we began to work on a project full of utopia: dealing with conflicts, especially family conflicts, not only as destructive events but also as opportunities for growth and transformation of relationships. Help the parents in separation to regain trust, hope, understanding and mutual recognition. Spread a culture of mediation from which results of great usefulness can derive not only for individuals but for the whole community in terms of pacification of social relations and trust in personal and community resources.

Over the years we have found many fellow travelers endowed with courage, optimism, profound awareness that, in school as well as in the family, in the company as in institutions, there is an increasing need for mediators who help the parties to negotiate, to to look farther than an eventual immediate victory, to seek alternative solutions to a head-on collision.

Above all, a long and fruitful journey of practice and reflection was made not only on how, when, in which areas to mediate, but also and above all why it is worth mediating “.

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How to support the GeA Association, Parents Ancora

To contribute to Fulvio Scaparro’s commitment to pacifying family relationships, it is possible:

  • join the GeA Parents Ancòra Association (annual membership fee € 50.00)
  • pay a donation of more than € 50.00
  • sign in the box “support for voluntary work and other non-profit activities of social utility, associations of social promotion and recognized associations and foundations operating in the sectors referred to in Article 10 paragraph 1 letter a of the Legislative Decree no. 469 of 1997 “present in all models to declare the income of individuals (Unnico, 730, CUD, etc.) and enter the tax code 97059120150).

Read all the articles by Fulvio Scaparro here


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