“Back to the future”
So I’m here, and Sardinia seems strange to me, green like Ireland because of the unusual rains of this last quarter of the year. The air is crystal clear, blessed by a taut Mistral, the roads quite empty—also because to fill up my small Micra it costs more that seventy-five euros.
Yesterday we went to a beach I didn’t know, ten minutes south of Olbia, together with my brother in law. There were only two beach-umbrellas: father, mother and their daughter under the first one; a young couple under the second one on the left, near the kiosk of refreshments and coffees. “They sold sandwiches too, last year, but now it seems deserted,” my brother in law told me, uncertain. The indigo of the sea was breathtaking, ideal for snorkelling. The water was clean and cool, inviting. But I was struck by that old-style atmosphere. I had a flash, and I remembered those bare beaches of my youth, white and endless, empty, and the disappointment of my mother when she spotted an umbrella. “There are people,” she told my father, “c’mon, we have to move to another place!” Sardinian coast was a paradise back then, and you could spend days and days without seeing but lizards and cormorants.
Clearly, that impression continued to dig my unconscious. And during the night I dreamt I was in some future. Sardinia was again a nineteen-century-like land, not more linked with Italy.
Italy had collapsed, unable to keep all the regions linked under an only government. My brother in law was explaining me that the North of Italy reached Austria and ‘Europe,’ the South was under the crime syndicate, and the centre threatened with anarchy. Sardinia, silently, was alone, forgotten in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea. “The partridges will come again,” my brother in law said, happily. And I woke up with this thought: the partridges will come again.
As soon as I remembered my dream clearly, I decided to share it with you, my B39 friends, because I thought there was a form of prophecy in it. I wonder whether the solution of our problems will be a natural dissolution, a “back to the future” process, to the Nineteen Century when the unification of Italy had still to come. Maybe we don’t deserve unification; or rather, eventually we don’t want it. Maybe we are individualist, OK, and we have to go on each one by himself, who knows?
By the way, Sardinia is “on sale”: thousands of houses empty and just on sale, young people unoccupied, few tourists until now, a widespread feeling of uncertainty and anguish. Where are the high hopes of the past, the feeling of possessing strength, vitality and a bright future?
Is it possible that, after a few generations, the only common sentiment is a sad, fatalistic cupio dissolvi—desire to forget oneself?