Here’s my idea of a natural death: getting a heart fibrillation or some such high electrical impulses in the middle of a string quartet concert. Ever since I’ve discovered chamber music at the age of 9, I’ve been thinking about it. Call me a conservative. After a tour in the Tivoli gardens with my sister, who can never get enough of the meanest roller-coasters – none of those in Tivoli, alas – we got pulled by gravity while swerving over high class performers, The Emerson String Quartet, at Tivoli’s concert hall. “Give me NASA”, my sister said, just before the beautiful Dvorak – and thinking about floating in space as an astronaut – she can take the real G-forces like no one I know. But I got whirled into the supremely rendered Bartok. I told my sister: “you know, it’s not enough to have good coordination in a string quartet. You need good flow. If you can hit it, and suggest a flight towards infinity, then you’re a master.” My sister believes everything I say. So we had a good night – no deaths yet. Meanwhile, this thought, that if we stay with it, the flow, that is, we may even get famous before the finals, resounded on another level too.

For as it happened, earlier today I got pulled into another world as well. An Italian literary salon, featuring the art project Immagine & Poesia, a project based in Turin that aims at promoting what the curators call ‘creatività incrociata’ – or cross creativity – asked me if I would share my paintings that have a poem tagged to them on their various websites. “Sure,” I said, “I’m all for open source” – and I like coincidences: one of the leading figures in the project is Dylan Thomas’s daughter, the writer, Aeronwy Thomas. “Which painting do you want,” I asked, and suggested one which is special to me, and which inspired my whole pictorial inceptions. “Yes,” the curator said, “but to begin with, we want Infinity A-1.” Ah, I thought to myself, there is a chance to escape to infinity in a Newtonian potential in which boundedness is ensured under the action of the force field. I wanted to tell my sister something about escape velocity, which is the speed that gets you to infinity – well, barely – and the sense of what getting there at zero residual speed might be like. But I kept silent. I’ve always liked the idea of “to begin with.” The strings evoked that, and more.

Here’s INFINITY A-1 – in Salotto Letterario, in La Stampa, and in Image and Poetry.


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