My dear Yann, my heart,
Your birthday is approaching. A friend here, David, has composed some pieces of music he names as “Child”. I have listened to them with great emotions, feeling as if I returned far away back in time, into the period from the first weeks of your conception till the last days before your birth. Your heartbeat is the sound of this world, the most deeply rooted in my mind. It is my music. While my spirit follows you every day at every moment, or your image follows me constantly, I am nevertheless very happy to be here in the castle of Civitella. This is a marvelous medieval beauty. Not only are we at a dream-like place, but also we are served with great hospitality and courtesy. In the evening, after the dinner, which is always a delicious surprise – I’ve learned something for you, my dear gourmand -the conversations with Fellows are enjoyable and interesting. Mother has a new book published. While writing this book, I was mostly concerned about the face of your époque. I’m only talking about the surface of matters, because time profoundly is unchangeable, and you and I basically speak the same language anyhow. But now I’m interested in the face of the future more than ever before, my concern is unwisely, I know, exceeding the limit of my own life, till your time and after, till eternity. This may be one of many sides of unspeakable motherhood that brings change to my inner person. The attempt to describe the surfaces of matters together with their undefined shadows and undercurrent, this is what my work is all about. If to be a mother can be my only true and constant mental preoccupation, then the question is what kind of mother I should be so that at the end of my trip I could calmly meet the eyes of my children without shivering. This question (but never the answer which probably cannot exist, I always prefer questions than answers) makes me extremely busy and unsatisfied, first about the ordinary practice of parental duty, then about my writing. I often imagine when you’ll be at the age to read my work, how you’ll react. I am not expecting an objective critic in you, for we may not agree on variable matters concerning the writing, or you may have no interest at all in such an old fashioned and womanly occupation as writing. But I often foresee your emotional eyes upon my work, the eyes of a son. I know you and your brother will read my books anyhow, and you’ll be pitiless just like I am. Although humanity will be planted in your mind as a very basic seed so that you’ll be constantly nourished, complacency will never be part of my pedagogy. So from now on I work under the frank eyes of my futures readers, my supreme ones. Profoundly I’ll only write for you and for your brother, spreading words as I once fed you with the milk from my body. In this sense the writing has become a part of my motherhood. I am in Italy, but I’m also with you, every day my spirit parts through words to join you in the future. I wish you an extremely happy birthday, I’m celebrating it here, can you feel? And I’m holding you dearly in my arms for a long long time before going to bed.