Glad to celebrate our OSANG,
Talismans Extreme 5th anniversary
with an inspired and symbolic tale from Ersilia Saffiotti, the Author of Volcano Talks,
running stories and other loves,
published by Colonnese Editore, 2021


Tonight the sky over roofs is yellow, there is a strange and dense smoke,
I hear voices from afar, howling in the narrow streets, turmoil.
I want to go to see what it is.
There is a pungent smell in the air, intoxicating, that envelopes me.
Gennaro don’t run, if you get hurt I will give you the rest, my mother yells. Mammà relax, I answer.
I open the door, it’s so hot you can’t breath.
I just came back from the beach, the salt formed a coarse milky glaze on my sun tanned skin. For fun, on my arm, I wrote on it with my nail…O’ mar (the sea).
I was born in the water and the ocean that I belong to has brought me here from far away, from very far away.
From an unknown and ancient place that I don’t even remember.
I’m only left with sun drenched clearings and white drapes, moved by the wind. One day we left on a boat and crossed a sea that looked like an immense ocean. Endless.
But then, we saw a land and disembarked and have lived here ever since, my mother and myself, since always, they call me “Auliva”, olive,
Because I have a dark face.
I want to go out to see.
I want to run through the alleys and run fast up the street and the staircase. I’m drawn by that smoke and that smell.
But it’s tight and too packed.
The crowd blocks my view, I’m still so small, so child.
I try to climb up along a house wall, grab on to a balcony railing but I fail and fall.
I move towards the sea of men and women that shout and sing and the smoke is more dense, the odor more penetrating.
My feet hurt, knocking into people and things laying on the ground.
I look up and see a trellis on which, with a little effort, I could climb and see what is behind that wall of people packed together.
I try it. I’m light and agile.
Hands and feet are quick and I feel them with determination sticking like suckers, to the beam wall which is slim and tall.
I can see from there.
I get to the top in a few moments and while I’m about to see through the crowd the giant statue of a man in the center that everyone wants to touch, I lose my balance and fall.
Hit the ground and faint.
The crowd suddenly surrounds me and I hear desperate shouting of women. ‘O SANG (BLOOD) ‘O SANG (BLOOD)
I want to move, get up, but I can’t.
I can’t move a single part of my body.
My head hurts.
I feel weak and feel like I’m somewhere else.
I dream.
I hear the crowd scattering, I dream of people and times, I dream of millenniums. I feel suspended in a dimension where all of time exists in a minute instant where all is condensed, becomes clotted, becomes history.
A story that repeats itself but that I can’t explain, I can’t decipher.
I listen.
My own blood mysteriously speaks to me, in an ancient language, archaic, and spills out on the streets of the city like a river, like a blessing.
I see people, hands, faces, I see the eternity.
I listen to mother’s lullabies, pleas from generations.
I see children, I recognize treasures.
And I wonder where am I, who am I.
I suddenly feel covered by a regal cloak, lifted off the ground, in someone’s arms, in the smoke.
The pain disappears and suddenly wake up.
Genna’ I told you not to get hurt.

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