Andrea 52 – I bought some plants this morning. But not as I usually did, calling the florist to hastily order a plant to pick up in a rush and bring as a gift to a friend. I brought some plants to plant them myself, to transform two pots full of weeds that we have on the balcony into two pots full of flowers. And I realized that I unconsciously made another change in my habits. I went from buying services to doing things or, at most, buying things to self-produce a service. Amid all this there is the art of learning. I once received, from a friend of mine, a book entitled “Ace”. It talked about how talent is partly natural and partly exercised by repeating the same action many times in life. That’s what happened to The Beatles, for instance, who before becoming THE BEATLES played for a total of 800 hours of events during two years in Hamburg. Now, I don’t mean that I will ever be the Beatle of plants, nor a champion of house cleaning, but doing things, rather than just using a service, gives me satisfaction. It makes me feel that progression that I already talked about a few days ago. I learned how to mix the right doses of salt and flour, ricotta, and salami, to make the “ripieno” at home. “Ripieno” is the word we use in Naples for the stuffed pizza. I learned how to arrange the cabinets without the right tools, using the beginner’s tools that came out with the exercise bike. I learned the use of some tools such as WordPress, which is the platform on which we write this blog. I learned first to sweep, then to mop, in this order, the interior floors, the kitchen floor, the bathroom and then the balconies. I learned how to apply this method on my third session, when I also learned how to make a rod to mop the floors from an old broomstick, since the original handle had broken. I learned that you can cut your hair at home, with Japanese scissors that cut and thin out. I learned how to peel potatoes and carrots, how to make fruits extracts and how to cook an amatriciana in 10 minutes between one videocall and another. I learned how to be more patient, because relearning takes time.
Miriam 52– Dear Andre, a Zen saying says “don’t worry if you don’t know something, rather worry if you don’t want to learn it”. Change of perspective: we should have worried fifty-two days ago, every time we would delegate others more capable than us to do something for us, surely for lack of time, but mostly because of that sense of fragility we feel when we realize we are not up to something. This is the big difference between young people and adults: young people dive ardently into the things they don’t know, because they have never experienced defeat on their skin, or because they have experienced it too little. We are more cautious, because we know the taste of failure, and we don’t like it. But this lockdown put us with our backs against the wall, forced us to reinvent ourselves, probably locked in our homes we feared failure less, because there were no spectators. And therefore, like circus performers who try and try a double somersault, we have been training all these days, up to calibrating measures and strengths, to learn from our mistakes and to raise the bar a little higher.