I met him when he was a great wizard.
He sang, involving us in dances and legends.
He made us smile magically.
He gave stories, sunny days,
the scent of fire and happiness.
The anecdotes and sentences with which he commented any happenings
were those of someone who can approach life, who can enter the heart of the people.
Wise, laid, solid, essential.
Careful, ironic, sweet, winking.
He fumbled among bright stills,
among the aromas of luxurious banquets.
He was there. He was always there:
to bless an anniversary,
to ban a party
to crown a prince
to welcome a traveller.
To correct or to adjust children's broken toys.
To smile at the cowards of the great.
He sowed, with broad strokes, smiles and joy in the fields of the people close to him.
With generosity, heating everyone's hearths,
generating and absorbing the energy he needed more than breathing, to live.
The Magician had a somewhat ramshackle steed and was always surrounded
by two or three cats with long and pointed tails, with thin tufts moustache
who pampered him with their purr.
He didn't write his magic recipes in any book,
because he kept his secret jealously inside his heart,
these recipes were each time reworked and corrected according to the season, according to the heat of the sun,
according to the amount of joy necessary for the charm to be accomplished.
Always with extreme care, in the most intimate and hidden details.
He smiled, more than anything else he smiled.
He taught us that by looking each other in the eyes we could love more deeply.
He taught us that just inside the heart we are all the same.
He taught us that with frankness and cheerfulness we can also say the least appropriate things.
He taught us.
He taught me to knead cement, to grind coffee, to roll anchovies,
to repair porcelain and terracotta pots.
Because the Magician disseminated his surroundings with juicy fruits,
Bright vegetables, fumes, flavour, essences.
Small and large artifacts inlaid in wooden curls.
Sometimes he led us to an enchanted, dark and dusty place,
then, by magic he unearthed, from the darkness, precious pieces of art
coloured with chestnut and honey.
He gave them to us, as a blessing, in a hymn to life.
In a gesture of continuity for our history.
He once blessed my home,
with a broad gesture of the hand and the usual smile,
he accompanied us for a long stretch on the journey of our life.
We accompanied him on the last trip of his life.
We blessed his path in a trail of light, sun, fires.
Friends, curls of wood, chestnut and honey.
Juicy fruits, aromas of essences and coffee.