I once read that to be without a home is a psychological trauma very similar to the death of a loved one, and the same is true of being sacked: the loss of one’s place of abode entails the dissolution of a whole series of emotional references that help to anchor a person in the real world and that remind us, in concrete terms—through the objects by which we are surrounded, through the smells, or simply the street that we are used to walking along when we return home—of who we are. In other words, to lose a house is to bereave.
So I ask myself if losing a house is bereavement, what does it mean, from a psychological point of a view, to move to another house or even to reinvent a new life in another country with unfamiliar customs and also—why not?—with a building that, historically, is a specific manifestation of another civilisation? It seems to me that for this hypothesis, the opposite process to the one triggered with the loss applies. Moving house—radically changing the coordinates which we are used to living at and to which we have slowly changed our affinity towards, allowing us to influence it as well—constitutes an act of consciousness and appropriation: as if we were to move the spotlight from the external to the internal, and we are able to transfer that internal where we want. To liberate it. I have always thought very highly of great travellers; those that always have a rucksack upon their back and that arrive in autumn with their sandals still on because up until the day before they were weaving necklaces on the other side of the world. They give me the impression of having a home within themselves and, at the same time, that the whole world is their home. At the Art & Tourism fair in Florence last May, I had a coffee with a French girl who travels between South America, Europe and Asia all year round, and listening to hear talk made me think of a radio that tunes itself perfectly to the best frequency. She seemed like someone that shaped their life as they please without feeling guilty. Contrary to what we are used to thinking of people that don’t have a ‘normal’ existence, she seemed to me like the incarnation of pragmatism and determination. Her life belongs to her and this gives her a reassuring air.
Paradise Possible has had the fortune, throughout its fifteen years, of crossing paths with so many men and women that felt the need for change, the need for that act of consciousness and appropriation we have just discussed. It was what the Greeks defined as kairos. Wikipedia says:
Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time in between, a moment of indeterminate time in which something special happens. What the special something is depends on who is using the word. Whoever uses the word defines the thing, the form of the thing. Whoever defines the special something defines the special form of the thing. While chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative nature.
People like Maggie, Jane and Ian understood that a home should reflect both ourselves and our desires, rather than be a prison built out of habit and fear, and when theirs had no longer fulfilled this role, they took a deep breath and changed things. Radically. Like many other people, they reinvented their lives in Le Marche. But the kairos of Maggie, Jane and Ian, and Paradise Possible is not a meteorite that passes every thousand years. It can still happen. There are lots of places in Le Marche that are crying out to be discovered and to resemble you. Here are some in the province of Ancona:
Ex convento San Francesco, Belvedere Ostrense
Casale Fonte Fresca, Fabriano
Eccone invece un paio nella provincia di Pesaro:
Casale Bizantino, Cagli
Casa del Grano, hills of Fano
What do you reckon? I bet you have a small desire to change things. I bet deep down you want to reinvent your life and be that radio that tunes itself perfectly to best frequency, just like the girl from my kairos (because also that was kairos), just like Ian, Jane and Maggie.
The Paradise Trotter