With backs turned, as we grow older, we begin to think of the goodbyes, our own and of others we have experienced for so many reasons, and of those who walk away turn their backs, or sit and ignore us lost in their own thoughts or loneliness.
On the one hand, we identify with those who, alone or, more fortunately, in company, seem to be moving towards ineluctable goals; on the other, it is reassuring to stand still and watch, and perhaps take a photo: “A questa tanto picciola vigilia de’nostri sensi ch’è del rimanente”, it is better when it is others who turn their backs to leave or retreat, locked in their own lucubrations.
And above all, it is necessary not to make a drama out of it, but rather a small elegy of the shoulders turned; to cast a glance, now mocking, now melancholy, at the shoulders that surround us and to try to make them speak too.
To face ‘Les Adieux’ with tranquillity and curiosity, because when the time comes to turn our backs and leave, we should be able to say like Ulysses:
“E volta nostra poppa nel mattino(Dante, Inferno, Canto XXVI)
Dei remi facemmo ali al folle volo
Sempre acquistando dal lato mancino”