A show at the Meeting

The Meeting: An unexpected beauty

A week in Rimini that began with expectations, dreams and fears. But that, among friendships, exhibitions and meetings, turned into wonder and amazement for a place that "guards and protects an immense treasure: the desires and passions of each of us".

"An unexpected event is the only hope," wrote Eugenio Montale. Every idea and expectation that I had in the preceding days, before leaving, were revolutionized. The Meeting struck me, it shook and unsettled me, like a wave that breaks against the rocks and changes its shape, eroding them. Just as unexpected as humanly essential.

As Marcel Proust said, "a real journey is not to seek new lands but to have new eyes". It was an unexpected event that gave me the opportunity and the honour to "have new eyes" through which I was able to observe reality with kindness and amazement, to discover and intercept a gesture of gratuitousness, that "blade of beauty" that removes man from the greyness of cynicism, in which he is immersed daily.

The days were hectic, but in which, however, paradoxically, I have had the opportunity to see a perennial smile on my lips, words of encouragement and mutual help between the volunteers, gazes that were attentive towards the needs of others and that were eager to capture the poetry and passion for life that this place emanates. It would certainly have not been possible to characterize this unforgettable journey if I had not had the opportunity to share it with other students and the staff of Camplus Bononia, with whom relationships of trust and mutual respect have been established, as well as friendship.

"We would not be human if we did not cultivate our expressions, in their entirety.” I was deeply struck by this phrase, spoken by physicist Roberto Battiston at the press conference, and that, from my point of view, manages to capture the essence of the Meeting: a journey in which everyone can be themselves, without being considered a mere piece of equipment, but a unique person, who can offer so much.

There is freedom of thought and speech. There is respect for the other and enthusiasm for the other. There is peace. The Meeting is the tangible proof that different opinions and faiths can live together and that the boundaries between peoples should exist only on maps. Moreover, from space the borders of states are not visible, as explained by astronaut Paolo Nespoli.

I embarked upon this journey bringing with me a wealth of expectations, dreams and fears, and instead I filled it with unexpected events, projects, desire, enthusiasm and beauty, that save your life. A disarming, unexpected beauty that manages to take your breath away and totally unsettles you. An experience that has moulded and pushed me to overcome my fears and boundaries, leading me to privilege wonder and awe, rather than fear and danger.

A truthful representation of Hölderlin's aphorism: "Where there is danger, even what saves grows"; so that human thirst to discover and know may never be satisfied, enthusiasm for life may never be exhausted and that man never ceases to desire ardently. "I invite young people to dream of the impossible, because dreaming of the possible is a waste of time", Nespoli said to Plus Radio.

The Meeting is the place that preserves and protects an immense treasure, the desires and passions of each of us. We have the burden of "living by theft", making the most of every opportunity that presents itself that allows us to broaden our boundaries, train our critical spirit and push ourselves towards unexplored places. We have the responsibility to make the soil fertile, so that every one of our dreams can germinate.

The Meeting taught me two things: the value of constantly setting out on a path, in search of sudden bursts of light, and the beauty of treading unknown paths, in which everything is new to my eyes. The Meeting is an infusion of life, an unexpected event of disarming beauty.

Elisabetta, Bologna