It was November in Torino, Rosalind Nashashibi and I decided that it would be lovely just to wander a bit around the city in the morning, so we could visit some places she remembered from a past life. The day was grey but not cold and despite the bleakness and the thick clouds the light seemed bright and comforting. The severe though beautiful facades of the old buildings hide interiors inhabited by beautiful patios and fragrant mysterious gardens. The heavy stones, the colored glasses and the grand wooden rich doors whispered something about the secret personality of the place and its people.
After a few minutes walk we encountered what Rosalind remembered was the gate of the house she used to live in years ago. We stopped and looked through the fence in front of us. At the end of the entrance a small garden held a majestic house. I noticed Rosalind´s nostalgic eyes and somehow this re-encounter had a proustian effect on me. It seemed as if, in that particular moment, I was assisting some kind of ritual of reconciliation between the past and the present.
The silhouette of a woman emerged from the shadows of her porter´s lodge. She was curious after the persistent barking of her dog… suddenly far from the distance she asked with a surprised intonation: Rosalind?… the woman did recognize Rosalind after many years… she advanced towards us, opened the door and invited us in. They both kissed and hugged warmly… I felt like an intruder in a very intimate moment, like jumping into a previous unknown life. Both women talked, remembering old times. While I was there witnessing all this I felt somehow projected out my body like a spectator who watches a film. After a few minutes the woman called her husband to come out of the small caretaker’s house. He looked first surprised and then immediately very pleased to see Rosalind back again. The dog happily wandered around us and all of a sudden the joy of their voices was interrupted by the sound of strong bells coming from a nearby church. Like Viaggio in Italia by Rosselini, this precious noise sealed that encounter like an autumn miracle. Life overcomes fiction I thought, and I remember happiness around.