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Isola Comacina

There is always a persistent noise, somewhere, despite the neverending quest for being fully in the present. Today I am escaping my to-do lists and fleeing to Isola Comacina on the Como Lake. The suitcase is ready, the photo bag is in the trunk. Kilometers fly by but I am already thinking about what Id like to accomplish. Stubborn habits. The house is waiting, bright and chilly. Birds got quiet, for a moment. Ducks are not used to our presence yet and hares are hiding. The night came upon us, alone on the island, with the only human presence of Erick next door. In the morning we leave on expeditions. On the steps of Kafka and Stendhal, it is easy to be seduced by the grace of the lake, the lushness of vegetation and the reminders of the elegance of another time. Villas are waiting for summer. Tomatoes are bursting with colors. But in the mountains there are few farmers left and many young people have left and work in Switzerland. Erbonne, former fiefdom of smugglers, only counts 10 inhabitants nowadays. The carnival of Schignano reminds of the poverty and emigration that used to characterize the region of Val DIntelvi. In Mezzegra a cross evokes Mussolinis death. Forget about postcards and tourist busses. Stay still. Every night a toad comes in the kitchen. We stare at each other, petrified. On a Sunday we watched the storm strike on the Lario. The light became more mysterious, more dramatic. Between encounters and wanders time got less pressing. Under a burning sun, there is an unsuspected solemnity. A gentleness, too. The gentleness of these weeks spent facing oneself, looking at the infinitesimally small.

Text by Brigitte Grignet

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