At the airport I saw a little girl literally beached on her daddy’s chest.
He was seated, she was straddled with her head on his chest. A lost stare, gazing into the far in such a way that only the one who is in a total abandon can have.
In that moment I very strongly felt the place where that child was. A place so beautiful to be ancient, tied to belonging, not to be placed on a scale of values or judgment. Nice, ugly, comfortable, puzzled, full of hope… no. It just was. Was and nothing more.
Meditators search for that inner retreat– stable and motionless– constantly. They look for it every day by sitting on their meditation cushions. They look for it when they go to meditate somewhere far from home. They look for it in the wisdom of the teachings, even if they are not aware of this search. And once they found it they do not leave it anymore.
Having reached a condition of inner retreat allows us to feel at home in the coming and going, in the ceaseless play of giving and taking, while we proceed in our growth.
There are many ways to take one’s measurements concerning our finds in daily life.
I had the great luck to come across a very nice one, enjoyable and useful also for my job.
To get photographed. Professionally, I mean!
Alberto Mancini is a very good photographer, looking for the perfect stable image beyond conditions coming and going – in the same way meditators look for their inner retreat.
He is an attentive, refined and soft-handling man bustling about his devices while asking you how you are doing. He is truly interested in how you are doing, because he would like to know who you are. He knows that the person in front wants to be photographed for some reason (one reason or a hundred, does not really matter), but he has a goal: to deliver to this person that part of herself, or himself, that she or he is looking for. Unknown and yet present… somewhere.
Every day, out of a 1000 pictures going around, 2000 are in excess. Faces, stories, filters to apply. Smiles and smirks, filters to apply. Sceneries, adventures and misadventures, filters to apply.
In this impudent and false claim of intimacy in the global, a real visage is nice, a face calling for a stop and talking to you, telling you <<It’s me. Here I am>>.
It is me, I am the way I am, and I am not scared to know it.
I am being photographed for my job, or to be kept alive for the posterity before old age kicks in, or because it is a present for grandma, but the truth is that I am looking for that place beyond judgement, beyond requests, beyond having to be the way I should be, and I need someone investigating me with respect. In front of whom I stand free and without evaluations of any kind.
This someone is Alberto.
I would not want to linger on his technical knowledge, or on his proven experience. And not even on the unquestionable quality of his portraits. Maybe I will be able to do this when I can convince him to make an exhibition (his refusal on this topic is almost marmoreal).
To be photographed by him was priceless, lots of fun and at the same time a great honor; it happened more than once and every time I learned something.
Without me noticing it, he was able to take me by the hand and show me that there is something more than our idea of a perfect portrait – for instance, that nobody is beautiful or ugly but everyone is real, and that’s just good as it is.
As a Coach I take people by the hand. I go and look for them where they are because they ask me to, and often what people tell me is that they are in a place they can’t really consider “home”. We could say, this people – so smart to be wanting to make their lives better – are a bit tired, and they are very much longing to smooth down – like that child at the airport. I believe that, along with the coaching, they could really go to Brescia and pay a visit to Alberto in his Studio, because what happens while he takes pictures of you can be compared to a good coaching session.
In his studio, out in the open, in a hangar fallen into disuse – does not matter much. Between you and him a shared truth manifests, and no one will be meddling in anyway. In it, his tools are the central pivot, but you will very soon forget about the cold materials and begin to think about those appearing flowers’ bouquets: pulled out from the magician’s sleeve, they open up in a thousand outbursts!
This is now you, radiating.
In fact, while he reveals himself to be a Master in squaring the circle, you go back home.
Neither long legs nor short legs will take you there, nor flawless teeth neither crooked teeth, green or purple eyes. You don’t get there any faster if you have a fashionable beard, and you don’t miss a turn in case you are going bald or you’ve got staut, and if you are shaped like a Bass Viol it is also not an issue.
Squaring the circle, Alberto allows you to get to that place where that little girl, a few days ago, was feeling like home. Without constructions, without pretensions. Without luggage.
Dropping the luggage and going back home is not a contradiction. We come home when we let go, we are often told, but why is it so difficult to let go?
Grabbing on to survival tools has allowed human evolution, and our entire vital structure is a history of attachment. Knowing how to remain tightly attached, firmly embraced to what is substancial, permits to any species to survive.
What we don’t need is to believe that our luggage is real and solid, allowing it to control us.
We know this, but sometimes we forget.
Now it will not be a problem: the perfect portrait, thanks to Alberto, will always be there to remind us.
… I leave you in good hands!
Alberto Mancini has been a man of the world enhancing people’s self-esteem for long time through his Studio Pedalò. At present, his qualities dwell and warm-up hearts as a member of StudioLīmĕn. You can have a chat with him calling + 39 329 4782767, or writing an email: email@example.com.