MY FIRST CREATION

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I sketched my first artistic creation at the age of ten, in the attic of the old house. It was my first oil-painting, realized not on canvass, but on the lid of a box of cigars that Cuban officials had given my dad as a gift. The marine landscape was dominated by the sky, but my favorite parts of the picture were the mountains that looked volcanic and two tall palm trees. For the first time, in my beloved attic, I was crossing the border between myself and the sky through a creation. For the first time up there, without being aware of this unique way of enlightenment, I was aiming at the world of Forms, attempting art and ignoring the border between reality and the figure. Like a mysterious gravitational mass, the gigantic spot of the Universe was calling to my soul plunged into the daily illusions where human simulation dominated.

At the top of the roof, the attic door peaked over a trapezoidal veranda and made the building resemble a real teocalli (A Mesoamerican pyramid surmounted by a temple.). If I had known at the time I knew what a temple represented, I would have felt bad in the face of the sky. In the most “distinguished” quarter (This refers to the former “Block”, the quarter of Tirana where the government officials of the period of the Dictatorship lived.) of Bolshevik Tirana, an “axis mundi (Axis mundi (also “cosmic axis”, “world axis” etc.) – in religion and mythology: center of the world or celestial axis where the kingdoms of Sky and Earth are connected or communicate. It could be a natural object, such as a mountain, tree, etc. or a product of human manufacture, such as tower, temple, totem-pole etc.),” a stairway of any kind between the kingdoms of Earth and Sky would have been very dangerous. Luckily, at certain moments in life, situations of which you are not aware are a real treasure. Isolated from every noise except my own breathing, away from earth, at the height of intimacy and secrecy, up there in my beloved attic, I could do whatever I wanted with myself and the rest of the world. The sublime situation was completed by the abstemious interior: the wooden sofa, the old bed table, an even older chair and the shelves loaded with dusty books. If you dared to open them, two narrow side doors disclosed the labyrinth under the roof, where the holes of the tiles made up a golden Olympic shower with the sunlight. You had to open the door of the veranda to feel relieved, convincing yourself that that light did come from the sky…

Contact with the World Beyond could be established through endless reference points, but climbing up to the holy celestial expanse, whether illusive or not, was a ritual endorsed by history. People created rituals upon rituals so as to enjoy and abandon them and create rituals upon rituals again.

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