Our loveliest child
is not yet born
Our loveliest days we haven’t yet lived.
And the loveliest thing I’d like to tell you
I haven’t yet said
Now it happens that the loveliest of my books is not mine.
I could never have afforded it. It is a gift to me from its author, Hugh Moss. Whom I never met.
The loveliest gesture I would never have thought of.
A brilliant composer, Marco Parmigiani, made it without my knowing, and more,
he has always denied having done it.
My loveliest Eastern Zhou archer’s ring,
Lorenzo Viani’s most moving drawing (a man walking in the wind holding his dog, yes, his dog, by the hand),
Tancredi’s most tragic drawing (a self-portrait where he prefigures his drowning which later actually happened),
all these beautiful objects are mine only because Giovanna gave them to me as gifts.
And now the loveliest of my Putchu Guinadji –
the Kotoko horsemen which I have studied and collected for years and about which I plan to write a book –
is mine exactly because I couldn’t afford to buy it.
Here it is : It is a masterpiece of musical elegance: the line is pure melody.
It nestles in the palm of one’s hand but it could also stand majestically and monumentally
on a tall pedestal at the centre of a piazza and dominate all the surrounding space.
It is absolutely the loveliest Kotoko I have ever seen and I could never have bought it.
When he learned that, its owner, a person I have never met who digs wells for water in the desert regions of Africa, simply wrote me:
Celui qui vous intéresse, Franco, est très classique et c’est pour moi un plaisir de vous l’offrir.
J’ai toujours plus de plaisir à faire un cadeau plutôt qu’une vente. En attendant que vous le receviez, amities.
(The Kotoko that interests you, Franco, is very classical and it is a pleasure for me to give it to you. I have always liked giving a gift more than selling. Until you receive it, best regards. Gérard)
A few hours ago I received it in Paris. Now I am holding it in my hand.
The loveliest thing that will happen to me hasn’t happened yet.
The loveliest thing that will happen to me is happening right now.
(to those who would like to listen to the perfect music to accompany these lines, I recommend this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIiE6nNetPE Sonia Mbarek sings Nazim Hikmet’s “The most beautiful sea”)