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Antonio Denti


Native Sea. (Il Mare Originario)

My native sea.

I did not think it was possible. But when my child son asks me to go swim with him, I look at him and feel on my skin what I felt as a child in my native sea. No place on earth has shaped my heart as much as this place, where the land of black lava meets the Mediterranean sea in an orgy of glory.

And this is why, even if I grew up in the lucky part of the world, in Europe, the shape of my heart – I am sure – is more similar to that of the kids of Gaza, Haifa, Beirut, Simi. It is the heart of those who learnt quickly to give up perfection and to take the full blow of the splendour and misery, of the bliss and toughness of our world.

I see my son fight the fear and cross that border between the aerobic land to which we belong and the immense silence of that vast blue where we can venture but not survive for long. I feel those wordless lessons made of smells, sounds, dances of light that I have known on my skin at his exact age. We occasionally go out of the water, in town: the fish market – with its sensuous force – the bazar – stories of transnational economy and exile, of industriousness and nostalgia – the religious procession of Our Lady of the Sea. Everything speaks of a constant striving to survive. Terrible and exhilarating. Anonymous and herculean. This is the land where nothing is perfect.

But then we always go back to the border between land and water, going in and out. Ant then, in again.

I came soon to love the sea’s majestic indifference to our human fate. As well as its potential to become such a formidable companion for our dreams, ventures, falls, flights.

When I feel ”a November in my soul”, I go back to my native sea. When the future is scaring me too much, I go back to my native sea. When I loose my route or my strength, I go back to my native sea. And dive in.

Antonio Denti

Catania, Sicily (2022)

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