Eva Colombo, Come la luce ovunque tocca l’ombra, capitolo primo: Silvia
Eva Colombo, As light wherever touches shadow, first chapter: Silvia
April light floods Silvia’s Florentine house. Winter just passed has been dreadfully dark: Silvia Settala [ protagonist of La Gioconda, drama written by Gabriele d’Annunzio, 1898 ] beloved husband, sculptor Lucio, after an attempted suicide struggled between life and death for months. Silvia treated him night and day tirelessly, heroically: her beautiful hands have literally pulled away Lucio from death’s darkness. But know it is spring and the worst is over: Lucio is out of danger and, thanks to the sweetness of a spring convalescence, his love for Silvia is sprouting again. Or, better, this is what Silvia is trying to convince herself but Gioconda Dianti, Lucio’s lover and model, projects her shadow over Silvia’s hope. Attempted suicide blood has faded adulterine love, Gioconda’s shadow is only a passing illusion: Silvia turns to the window, to that bright April light…but April light doesn’t dissipate that shadow, is the brightest light that generates the darkest shadow. Looking at that light, Silvia imagines Gioconda as a threatening alto - relievo sculptured in the very shadow of death that has skimmed Lucio, the shadow surreptitiously nourished by April light.
Meantime, in the darkness of Lucio’s studio, Gioconda is waiting. During her lover’s agony and convalescence, she has taken care of sculptures, sketches and art instruments night and day, tirelessly, heroically. Knowing that Lucio is recovered she sends to him a letter: I’m here, in our studio, waiting for you to resume our life of art and love. Lucio deceived himself of forgetting Gioconda to start a new, redeemed life at his luminous wife’s side but now, with that burning letter in his hands, sees clearly that he needs dark Gioconda to keep on living. Lucio is a sculptor, he can live only as a sculptor and Gioconda is the most important instrument of his art, she catalyzes for him the deep instinct that guides his hands when he manipulates dark first matter to mould his world. Silvia doesn’t want to understand this and her inconsiderate attempt to turn Gioconda out of Lucio’s studio ( and of his life, of course ) has a tragic result: she lost her hands trying to save a sculpture ( a sculpture with Gioconda’s features! ) that Gioconda, blinded with anger, throws to the ground.
September light floods Tuscan shore where Silvia is passing her convalescence. Lucio is returned back to his dark studio and to Gioconda. The sculpture with Gioconda’s features saved by Silvia is now maimed of both hands. Now is similar to Silvia, now is holy as her. Silvia, sacrificing herself to save a Lucio’s sculpture, is now consecrated to the obscure god of Lucio’s art. As the sculpture, she bears shadow’s stigmata. As the sculpture, she is now consecrated to the god of shadow and art that uses Silvia to reveal his presence even in the light.