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Sardinian artist Maria Lai offers us a small recollection of her childhood related to where she lived, her family, and her elusive, independence-loving character. Maria Lai confides that she had a pact with her sister: if she ever had children, she would have them raised by her. The testimony is taken from the docufilm, “Invented by an absent-minded god. Maria Lai” by Nicoletta Nesler and Marilisa Piga (2001).

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Ecco la trascrizione completa del video:

MARIA LAI: «My father was right to say I am a little goat. He would tell me I was a little goat impatient about precipices.
Telling tales is typical of the people of Ulassai, otherwise there would not be that many legends.
They are like cocoons that contain universal meanings, so they must have been created by a poet. Not knowing that.
Some are born with a peculiar need to be outside the world, not following all the rules that govern society and to slowly discover that any type of affection is forbidden to them.
And at first, they feel condemned. However, when you understand this, you are safe.
When you understand that not belonging to anyone is equal to being universal, to being boundless. Then it is… it is happiness.
Ever since I was a child, I always felt the need to escape from home, to run away from home.
And of course, they would look at me… puzzled.
Don’t we love you enough? Why are you happier far away? Why are you always hiding yourself?
I loved being alone, hiding myself, and they would tell me, what are you doing?
And I would listen to the silence, and found it very beautiful.
But of course, I felt different, I always felt accused, or I felt that I was always betraying who loved me.
I have always felt the need to create a distance between those who love me and myself. I could not bear to be loved that much.
True love was the one that my father gave me, which helped me being free, even though he was worried about me.
True love is the one that helps the other person to be free.
One should find a partner who knows how to be non-existent.
I, for instance, did not exclude children, but I had decided with my sister that she would have raise them. She would say, don’t take them from me later! She was born a mother.
But I have always known that I should have kept them at a certain distance. Nothing would have taken me away from my well.
I was here as a guest of my aunt and uncle, I have lived here all my childhood, from the age of two to nine.
Next to that silo, two gypsies’ caravans have been parked for a year and a half.
They used their time for some work, but also much time for acrobatics because they were acrobats and jugglers, and they would train their children who all became jugglers.
I took part in all their rehearsals too, so I had learned a lot, I could perform.
I had learned how to fly on my points, I could do many spins that made me look like I was flying as I would stand on my toes. That was an unforgettable period of my life.
Later, the day of departure came. Obviously for me it was a drama, I agreed with their children, and they hid me in a caravan. My escape was only discovered during that night, after the caravans had left.
What I remember and I have never forgotten is the look of my aunt and uncle, who did not scold me. I expected to be scolded, but they stared at me for a long time, in silence. I kept traveling with my imagination on those caravans for years. Maybe I still am.»

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