I am writing this from the airplane that takes my family and me to Jakarta. For months we have been organizing our summer, and Jakarta – the place where my husband has already started to live and work – was an important part of it. The main point, however, the top event of the summer, was our beloved Triennale, the international party we throw every three years in our home in Tuscany. It all has come and gone so quickly. We started planning last year – with invitations reaching literally every corner of the world, we have to start well in advance. Then, as months went by, messages started circulating intensely, and more and more people confirmed they would join. Others, sadly, told us they would not make it this year either.
Things started to really take shape when I left Jerusalem and my husband arrived in Italy from Jakarta. We went to Tuscany and had about ten days to organize the whole event – and with the surprises we always find when opening the house after one year (like a giant beehive in my eldest son’s window), we had no time to sit and read a book.
We had to finish the house annex we started rebuilding last year, to be able to provide a roof for our children’s friend who did not have a tent, and a toilet for the thirty or so young who would spend the days of the party at our place. We had to organize tours and visits and book restaurants; to buy food and drinks for the meals we would have at home; to rent tables, and find a truck to collect them in Volterra and bring them back; to set up a barbecue big enough to cook for eighty people; to get rid of the bees and restore the road, which after a long rainy winter is always in bad conditions.
It was an exhausting preparation, made more difficult this time by the tension for the massacre taking place in Gaza, from which I couldn’t (and can’t) take my mind away. But, as it happens every year since that July 2005 when we had our first Triennale, the moment I saw the first guest appearing from the wood track that takes to our beloved casina, I felt overwhelmed by so much love and happiness, that I immediately forgot the organizational efforts, and I rejoiced once more in realizing things I don’t necessarily have time to stop and think about during the year:
that we love them with all our hearts and they love us back
that we are the luckiest and most privileged to have such and amazing place where our friends are happy to join us and feel good
that our children have been able to build strong and sincere friendships despite us taking them all around the globe since they were born
that if this life has a meaning, it is in keeping in touch with friends and in always being eager to know what is happening in their lives.
And this year, I had another sudden, maybe banal but for me very important realization. All of our guests spent the five days of the party thanking us: for organizing, for inviting them, for cooking, directing and entertaining. But all through the party I was shaken by the strong need to thank them instead. Never like this time have I realized that such an event would never be possible if our friends were not ready to spend money to get to us, to plan their holidays including us, to actually make the effort to drive all the way to Tuscany and to our secluded place, and to be present with a joyful and loving spirit. I was so moved to see my beloved Peruvian friends coming from Lima, all five of them, for the second time, to a place they already know, and staying with us the whole duration of the party; or my friends from Jerusalem, shaken and exhausted and yet finding their way and sleeping in tents when they would definitely need a 5 star hotel suite; or my friend who came just for the night, with inglorious weather, and made an offer to the Pachamama, pouring a bit of wine in front of the house, to stop the rain; or my Swedish friend who came with three broken ribs; and I could go on and on and fill the whole blog – they all were just so nice and showed such a deep commitment – to us, to friendship and to life – that has given me enough energy and motivation to think that yes, life is worth living and it is worth living it exactly the way we are doing it, sharing it with others.