Formica Coriandolo

I was 21 years old, and I never imagined that behind that little wooden door, I would find the most extraordinary thing I have ever seen in my life.

It was 1984 and Falco Tarassaco told us that we were going to visit the most important place in Damanhur. We drove uphill by car and climbed up the slope that leads to Porta del Sole. We knew of that community, and while we were reaching the top of the hill, I asked myself what could  be so important in that nucleo, except for the fact that, at the time, it was the center of the Monastery where the first Monks lived.

After coming to the gate, we got out of the car. Falco was happily whistling and walking ahead of us at a fast pace while we, vaguely perplexed, followed closely behind. I walked around the side of the house (which was much smaller than it is today) and arrived in front of that small, insignificant wooden door. In that moment, I thought he was playing a joke on us, but he didn’t seem to be.

Falco opened the door and slipped into a narrow gap in the wall, immersed in the shadows that surrounded the house. We followed him, exchanging some doubtful glances, until we stopped in front of a few dusty shelves where there were some equally dusty tools. Then, he turned to look at us.

I will never forget that gaze. It was beyond time, as if he were looking at us in the past and in the future at the same time. It isn’t easy to describe that unusual sensation, but on the other hand, Falco was an extraordinary person!

I only remember that I began to sweat. Certainly it was hot, but most of all, I felt discomfort due to the anomalous circumstances. Falco touched a seemingly random part of the wall, and all of a sudden in the solid structure of the wall, a crack opened in the bricks. It’s not enough to say that I was surprised. Together with that improbable door which opened to that equally improbable place, something inside my head was also opening with an audible “click” which echoed on the walls of my brain.

Stunned, I followed him along that small passageway, oblivious of what would happen once we were inside. The corridor was illuminated by lamps attached to the walls of a small, red brick corridor. The air was cool, and there were some buckets full of rock on the ground that made walking the path difficult. We were inside the mountain! I continued walking with an empty head (as it was impossible to formulate any kind of thought in that moment) when I noticed a round niche to my right… (to be continued)

Formica Coriandolo


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