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Excerpt from chap. 15 "THE ANIMAL BEING" of "NAFIS AND THE COLOURFUL HALLWAYS"

NAFIS AND THE COLOURFUL HALLWAYS by ALESSANDRO NICCOLI


Excerpt from chap. 15

THE ANIMAL BEING

illustrations by Sara Panicci

Animals shouldn’t merely be observed to admire their beauty, the things they do and their sublime movement. We need to look at their world, look at the world through their eyes, trying to imagine what animals feel when they observe things, why they observe them. When herons or buzzards glide above us, their bodies relax as they observe the asphalt down below, whereas we concentrate on the road and look at the cars, they move their heads curiously and their deep, lively eyes with indecipherable colours, enriched by the fullness of nature, towards everything that isn’t the road, towards the sunset, towards a wood, then suddenly towards a hill, while in flight their bodies slightly change direc- tion and their feathers are smoothed out by the wind, their wings spread wide to perform incredibly perfect geometries. Geometries envied by all of us, who have created cumbersome, awkward birds of steel. Why are buzzards, swallows and starlings at peace when they fly, stretch themselves gently and observe nature? The answer’s simple: because they’re part of it all, they’re nature’s perfect fruit, and they’re grateful to it when they perform their incredible swoops and acrobatics! They simply enjoy nature, they dominate it and are dominated by it. Their deep, lively eyes not only see, contemplate and discard whatever is super- fluous and ugly, they’re also enriched by the beauty that attracts them, rich in ancestral culture, they’re the eyes of nature! We should try to look at the world like they do, not limit ourselves to admiring the aesthetic and dynam- ic forms of animals, but going further: admiring the world through the same eyes, their eyes, the eyes of nature”. Nafis, like everyone else, was astounded by Enea’s simple, yet brilliant idea, one that no one had thought of before: “Not just looking at the animal, but also at the world through the animal’s eyes”.

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