I don't expect that any of you might waste time reading what I'm going to write.
Actually I'm trying to put my thoughts in words mostly for myself.
There is a little story behind these three objects.
When it's difficult to decide where to start from, it's always better to start from the beginning.
I loved one of my grandfathers in a very special way.
Both my grandfathers were uncommon people and had unusual lives; but here I mean to tell you about my grandfather Antonin.
I met him when he was already very old, since my mother was the last daughter of his second marriage.
He died when I was fifteen or sixteen, but I have unforgettable memories of him.
I think that, one of these days, I'll write his story.
Just to leave traces of him, or else he will disappear completely when I disappear too.
But it's not time for that yet.
It would be too long.
Two of these objects belonged to my grandfather Antonin and after his death they have always been with me.
There is a beautiful silver artefact, probably a fruit bowl, which someone had handmade for him.
There is my grandfather's family name carved on, Koska.
I don't know when it had been made and why.
I had always seen it at my grandparents' home.
Then there is this small bronze bust of great Italian poet Dante Alighieri (whom, by the way I like immensely).
My grandfather kept it on his desk, as paperweight.
If I close my eyes, right now, I can see clearly my grandfather's desk.
It was made of wood and had many small drawers and an amazing rolling shutter, made of wood too, to close it.
Often it remained blocked and my grandfather, who was a sweet and mild man, but became irascible against objects (never against people) that he insulted heavily in German, as if they could understand him, covered the poor piece of furniture with fanciful and creative swearwords.
But he was not really angry, not at all.
When he died I asked for only two things to keep with me, the fruit bowl and the bust of Dante.
But you would protest that in this picture there are three objects.
Right you are. We are coming to the point.
Many years after my grandfather's death I met a woman.
She was smart and well educated, but we didn't become friends, we were just acquaintances, rather good acquaintances, I might say.
Once, at her home I noticed, on the corner of a shelf, a bronze bust of…Beatrice.
Exactly the same style of my Dante. I decided it had to be mine, at all costs.
My Dante had been alone for decades, maybe for more than hundred years; nobody could say how long…He deserved to find again the love of his life.
I had to persuade that woman to give her Beatrice to me. After all her Beatrice had no story.
I asked her and she told me that it was a rather banal bust, which she had found, she didn't remember where either.
My Dante was part of my grandfather's story.
Once again my personal superhero made my wish come true.
The smart and well-educated woman came to visit us and, as all polite guests she wanted to bring something to the hostess; she had thought of something classy and artistic, maybe with flowers…Luckily she asked my husband for advice about my tastes and he, a real superhero, was ready to suggest she bring me her Beatrice.
She hesitated, she thought it was not an enough refined gift, but he insisted that I would be totally happy with it.
So Beatrice could join Dante.
I have lost contact with the smart woman for many years, but Beatrice is still with Dante and with me.
I have the impression that my grandfather is smiling now, with his ironical eyes…