Scrolling through the list with the names of my clients who over the years have been part of Boudoir's "life stories", I realized that they all have in common the fact of being very approachable and helpful people. Silvia is like that too, but unlike the other interviewees she has no exposure in the world of media. Silvia is my age and works as a nurse in the intensive care unit of one of Venice's hospitals, the biggest which is located on the mainland.
When she needed new glasses, she was referred to Boudoir by a friend and colleague of hers. It was the month of may and the pandemic finally allowed us to move between the mainland and our island. So Silvia decided to come and choose some extremely light glasses. She wanted eyeglasses that would give her relief from the weight of all the protective equipment, that are mandatory where she works. Speaking of glasses and choosing a pair, we developed empathy. The conversation, which we resume today, then slipped into relationships between human beings and I thought it was time to interview someone who does a "front line" job, but for which there is no limelight and who does not even seek it.
- I often have the feeling that your skills are put into practice a bit like it happens in the theater, from behind the scenes, am I wrong? Taking care of people's health certainly touches many emotions that resonate with psychology. Do you ever feel the need to recharge your batteries by relying on someone else's attention?
When I decided to take up this profession, I remember I thought it was the best choice I could have made for myself and for my life. Now years have passed and I have gained, in addition to the enthusiasm of the time, a broader and more complex vision of this work , still so fascinating in some ways, but also very difficult. The need to resort to external help is felt with different intensity depending on the period I live. However, I have learned to seek help if there is a need and to channel the suffering. On the other hand, it is nice to be surprised when the understanding of a colleague, the sharing of one's ideas, ideals and difficulties is enough to understand that I am not alone on this path.
- In interviews on television, your colleagues from different parts of Italy and of the world, reaffirmed the concept of not being heroes nor of feeling like some, but only of doing their job with dedication, love and responsibility. I admired them so much! Speaking of "life stories", what are the stories that have this effect on you?
Like many of my colleagues, I am surprised when I hear the nurse=hero, comparison. Ours is a profession with a strong sense of conscience and responsibility, associated with a good dose of passion. To me today, a hero is the one who gives humanity, a precious gem in terms of consciousness and culture and creativity. I admire those who manage, in this world that is a little too constructed, to persist in the search for a reason.
-In March 2020, things suddenly turned horrible for all of us. The luckiest of us have had to deal just with the fear of the coronavirus and a certain list of restrictions. For many others, life has changed and the question I am about to ask you absolutely does not want to disrespect anyone: At the end of such a hard period for health employees, even considering that your work puts you in front of the suffering of others, is it possible to save a very small part of this emergency as a positive experience? Is there anything good in pain?
I believe that this event has put a strain on our mental stability in general and that each of us has been deeply marked in some way. It was a sudden interruption of our plans, a strange crisis that blew everyone away. Indeed, as you say, I also see the crisis in a positive way, because it favors changes and forces us to observe things differently. The event of the pandemic, by exceptionality and globality, is a story in itself. In any case, it gave rise to new sensations, including positive ones. For example, the solidarity that emerged in my working reality among colleagues was something extraordinary and precious, in such a surreal period.
- As already mentioned, in intensive care, in addition to other devices, constantly wear the mask that leaves the eyes uncovered. Regardless of which glasses one may or may not need ... in your opinion, through the eyes, is it possible to open a non-verbal communication channel with patients or even with doctors and colleagues when needed? Do eyes really speak?
The gaze, especially in the period of maximum emergency where the dressing involved a complete coverage of the body, remains the only vehicle for sending messages and acts more than ever as a support to verbal communication which instead becomes weaker. The sound of the voice and the reading of the lips disappear behind the mask. It is our eyes that save us, giving help and hope to the other, be it a patient, a family member or a colleague. Eyes, valued, indispensable, but protected so as not to make our resource vulnerable.
- When you came to collect your new glasses, post lockdown, it was also the first time you allowed yourself an evening other than collapsing in bed exhausted. You were thrilled, not only to finally see better, but also for the relax that the city gave you in that moment. What does it mean for you to come to Venice?
Venice, seen in the first days of May was pure magic. For me it has always been a comfort-placere and source of regeneration. This brief escape from everyday life was a gift in those days. Being able to come to your shop Alessandro, under the pretext of my need to choose a new frame with lenses, was like finding freedom again, even if only for a few hours. Your discreet and gentle way, but also wise, brought me to your treasure shop in Venice where I immediately felt at ease. I was finally able to choose a frame that would lift me up and not oppress me. I regained the sharpness and beauty of what is around me, a new light. Now I focus every detail in the glimpses of my beloved Venice, as well as the numbers on the monitor at work! The peace and silence of Venice were something unique and made me appreciate the slow return to the liveliness that this city offers.
Well, I hope to see you more often in Venice, since you like it so much here. Thank you for your time.