Life

She attends middle school and high school in Forli. In 1951 the Bianchi Porro family is moving to Sirmione del Garda. Benedetta is enthusiastically speaking of the villa with view of the lake: "white, with green shutters, a wooden balcony in the front, a small gate on the side, the big and roomy bedrooms give such a feeling of freedom...". Sirmione is beautiful, and the little girl likes to live in the villa among the olive trees and she also enjoys the discussions with the siblings, politics, sport, swimming in the lake, the voices, the laughter, the boats, the people, the things. (14 years old Benedetta)

Benedetta is passionate about everything; she loves to study and spends many hours playing the piano. But her burning joy to live bears a shadow of sadness, an ineffable sign, a hidden excitement:
"at this sight, my soul is full of memories, and has a great need of indefinite, of remote, of silence. A need to be out of the world, far away from everybody, and a need to reveal to someone the sorrows of my life; the need for someone who would comfort me. To get consolation, I only need to raise my thought to God."

To prevent deformation of the spine, she has to wear a brace, which is oppressing and conditioning her. We get a glimpse of her anguish from her diary, wherein she writes: "Dear Diary - I put on my brace for the first time this morning, what tears! It squeezes me way up under my armpits and almost takes my breath away." These are evident signs of discouragement which Benedetta constantly tried to overcome in the conquest of interior serenity.
She is also losing her sense of hearing. Many times because of this she was misunderstood by her teachers and ridiculed by her classmates. On one of those occasions she noted in her diary: "Dear Diary - What a bad impression I make at times, but it doesn't matter. Some day soon, I will hear only the voice of my soul and that is the road I will follow". These hidden fears never lessened her determination.

Day after day the restlessness of her spirit is growing. Thirsty for love, she reveals Anna, her dear friend, her deepest and more delicate feelings: "You are my very first friend and a friend for me is something more than what others mean by it. A friend has to be something of ourselves and you are for me the other half of my soul, the water in which I can reflect."

Anytime she can't enjoy her friend's reassuring presence, Benedetta feels a much deeper interior solitude. Deafness is advancing. Still is the murmor of all things, the feast of life: "...the sky is gray and foggy and all things are getting annoyed and are crying instead of laughing for my soul."
She is now experiencing a life of bare love: how many desires and hopes destined to die! Mourn, loss, fear. The trial is getting harder and harder. Benedetta is trembling: "...I am afraid that everything is an illusion and this illusion is making me tremble more than despair itself".

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