Embrace the Essence of Italian Bliss

A Journey to Serenity and Simplicity

Intent Shapes Outcomes

Intent Shapes Outcomes

What matters is the Intent!” my grandmother told me that morning when she burst into the small atelier I had at her house, bringing me a slice of blackberry pie. Soft, warm, and with the fragrance of embraces, it melted in my mouth, nourishing not only my body but, most importantly, my spirit. It tasted like childhood, an era when the impossible didn’t exist, and I devoured it in two bites, littering the floor with crumbs.

Grandma Alberta’s small and gentle fingers unraveled the knots in my tousled hair, while I, with my cup of milk in hand, half-closed my eyes and basked in the moment, was suspended in a cloud of affection.

That August morning, I had risen very early, perhaps before five. I wanted to admire the light mist that rose toward the hills, carrying with it the scents of the forest. I longed to see the sun push its way above the trees and listen to the world’s sound as it awoke. So, with a bit of luck, I might finally find inspiration for the painting I had to deliver to my first real client, Adriano, in three weeks and not a day more. 

He was a retired lawyer who had moved from the city to the countryside a couple of months earlier, just a few kilometers from Grandma’s house, and he couldn’t wait to fill his new home with artworks and objects made by local artists. To be honest, I wasn’t exactly “local” because I was still shuttling between the city, where I shared an apartment with my sister, and the countryside, where I wanted to live. My heart was there, among the olive trees, cherry trees, and brambles, and all those aromatic plants that season after season scented my dear grandmother’s life.

After my last argument with Serena, the manager of that pointless clothing store where I worked, I decided to leave because I couldn’t stand that superficial life and the futility of my existence. But you know how they say: “easier said than done”, and at just over twenty years old, I didn’t have the courage to drop everything and start over, so I settled for an occasional weekend in the countryside. Looking back, it’s incredible how hard it is to leave mediocrity.

Outside, in the garden, beyond the large glass window, two little birds were dining in the fig tree, and I, captivated by the magic of the moment, thought that perhaps I could immortalize them as the background of my painting. After all, the former lawyer, a distinguished and kind man, had told me I could paint whatever I wanted: “let your creativity flow, if you let your heart speak, I’m sure I’ll love your painting”. But for days, the muses hadn’t visited me, and every morning I found myself in front of that blank canvas, which moment by moment became even blanker. I felt unprepared, convinced I wasn’t good enough, and Grandma knew it. That’s why she had come to me; with the excuse of the pie, she wanted to lend a hand, but I didn’t understand it back then.

“What matters is the Intent” she kept repeating

“Let it go”, she said, taking something I had just picked up out of my hands. She caressed me again, this time on my cheeks, staring straight into my eyes, and then continued: “Being good at things isn’t enough. In the world, there are many skilled people, in fact, each of us is good at something, because everyone possesses a gift to confront life. What matters, though, is not the skill itself but the Intent with which things are done“, she said, emphasizing the word “intent”, and then continued: “and, unfortunately, that can’t be learned or seen. It remains invisible, hidden from profane eyes, but an attentive and sensitive gaze can perceive it and feel it as soon as it appears”.

She paused to sip her mint tea, made with the fresh leaves from the garden that she picked every morning. Then she looked at me, with her gaze partly hidden behind her foggy glasses, and motioned for me not to speak. “If you paint your picture worrying if it will please or not, obsessed with haste, or worse, thinking about how much money you’ll earn, you’ll never be an artist. A true artist works lightly because they know they are a bridge between heaven and earth, a means to bring beauty into the world, and for that, nothing troubles them. Every little thing we do, from the smallest to the greatest, is infused with the energy with which it is executed. That energy is called Intent, and if you use it to bring splendor into the world, to serve yourself and others, you won’t have to worry about anything, just like the artists do. The muses you’re invoking now, still in your pajamas, with knotted hair and dark circles painted on your face like a tormented soul, will come to you every day. Inspiration itself will land on your windowsill and fill your days with wonder. So, what Intentions do you have now? Do you want to paint the grace of these landscapes and immortalize the eternal on your canvas? Or do you prefer to worry about everything else? Think carefully before answering because Intent shapes outcomes”.

The creaking of her chair brought me back to reality, and, as if just awakened from a deep sleep, I noticed that the colors around me became brighter, the sounds sharper, and the scents stronger. Even the taste of the milk was different, and for a moment, it seemed as if a rainbow had entered the studio. Grandma got up, extending her hands and inviting me to do the same. I observed her somewhat bewildered, arching my eyebrows with a semi-open mouth and accepting her invitation to leave that room filled with the stale air and laden with my uncertainties. I wasn’t sure I had fully understood her words, but I knew she wouldn’t say anything else.

The next day, I started my new painting.

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