By Horacio Mesón
When we receive the news of the almost sudden death of a loved one who also has other attributes – such as having been for the undersigned one of the models of life – this type of accident destabilises us and puts us in check.
I immediately felt a great anger with death and with life, with everything. A great pain and a deep sadness. I went through different internal states in a few minutes. After a while we began to exchange with my partner about what had happened. Then there were calls between mutual friends, calls that are still going on.
From the first hours of the event until now, almost two days passed and, on several occasions, I found myself exercising points of view, turning the focus on the same situation. I found myself doing one of the things I most admired in Luis, the use of perspectives and breadth of vision.
He was a great strategist of the Humanist Movement, a guide to thousands of people in very diverse geographies. A trainer of cadres, but above all a great builder, in this case of human structures, of organisations, of apparatus, of instruments, of action fronts. A very tangible construction projected by a powerful intangible world.
Silo, our Master, was his direct guide for decades and entrusted him with several tasks, which he took upon himself to give them the character of a mission. Great actions sustained over time, which, in order to undertake them, required a strong resolution, willingness and commitment. And the latter not only with the common work, but also with Silo.
Many of these actions had to do with the stage of expansion and growth of our movement to other geographical points, to other continents. But I would like to mention others, in particular two: the direction of the construction of the Parks of Study and Reflection La Reja in Moreno, province of Buenos Aires, and the Punta de Vacas Park in Mendoza, also in Argentina. These two parks were models for the more than fifty that exist today around the world.
With the historic park, Luis made the decision to go to Mendoza to live in the mountain range. Strong winds, intense cold, heavy snowfalls and heat that dried out the skin, were obstacles and resistance but not an impediment to achieve the goal. The work teams rotated their stays, he lived there for a long time and was 10 kilos lighter when he finished the task.
Not long ago, at the beginning of May 2019, for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Siloism, a group of friends left Mar del Plata in three cars. The destination was Uspallata, the picturesque pre-mountain range town fifty kilometers from Punta de Vacas, where we stayed. Luis was one of the travelers and I had the opportunity to ask him all sorts of questions. He was happy to answer.
I remember one of the outings in those bright days when we went to the park and as we crossed the main street of Uspallata, he pointed with his index finger and said: that is where we met the Maestro to have coffee and talk about the construction of the park, when the doctors forbade him to go up “the mountain” because of his health.
It was there that the image I am sharing now was formed, that of the “architect” who meets the “builder” to follow up the work in detail.
In 2008 we published “Gracias Silo”. In the chapter “The models of my life” on page fifty-nine I mention him as one of these models and speak of him as a “great doer”. I write about his tenacity and about his “fine head” or sharp eye. It was at that time a necessity to make the testimony public and I did it. But it was much nicer to hand him a copy, which he immediately asked me to dedicate to him with a knowing look and sparkling eyes.
I want to end this writing, but I want this to be a reunion and not a farewell. And the reunion will be and it is. It will be when we will share the same plane again. And it is, because he is in every scaffold, I use daily in his construction.
Sometimes I find myself walking through the world of things and people, and at times, in order to be able to continue, I resort to instruments such as reflection, to glances and points of view. To approaches and attitudes. To emotional tones and a certain psychophysical tonicity. Evoking above all his temperance, his tenacity and his immense availability. This is part of what I admired and tried to imitate in Luis Milani. They are just a few facets of a polished and carved radiant crystal, a very inspiring being.
Thank you, Luis, thank you Silo.