Italian artist Alessandro Novelli tells the story of a peasant who traveled the world. He lived a good life and met a lot people and experienced diffrerent things.
But one day, on one of his travels, he came across a huge open gate in the middle of nowhere. Standing beside it, a fearsome and immortal guardian.
“Guardian, please, let me pass through this gate,” the peasant begged.
“Sorry, peasant. But I cannot allow you to pass through,” the guardian replied.
So the peasant decided to wait. Minutes turned to hours. Hours into days. He’d ask the same question and get the same answer.
“Peasant, beyond this gate, there are infinite gates and infinite guardians. And even though I am a powerful guardian, I can barely look into the eyes of the third, who is much more powerful than I,” the guardian said. “So if you feel brave, I dare you to pass. But remember, it’s at your own risk.”
Scared, the peasant kept waiting while his life went by.
He tried to bribe the guardian, who always took his gifts and gave the same answer. “I am accepting your gifts so you won’t think you didn’t try every way to get in,” he said.
The peasant continued to wait. Seasons passed and he grew old.
“Guardian, I’ve spent my entire life here in front of this gate. Yet I never say neither man or woman or any kind of creature try to cross it,” the peasant said. “Can you tell me why? Can you tell me the reason?”
The fearsome guardian was aware of what was happening.
“Peasant, I’m going to close the gate — and only then will you have your answer,” he replied.
The guardian slowly approached the gate and closed it. He then turned to the peasant and said, “Listen to me, wherever it is you go to now, remember this gate. And that this gate existed and was opened just for you — yet you never found the strength to cross it.”
That’s when the peasant realized the truth, closed his eyes and died.
Then, the guardian reopened the gate for the ones who will come — for the ones who will be brave.
“The Guardian” is a free interpretation of the parable “Before the Law” from Franz Kafka’s book “The Trial.”
The peasant and guardian are the same character. The peasant represents the fear in front of us. The guardian is something shapeless that surround and control us. And the gates are the possibilities we encounter during our lifetime.