Tag: my tiny atlas

Found At Sea

CORNERS, JOURNAL, TRAVEL November 21, 2018

Spend a minute remembering the baptised golden days,

deep-fried in melancholy when all you can remember of them are all nicest details rather than the rollercoaster they’ve been,

 

raise a glass in memory of all the minutes spent fantasising seasons to come,

fingers crossed they’ll be brighter, softer, fuller.

 

Pour the flour on a plain surface, create a hole in the middle,

bung in water,

the hope that all things will work out

and the pinch of indulgence of the small hours spent on a rooftop to catch the first light of the day while the music is still playing in your ears.

 

 

All in all, adulting can be quite an entertaining thing to do

to kill time

between a Sunday morning spent at the cafe down the road

and the next improvised change of plans.

 

 

 

So I tie this old pair of sneakers

and walk home through this muddy path,

to the sound of the ocean,

 

 

and fall asleep to the idea that you can feel at home

when lost at sea.

 

 

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Passa un minuto a ricordare i giorni che battezzi d’oro,

ben conditi con sorrisi melanconici di cui riesci a ricamare soltanto i dettagli più dolci invece delle montagne russe che sono stati.

 

Alziamo i calici in onore dei minuti trascorsi a fantasticare le stagioni a venire, tenendo le dita incrociate che siano più leggere, rotonde.

 

Quindi spargi la farina su un piano di lavoro pulito, crea un buco al centro,

unisci acqua, lo sperare che tutto vada bene e un pizzico di abbandono alle ore piccole su un tetto qualsiasi a vedere il sole che si sveglia mentre la musica ancora fischia nelle orecchie.

 

Che alla fine dei conti, diventare grandi non è poi tanto male come passatempo fra una domenica mattina al caffe’ all’angolo e il prossimo cambio di scena.

 

Scivolo in questo vecchio paio di scarpe e cammino lungo questo sentiero di fango sulla voce dell’oceano e mi addormento all’idea

che a forza di sentirsi persi,

si finisce col trovare la via di casa.

 

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Not What I Wanted, But Butter

JOURNAL November 5, 2018

On Sunday,

I thought I’d give myself a shot at baking.

 

I walked the isles of the supermarket,

bought all the ingredients,

went home and followed the recipe.

 

Step. By. Step.

 

 

The result was

– for the umpteenth time -,

a burnt mess.

 

 

But this taught me a life lesson

and I won’t barter a precious life lesson

for a well-baked banana chocolate muffin.

 

 

And the lesson learnt is that even when you follow rules,

that doesn’t always take you where you wanted to get.

 

 

 

Some may call it laziness of buying a balance like grown-ups do,

some others inability of complying with the suggested grams of sugar,

 

 

me, I just call it serendipity.

 

 

 

Because things may not always be what I was hoping for,

 

 

but better.

 

 

 

 

By the way,

my muffins sucked.

 

 

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Hong Kong

CORNERS, TRAVEL September 22, 2018

 

A month ago,

my father gave me a ring and asked

 

I’ll be in Hong Kong for a couple days, do you want to join ?

 

 

 

11 hours on a plane,

and I was there.

 

 

We spent our time wandering the streets of Causeway Bay,

the Star Ferry to the other side of the river,

trams

and trains

and buses,

 

visas to cross the Chinese border,

kids in uniforms,

old men smoking in construction boots,

smuggling of bags,

cheap cigarettes.

 

The salty air from the sea,

the clouds promising the arrival of the typhoon.

 

 

 

Hong Kong is a contradiction of colours

and a quick combination of flavours,

 

who would’ve thought that

street markets fit so well

in the skyline ?

 

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City

CORNERS, JOURNAL, TRAVEL September 7, 2018

After 10 weeks,

Max and me decided to leave the tropics and move back to the city.

 

The rhythm is faster,

the noises louder,

the people different.

 

 

We found a place in Surry Hills

– little residential corner just below where the skyscrapers and the bus lanes collide.

 

 

There’s a supermarket down the road where I stop by in the morning

                                                                                     to get almond croissants,

 

a park with a rugby pitch in the middle

and a bottle shop a few steps away.

 

 

There’s no heating, the fridge is often empty and the stairs are steep,

      but it feels good to have a place to call home.

 

 

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This island I call home

JOURNAL August 15, 2018

After three months on this island I call home,

I see how lightheartedly I left home and all things I could trace by heart under my fingertips,

landed on the other side of the world to untangle my collection of knots,

and gave myself a one-year-long break from growing up, snoozing alarms and expensive pilates classes.

 

 

I’ve finally realised that you don’t need to have it all figured out yet,

that if you want to go from A to B, you don’t necessarily have to go through the paved path, that it’s o.k. to stumble into wrong jobs,

long-term hostel stays

and people who won’t stick around.

 

 

 

So here’s to another handful of months of temporary jobs, cereals for dinner and

late nights spent booking flights.

 

Here’s to giving myself another shot to prove myself wrong,

because maybe,

after all,

not all things are meant to be the way you were taught. 

 

Because maybe,

after all,

you can change the flow of your days and find your way to reach point B

whatever,

wherever,

whoever

that is.

 

 

 

It can be fun letting go of right and wrong, a stable income and a balanced diet,

and trust your guts.

 

 

You may end up in the right place

 

at the right time.

 

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No good at keeping secrets

JOURNAL April 23, 2018

And maybe one night

when the air starts to feel warmer

we’ll all end up with glasses of discounted wine in our hands, climbing stairs to a rooftop

and olive stones crumpled up in white napkins

 

 

Like our talks on getting your skin inked without planning it,

long road trips

and real good friends you won’t see in years

 

– too wide for our eye bags filled with sleep to redeem and money to buy our summers of getaways to talk about on those city rooftops.

 

 

And maybe we’ll all end up wandering with no deadline,

leaving the office filling our days to give them all a fil rouge to follow,

some sort of bad excuse to hold tight to when having breakfast on a weekend with people curious about your way of phrasing your purpose, now and here.

 

 

 

Here’s to train rides with the sun setting fire to the sky of an April morning,

a man playing with a game boy on the seat next to mine,

the quiet promise of a flight booked in the secrecy of the night – not a word with anyone but your circle of trust and some strangers met along the way of those last days in your mother town.

 

 

Here’s to flights to be on time for,

months of improvisation and watering yourself along the way – it’s important to keep your curiosity alive and your roots well tied.

 

 

Here’s to days passing by without making much noise,

without weighing your body changing with landscapes outside the window of a house that you’ll make home in a new neighbourhood,

to the people to let out and those who’ll swing by and to those who’ll stay a while longer,

even when the glasses are empty and the clothes stained

with the scars you tried to hide.

 

 

Here’s to the stories to weave in yours,

and arms to fit in,

without losing the fil rouge you’ve been searching for in this tangle of thoughts you crafted in those times spent pondering and getting all wrapped up into it,

 

letting that fucking fil rouge slip from your fingers

– because too cautious,

because too scared to seek what you deserve.

 

 

Here’s to coffee paid with coins weighing in the pocket of your jeans,

falling into tiny bad habits to use as icebreakers

in hostels in the outskirts of unknown cities,

 

to the nights alone and those spent tracing new shapes and skins and voices in the space of a caress,

to burn them onto your mind and carry with you along the way.

 

Here’s to another glass emptied in your lungs craving for some fresh air,

the one you’ve been trying to swab with stories in mid-air and uncultivated love stories.

 

 

 

Here I find myself,

with a ticket bought in the secrecy of a midweek night,

 

holding tight to the promise I made to my 18-year-old self  of trusting this fil rouge

found right where I knew I’d find it,

within me.

 

 

I can’t wait to go get what this crazy ass world has to offer.

 

 

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Taming time, Hang in there

JOURNAL April 10, 2018

I often feel the urge to get it all done before it’s too late,

time knocking at my door and telling me to hurry up, to not lose balance, to find the time to go bring an icecream to my grandma, find a job, an affordable flat with a nice view and sqweeze in some pilates.

 

 

And I thought that organizing my days in to-do lists would’ve made it look much clearer,

much smoother.

 

But they don’t seem to ever find a happy ending,

and I can’t find the space to fit those minutes of lighthearted goofyness

and unrelated talks,

 

Of early afternoon walks or finishing one of the projects I keep shaping and modelling in my head and inevitably end up adding to the bunches of ready-to-bloom bunches, hide them in the closet and leave there until the right moment comes.

 

 

But I also figured that if you’re not yet there – where you thought you’d be by now,

hang in there.

 

 

This is not to say that all things will work out, that you’ll afford a studio with a view on sunsets and no traffic sounds waking you up on weekends.

 

But don’t spend your night crying your fears out and your days trying to tame them.

It never worked for anyone.

 

 

Just put a tshirt on, roll up your sleeves and get your butt to work.

 

 

 

The right time comes

when you decide to let it in. 

 

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Throw me a Bone

JOURNAL March 30, 2018

A song I play quite often goes like this

” Throw me a bone,

Don’t be scared of what you don’t already know “

And I wasn’t quite sure how to interpret it,

at first sight, it sounds like something trivial.

Over time and with all that’s come through in between,

well,

this doozy started to make a real nice sense.

And the sense it started to make has a pinch of melancholy within,

especially to someone like me –

who weighs words and commas and all the smallest details.

I’ve dreamt about this faraway land.

pictured it in the tiniest of details,

from the disposition of plants in the house

to how long it’d take me to get to the beach.

Stupid little things, you may think,

My happy places, I dream.

But for some reason, I don’t seem to grasp, that I don’t seem to baptize.

Here I am, still picturing it in its details,

this far away land,

repeating myself to sleep that maybe there’s no need to fly to the other side of this world to find myself at home,

to find my way to the balance I crave.

That it’s not the view from my window or the shades of the sand under my bare feet that’ll make me happier.

That what I need is already within me.

Some fucking where, flooded under these piles of freedom thoughts

and idealizations.

And so I distract myself with simple things

like weekend getaways,

restaurant dinners on Fridays

and subtle vices

– to swab this thirst of mine I don’t find the guts to shush

nor to water.

But then I think to myself that damn yes,

the view from my window and the smell of the ocean and the way to the beach and the shades of the sky, they all make a hell of a difference,

especially to someone like me who doesn’t want to give up wondering,

not even when the alarm goes off,

not even now I see I’m making some hell good paintings of these faraway dreamlands.

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36 hours in Rome with Ma’

CORNERS, JOURNAL, TRAVEL March 28, 2018

The first day of Spring is my mother’s birthday.

 

I’m no good at birthday gifts

– she must have a pile of pattern socks and teas in metallic boxes by now.

 

 

So I bought two train tickets.

 

We woke up at 4.30am

and with no clues, she followed me to the station when it still was night outside. She found out few minutes before the departure I was taking her to Rome.

 

 

Time to leave our bag to the apartment in the centre (Maison Romana)

and we left wandering around its cobbled streets.

We’d only stop when the stomach complained or when our feet were hurting or when the view got too pretty.

 

And what we realized is that you don’t need the whole world in your pocket

to find yourself happy.

 

 

Sometimes, a sunrise and two days of long walks and a plate of pasta and mugs of coffee and the sun warming your bones can turn into the softest birthday gift.

 

And it’s nice to wet your lips with wine after cheering to yourself, to early mornings on a train, to Rome and to things to come.

 

 

Whatever works.

As simple as that.

 

 

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  • Maison Romana, apartment
  • Pasticceria Regoli, breakfast
  • Trastevere, afternoon stroll
  • Papa Re, lunch // carciofi alla romana + puntarelle

Hard edges and Bad coffee but with laughter

CORNERS, JOURNAL, TRAVEL March 26, 2018

I should be leaving the city in a handful of minutes

– fractions of the life I’ve tried on for a few days.

 

I’m at the bar down the road,

keeping my fingers crossed to meet some of those people you only meet in your travels,

bare enough to tone down the tangles messing around with my sleep,

good enough to smooth these hard edges of mine.

 

Keeping my fingers crossed to finally find a place to make home

– even if just for a handful of months,

even if just for a slice of time.

 

 

But I sit here,

playing darts with my days trying to hit the mark,

ignoring this bad sight of mine and my perpetual fear of not being enough,

of making a false step,

 

hoping to hit that fucking mark.

 

 

There are two bartenders making my coffee on a random early spring day

and I almost asked them if maybe,

by any chance,

they needed another pair of spare hands to dry all those chipped ceramic plates.

If maybe,

by any chance,

they were looking for another laughter to join theirs when dropping things

behind the counter, not taking things too seriously.

 

Because I came to realize that the infinite thirst I’ve been trying to swab for all this time with clothes I don’t have the occasions to wear and black ink,

kicking in my sleep and begging me to listen,

was nothing but a cry for lightheartedness,

fresh air

and coffees from whichever bar down the road of an ordinary city.

 

 

Lightness isn’t superficiality,

it is daring to be yourself,

trying lives on until you find the one that fits snugly.

 

I’m surely no expert when it comes to matters of the heart,

nor am I fortune-teller interpreting stars and signs,

but I’ve learnt that  the best gift you can give yourself is to let go of

the buoy of taking yourself too seriously

and get lost.

 

And when the soles of your shoes are paper-thin

and you run out of breath,

sit on a bench,

enjoy the view

and then go back to getting lost until you stumble on what you’ve been looking for.

And call it by its name

– little does it matter if we’re talking about heart,

balance

or god.

 

 

And what you may find is a bar down the road of whichever ordinary city,

where the coffee may be bad

– but it’s served by people with a smile drawn on their cheeks who laugh when they stumble behind the counter.

 

A tiny memo saying that it’s okay if you stumble,

that it’s fine to not be too hard on yourself.

 

 

 

A hot coffee, two bartenders behind the counter and all that’s within.

As simple as that.

 

 

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