Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: manuel

2016: resolutions

Take up cooking again. Talk to strangers, make new friends. Keep reading books; and maybe read some poems too. Distill and trade. Spend time with Camilla and Isabella. Volunteer, much. Start and finish a Gran Fondo. Teach one more university seminar. Write three chapters for my Ph.D. dissertation. Become part of something – NGOs? cycling clubs? freemasonry? Hike with Manuel, Mindo, and Giallu. Learn something new – something practical, possibly. Try to read and practice the spiritual exercises of Ignatius. Drink whiskey with Martin and Niels. Travel outside Europe. Meet the Canadians: Iris, Joe, Jasper. Write Thomas. Avoid weddings – except Nele’s. Be present. Make a plan for life. Visit Aosta.

Can happiness be haggis, neeps, and tatties?

My ride took a bit longer than expected. What was initially supposed to be a short stroll with the bike away from my laptop turned into a two-month journey across four countries and very different feelings. I have, in fact, been thinking a lot about myself, for reasons both professional and personal—but then who hasn’t? It is just that there are people who tend to think about themselves it more than anybody else: generally, it is either those who have a lot of spare time, or those who tend to be egocentric. I am a bit of both.

Matter of fact, I am about to speak about myself and stuff I have done – once again.

First I have ridden my bike. Quite remarkably, I rode with my dad the whole way between Trento and Tuscany. Although we did not make it to Florence because of sheer lack of time, it was a good ride. We had lot of water, huge meals, and approximately 400 km down the way. My dad is still stronger than I am when it comes to long-distance ride, which is not surprising as he does not waste too much energy thinking about himself.

Bike Ride
I have also written. My articles have been published on Unimondo: some of them in Italian (Università, il dilemma dei finanziamenti privati; Mondiali in Brasile, l’importante è partecipare;Regno Unito: una lunga serie di sfortunati eventi; Mondiali in Brasile: dove è la festa?), some others in English (How Eurosceptic is the new European Parliament?; A new deal between the EU and Turkey on immigration rules). But I have gone international too: Iris, Jasper and all the other Orange fella will be proud as my articles have been translated in Dutch (Voor het eerst vuurwerk in Europees Parlement; EU en Turkije sluiten nieuwe overeenkomst over immigratieafspraken).

I have been to the Balkans. First I went to Serbia for a volunteering program. After last year’s experience in Slovakia this year I landed in a town only 33km away from Belgrande. Lying between the rivers Sava and Kolubara, Obrenovac has been badly hit by the floods of the last Spring. I spent two weeks working with a group of international volunteers in the houses that had been damaged by the water and the mud. I then traveled south to Sarajevo, for an immersive three-day in one of Europe’s most inspiring places on the occasion of its international Film Festival. Much more should be said about this experience, but I won’t – not here, anyway.

I have hiked, keeping up with the good tradition started with Manuel and Mindo. This year, after the 2012 and 2013 editions, we managed to put together the whole crew, adding Dani and Giallu, and sleeping in a comfortable refugee, Dolomiti del Brenta. In spite of what Jonas thought before we left, we never got lost, as the pictures of us looking desperately hopeless in the fog can confirm.

Finally, I have read some books. While I am still trying to nail down War and Peace, I have been disappointed by Canada entertained by New Europe, and intrigued by the Consolations of the Forest. The latter is probably one of the richest, deepest, and most honest books I have ever read. Those of you who are into nature, philosophy, and vodka should probably go for it.

And that’s about it. I am in Edinburgh now and will be here for a month experiencing the joy of the local cuisine, the excitement of the upcoming referendum, and the company of some old and new friends. I am planning to make a better use of the blog than the recent past. But if the days keep being as beautiful as today it won’t be easy to keep up.

Questa foto non l’ho fatta con il mio telefonino. Non l’ho fatta oggi. Non l’ho fatta io. Ma rende l’idea.

Bivacco Rigatti

This one time on the Dolomites, Manuel, Gianluca, seven strangers and I slept in a little bivouac, 2700 m high on the level of the sea.

bivacco rigatti

It is a very interesting human experience to be so close to people you know nothing about. I cannot help but thinking to a Tuareg adagio that goes more or less like this: don’t go to the well without drinking and have your mehari to drink with you. Don’t go to the well without a bucket. Don’t meet a fellow traveller at the well without asking him something about the journey.

Molto

Welcome to Mount Scannon, 2800 meters on the level of the sea. Local time is 7AM and the temperature outside is 9°. On your right you can see Catinaccio, on your left Lake Carezza. We wish you a very good day.

Vediamo, tanto per cominciare qui siamo sul Latemar.

Ao, Giulia, vié qui che papà ha detto qualcosa di molto.

Sette sconosciuti, due cani e un’imprecazione nel cuore della notte. Gianluca, Manuel and I went back to the Dolomites one year later the magic night on Colle Margherita to honour the times gone by. Mindo, Fabio and Ghennet could not be with us.

In the morning it was pretty much like this. Rocks, mountains and clouds beneath us, sunrise and cold. Except for the cold, it was rather inspiring. Paraphrasing a not so-well known French author from the past I was able to write what follows the pictures.

Leaving the little shelter were we slept we were surrounded by the splendor of the virginal morning up in the Dolomites. We could stretch our arms in the cold pure air. Out on the rocks, we straddled our boots and packed our bags, getting drunk on light and space. We climbed up the top of the mountain and there we stood still, intoxicated by the beauty of just being able to breathe, just being alive .

I won’t be near

Perhaps it’s the weather or something like that, or maybe it’s about finally leaving Brussels. In these days I definitely over-think crashing in abysses of melancholy. After all this is the fourth city where I come, live, and go. I wonder if there is something I can leave behind for you, my friends, and if you will wait for when we will meet again and get some whiskey together and listen to Shimbalaiê and talk life and philosophy.

As for me, those who left me something will be on my mind as it has always been with the best people I met in Ireland, Spain, and Canada. People can live again in our thoughts and this is part of the wisdom I inherited by thomoose who, as a matter of fact, is very often with me even when he does not know. And you all, sometime you will just pop in my thoughts: even if I won’t be next to you and you know I won’t be near, I’d still be curious to know if you can see yourself as clear as someone who has had you on his mind.