New Mexico, part 2


July 5, 2019

We need to break the habit. That’s the only thing I can think of while standing here, looking all around me in awe, in front of the stupefying scene that opens before me. New Mexico, like Utah, is a gem that goes too often underestimated. I drove through almost infinite red rocks mountains, scrublands, a desert where you can see the highway stretching for miles and miles, but not only that. Mountain peaks, forests, rios and rivers, plus of course, my beloved sand dunes. The variety that New Mexico offers makes me wonder. I am here, almost crying at the beauty I feel so lucky I can witness, and I see people driving by, careless. I feel jealous seeing those who can wake every morning at the sight of these spectacles of nature and I feel bad because, once again, I feel there is something missing that I am not getting quite well enough yet. Then here it comes: they’re so used to it they just live their lives IN IT and, hopefully they’re constantly content about it. I say hopefully, because most of the times I know it’s not. We need to break the habit. That’s the only thing I can think of while standing here, looking all around me in awe, in front of the stupefying scene that opens before me. New Mexico, like Utah, is a gem that goes too often underestimated. But then I think of the way my foreign friends felt seeing where I come from while visiting, in the past. “You can see the Dolomites from your bedroom window?” or “we’ve been driving for not even an hour and I’ve already seen all the beauties you usually see in those pamphlets they give you at the travel center”. “You’re so lucky!” and I would usually go “meh”. I chuckle remembering when a friend from Mount Holyoke told me she grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona, at the feet of the Grand Canyon, and I told her exactly the same things people were saying to me. She would say “it’s somewhere I just grew up in, you see it every day you just get used to it”. And it is true. Sad but true. We get used to the beauty around us to a certain extent that we almost forget about it. We need to take a step back and unlearn what we’ve been seeing for so long because we need to be amazed every single minute by these marvels. Am I right?

I came in through Roswell, woke up in Las Cruces, stopped for lunch in Albuquerque and then slept in Farmington. South to North, New Mexico accompanied me dearly, and I am grateful for what I experienced. Moreover, I had lunch with a wonderful human being, introduced to me by a mutual friend, at a cute and cozy restaurant in Albuquerque who reminded me of all those nice people out there who are part of those “worth saving” in case of an imminent Apocalypse. And considering the earthquakes that are happening in Southern California this week, I guess we’re not even too far from the X hour. Just like me, and apparently all the people I am encountering lately, she was tested by life, she got broken and she fixed back her pieces, so we connected right away. We were meant to meet. While running around the San Juan College campus before getting ready for the night, I was listening to this song, which is always on my randomized playlist, called Annihilation by A Perfect Circle, and it just closed the day reminding me that …it is up to us. Everything. Is. Up to us.

From dehumanization to arms production
For the benefit of the nation or its destruction
Power is power, the law of the land
Those living for death will die by their own hand

Life’s no ordeal if you come to terms
Reject the system dictating the norms
From dehumanization to arms production
To hasten the nation towards its destruction

It’s your choice, your choice
Your choice, your choice
Peace or annihilation.

Colorado, sand dunes and books


June 23, 2019

It was actually June 22nd that I was in Colorado. I woke up in Pagosa Springs and drove for another hour or so, to reach what is to me a sacred place: sand dunes. Recently I found myself stopping along the way while hiking, to take a moment and actually be grateful for what I am seeing, feeling, smelling, absorbing, rejecting… In Utah, for instance, I sat on a rock facing the arches. No one was around me because people are fundamentally lazy. I sometimes “hate” myself for staying just a short while wherever I am going, taking a too short walk, or hike, but some of us out there really take it to another level. What’s their main purpose while visiting a place? I am not sure, but very few of us humans were opting for walking down the Primitive Trail, which said “difficult” at the entrance, so I had only very few encounters with those of my species, which is something I am really happy about. I took advantage of being almost alone in the area, and sat. Listening to the only sound of the wind blowing through the rocks, reminded me of when I road tripped for the first time with Emily, in 2011. My first time in the Mojave Desert, in SoCal and my first time with real silence. A deafening silence, to use an oxymoron that expresses the unexpected sensation I had. Blessed.

The Great Sand Dunes were packed with people being profane in my sacred place. To reach the dunes you have to walk through a stream of water all around them. All these individuals with inflatables, umbrellas, tents, and more, treating the dunes as regular beach places where you just go to sun bathe and your children pee in the water, made my anger explode. I was expecting silence. I was foreseeing respect, experts of the land handling obnoxious humans: yes you’re allowed to visit, yes you can sand board, yes you can even take your pets and your kids, but you cannot leave Starbucks cups and dogs’ dejections everywhere. I started taking photos to document it. I had to. Spoiled rotten little kids whining, crying, screaming and I was done. Despite how hard it is to walk on the dunes, in the sand, while sinking deep, with the wind blowing sand grains in your eyes, ears, mouth, nose, everywhere, I started hiking up and down, seeing that the further I was going, the fewer people I could see. Just youngsters, in small groups, going all the way up to the high ones to sand board, and that was actually fine with me. I was smiling at them remembering my time in Huacachina, Peru, sand boarding with my BC peeps, riding those funny dune buggies like crazy. Fun times.

Going down memory lane allowed me to release some of the bother and I eventually reached the top, enjoying the view all around me. I sat and I contemplated the wonders of this place. To be honest, I also felt a little sorrow for not having anyone with me to say “See? How amazing” as I could hear many say while passing me by. Everyone had someone having their back, but me. They all had someone rooting for them, “come on, one more dune” or “one more, one more, see the rim? So close!” and I only had the voice in the back of my head with me, which we already know is not exactly what we would define as my best friend. But I endured and I stayed. After a while, being all covered with sand, I just decided to walk down and head North. I was thirsty and hungry, and still had a little annoyance lingering within me, thinking of having to cross path again with those irreverent individuals there, at the bottom. Luckily a friend of mine from Boston moved to Colorado, now living in Boulder, and I can’t wait to get there.

Maintenance Required light: ON. UGH! I have to do a quick pit-stop for an oil change. Colorado Springs seems to be the closest place where I can get it on a Saturday afternoon. Deal. The Pep Boys guys in LA have always treated me with courtesy, so I choose to go visit their colleagues in Colorado. They find a couple more issues on my SiennaMiller but, not having the financial possibilities nor the time to fix those, they kindly change the oil and replace an air filter for me, treating me once again as a valuable customer, and then they just write a note for future reference in case I decide to get everything working properly again. Great attitude is the key. I leave and go back on the road with a few more concerns, but glad I found some nice fellows in here as well as in LA.

The road to Boulder was… soaking wet. I had to go through two storms, a couple accidents and a whole lot of water, but once in Boulder the weather was merciful and I could greet Gabriel, my friend, after two years from the last time we hung out in Boston. Mah “wicked” Bawston. It was so nice to see a familiar face and do something with a friend. We went out right away, to a German place he likes, having the chance to catch up on the past two years of our stooopid crazy lives. The following morning we opt for a Tea House downtown where we have brunch, and then he shows me around. We visit two places he knows I would very much appreciate: a store where they sell old maps called Art Source International and Boulder Book Store. Loved both and bought a book: of course. If I could, I would get hundreds plus a couple old maps and an old, err vintage, wooden globe for my mother, but not now. One day. When my bank account will allow it. We eventually go for a short hike and fall into deep conversations about philosophy, biology, literature, languages, games, art… whatever. Sharing opinions and ideas, even when we disagree on some points, is something I cherish and respect. I could stay and wait for tomorrow, as it will be sunny and warm, but the road is calling. I am going to miss a Dungeons and Dragons night my friend wanted me to go to, but he understands and let me go on my way. I’m grateful for today so I leave content and laid-back. By late night I’m in Nebraska and I can rest for a few hours, thinking about my dogs back home, one in particular –who is old and in pain, and I weep a little, before Morpheus gets me…and tomorrow is another day on the road.

Utah, part one


June 20, 2019

I forgot to say that driving back from Yellowstone I witnessed the murmuration of birds, but could not capture it for you to see. Just imagine a flock of birds twisting and turning in unison right before your eyes and the the purple-pink breathtaking sunset over the horizon. Lucky? I know. So grateful. To complete this praiseworthy experience, I had to pull over in the middle of nowhere before entering Utah, because yes it was black all over me (although not completely as the moon was so big, and shining so bright that it was almost lighting up the whole sky! I know, unbelievable, but it’s true), but had to stop and stare at the sky, as it was full of stars. I had to admire the beauty for a bit, and then I kept going.

In the morning I reached Salt Lake City, UT. Except for a quick tour downtown, an even quicker stop at Starbucks and at a gas station, I haven’t really seen the city, did not really feel like it. As soon as I got downtown I felt like searching for a place to hike, so I left. It is making me too uncomfortable to see homeless on the streets, and most of all those who are passed out, lying careless on the sidewalk with people ignoring them. It makes me feel sick, I wish I could help, but then I always remember that time in Liverpool I left food and a couple of Pounds to this guy right next to the hotel where the students I was escorting were staying. The following morning he overdosed right next to us. I felt responsible although I know what I left wasn’t enough for him to do something so extreme, but it touched me deep, and I started questioning if it is actually good for them, or rather for our conscience, to give alms instead of helping them in some other way. I wanted to do it while in LA, some PBJ sandwiches, a bottle of water and an apple in that typical brown paper lunch bag were always on my mind ready to be prepared. I just waited too long for someone to go with me and distribute everything. When I asked my “friends” there to go with me, I got mostly no’s and “yes, as soon as I’m free, too busy now”, which eventually lessened my faith in humanity, time passed, and I was too focused on surviving, so now I’m here. Hopefully I can make it up to it, soon.

Talking about “friends”, how often does it happen for two friends to end up in the same random city, hours away from where we both live, on a random day without planning it, finding it out on Instagram? It happened. I reached out, but apparently people are way too busy to meet at present, even for just a quick coffee anytime during the day. Everyone but me. If I want, I always find even 10 minutes to stop by and acknowledge the existence of people who shared part of their life, either long or short, with me. But that’s the point, if you -want- to do it, you do it, otherwise, you’re too busy. Except while in SLC! After 7 years I got the chance to meet again with one of my favorite married couples I used to work with while in Aviano, at the US Air Force base in Italy. They found the time to meet me, even for just an hour or so; we hugged, we chatted, we laughed, and then they wished me safe travels. Relatively quick but intense, just the way I like it. Thanks guys.

Before driving up North to see them, and then back down South to continue with my journey, I went hiking like I was supposed to. I found some nice trails in Big Cottonwood Canyon and started the day. I realized that driving makes you lazy. You sit there for hours and you get so accustomed to it that, although you need to stretch out, when it’s time to get off and walk you act like a little spoiled brat thinking “naaah, I don’t want to go I just want to rest”! No! Wrong. Bad girl. For instance, when you start walking, first you’re like “ugh, I’m tired” then “uhm, it starts feeling good stretching my legs”, followed by “oh, this is nice”, ending with “cool, I’d do this forever”. Because walking does not really tire me that much. My legs may be a little sore after many hours, but it feels good. I haven’t been on loooong walks since Sequoia. I hiked for I think five to six hours that day. Now I’m just going for strolls and my body is gaining weight for sitting in the car for too long. I need to fix this, because walking does me good, mostly after my surgeries –when I was crying for not being able to walk, and had to learn how to do it all over again, so I need to move. It gets addicting. I feel stupid thinking about this because then my mind takes me to my friend Andrea, who is walking like –for real! He walks with his inoperable cancer to the head of the pancreas defeating every expectations from doctors and experts. He started walking after his life saving treatments, when they sentenced him to the waiting game. I know. Hard to even just think about it. He does it for hours, though. Walking, I mean. Day after day, he walks all over Europe (for now). He wrote a book about this part of his journey on Earth, to be a loudspeaker to those in need, to those who, like him before, are not aware of what pancreatic cancer is, because it is still considered a subtle silent “motherfucking” evil carcinoma. Andrea to me (and many others of course) is a little hero and here is his page. Check him out. You must.

Therefore, after thinking about him, I felt stupid. As far as I’m concerned, I am not taking any tumor for a stroll to try and stay alive, so I should just walk and shut my mouth. I swear I do. I don’t usually talk while walking. It’s my mind that starts rambling. Andrea started walking because he did not want to die, he wanted to live and to make of the short time he has left on Earth worth living (or dying) for. I started walking because I did not want to live, and I had to figure out why. Everybody is different I guess, so please avoid any judgement. I already know all this is messed up. If it weren’t, I wouldn’t be here talking about it, don’t you think? Good. Moving forward. My mind took me to those philosophical questions: what is life really? What is death? Life is the opposite of death. Nope. Death lasts a moment. Life lasts for longer. Try again. Ok. What if life is like a Stargate? What if life itself is the actual portal between the cosmos, and we are all just travelers? Death –seen as the end of everything, does not really exist, and life becomes this temporary status we get while traveling between“worlds”. Someone passes through the Stargate for minutes, some for a few years, some for almost a hundred, but eventually, everyone leaves the Stargate and keeps traveling. We are only allowed a certain amount of time because on this planet we need a mortal body to travel, as if our body is our passport to enter the Stargate. So the body is the passport, not the Stargate, just to make it clear. When we’re not on Earth, or let’s say “alive on Earth” we are dead here, but we may be alive somewhere else because we’re just going through Stargates! We can’t be “non-infinite” in an infinite universe. Come on! “Matter is neither created nor destroyed” right buddy, Antoine? (Lavoisier) And neither is energy, says my other friend J.R. (Mayer), both endorsed by Albert (Einstein) eventually; so what am I even talking about here? It should be obvious! Can we please talk about it? Let’s chat. Drop a line.

On a less crazy level, one thing that actually stroke me these past two weeks is how I am falling in love with all the places I am visiting. I am seeing beauty all around me, despite a few flaws here and there, mostly created by humans, not by nature, and I am amazed at this feeling because when I get to the point of thinking “ah, I would stay here at least a little longer” I know that something got me and it scares me. It frustrates me really, because I have to leave, but I like the fact I am loving everything around me, and maybe this is what I need. I need to learn what love means, in order for me to start loving myself. That, I am sure, will make me heal, inside. I guess this Stargate was broken and the whole point of me getting here was to fix it. Explained why I am a fixer. I fix broken things. And all the broken people with their broken Stargates are attracted to me somehow. I am laughing so hard right now, at my own imagination, that if only I could be good enough to make a living out of it, I would probably hit the jackpot.

On a last, lighter note, much lighter note: am I the only one thinking that being a biped sucks? Yeah no, because, it may just be that I am simply clumsy and I always trip over my own two feet, but I would feel much more confident if I were a quadruped. In addition, when I dream of running away from something in my sleep, I always end up switching on all fours, grasping on the ground below me with my hands, gaining velocity, because while standing I couldn’t move and was stuck, now I can run away from whatever is chasing me (in my dream) and I also am doing it fast. Was I quadruped in my previous life? Jokes apart, is bipedalism a flaw in evolution, instead of this great hallmark adaptation? Ah, the joys of questioning everything and anything, along with the pleasure (or not) of never having the right answer, but a gazillion silly hypothesis. Let’s head out for the rest of Utah, shall we?

Idaho Falls


June 18, 2019

Another day, another long drive. Not as excruciating as the one taking me from Canada back to the United States, but evidently my body cannot take it anymore. My legs are often sore, and despite those times I could hit the gym, it wasn’t enough. I HAVE to find the time to move, I brought my boxing gloves and my hand wraps with me, but I haven’t even used them yet. Bad girl.

I woke up in Missoula, MN, quick pit stop at Starbucks which is getting repetitive I know, but what can I do? I got my breakfast drink (today I got black tea soy latte and it reminded me so bad of Melbourne, because that is what I used to have for breakfast at my former prison-movie set house in North Melbourne. Ha. Memories. I’m still waiting for someone to invent a pill so we can choose which memory to keep and what to delete. Just putting it out there). Anyway, oh well, oh well, oh well. If my eyes could speak… wow. What I saw today I am 100% sure is the prelude to what I am going to see tomorrow, if the storm hitting Idaho right now will allow me. I won’t spoil the surprise, and I am also a little superstitious so I won’t say where I’m going yet, also because I may end up not going because of the weather, we will see. Also, no destination, remember?

I reached Idaho Falls early this afternoon after having had my mind blown by the spectacular views I experienced on the way. I’m still saying “wooooo”, “waaaaaa”, “ohmyyyyy” because it was simply all glorious! It makes me laugh that, on the radio they were talking about how people complain about taking road trips in certain States of the US because you can drive for hours and see nothing but land, no sign of civilization, getting bored and tired. I was like “whaaaat? That’s the beauty of it all!” You can just sit, drive and enjoy the view for hours. With colors changing, shapes moving, flat lands alternating with mountains, hills and plateaus! I mean, how can people even dislike such things!! Are we going completely insane? Being out of civilization, like they called it, crossing only those who are out there doing probably the same thing you’re doing, and you feel like complaining? HolymotherofbabyJesus humans are nuts.

When I stopped to put gas in the tank at Leadore, ID, the woman at the register told me how she was seeing only travelers today, more than usual. She had people going South, East, bikers going all the way up to Alaska and then there’s me, going who knows where, but it was nice to be considered among those who actually know what they’re doing with their life. Chapeau. Before passing the Idaho “border” again, I could enjoy the green of Montana with cows, horses, goats, birds, …well, animals everywhere, and it was nice to greet them, even though they couldn’t hear me, nor they wouldn’t care. I just smiled every time I had to drive through these old towns, looking like the ghost towns in the Spaghetti Western style movies, all lined up facing one big main road, with wood everywhere, dusty porch and all, saloons… and most of all, I was loving the typical wooden entrance of all the ranches I was passing by; folkloric and picturesque to say the least. Quaint and cute.

Maybe because I saw it in the movies, or because you’re used to see these landscapes in the documentaries, I was not impressed by the existence of these places, because I know they do exist; rather I was in shock they could hold such a charming and eye-catching allure by simply being empty pieces of land on a never ending scenery stretch. Wow. Just wow. I have to say that I was really getting lost in my thoughts and it all seemed infinite by the time I reached Idaho Falls, but it was so worth it. I did so many stops to take photos, to sing a song in the middle of nowhere, to wear that beam of satisfaction on my face while making a 360-degree spin to enjoy the view. Precious. Enchanting. Keep adding whatever adjective you want, you have it.

Always in Idaho Falls I found once again an amazing waterfall right at the center of the city, so I took my time strolling down the riverbanks, sitting on a rock, listening to my music first, and the sound of the water crashing and flowing after, watching how the swallows were playing in the wind, flying low, brushing the water and the foam, without getting trapped (thank goodness), and then going all the way up in the sky again, and it was just hilarious. I thought “I am saying I am enjoying my freedom, but I wonder. If I call what I have freedom, what is what they’re doing over there? It’s like the Super Saiyan version of actual freedom, I believe!” until I’ve decided to take it really easy today, and take advantage of a pool I had available. I kid you not, the very moment I sat on the chair, 30 seconds in, I get an Alert message on the phone regarding a tornado approaching, warning everyone in the area to find shelter. Explained why the afternoon was so windy, but hell, a tornado right now that I wanted to chill under the sun? Welcome to my world. Pick up the towel, go back to where it all began, and wait for this tornado to pass. Eventually it was just a storm. Then the sun came out but it was already time to set, so no tan for this lady. And the night has come, bringing another storm, until I’ll close my eyes and will wait for another tomorrow to come. Bring it on!

Remember, remember, the 5th of November


In a couple of days Great Britain will celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night, a tradition that has not become popular in the United States or better, although it was imported with the thirteen colonies, it died out following the growth and the development of America as a separated unit from the United Kingdom. Differently than Halloween, which has become a deeply felt celebration, the Bonfire Night-being apparently too much related to the Protestant, Puritan celebration of victory over the Catholics- lost importance rapidly until it disappeared.


Who was Guy Fawkes and why am I even telling his story? Well, I learned about him in second grade, when English started to be taught in Italian primary schools during the Nineties, and my marvelous Teacher Michela introduced us to British English and the culture of the U.K. I remember my first carved pumpkin, my first English pudding, my first Christmas cracker, my first singing of Molly Malone, my first reciting of Auld Lang Syne, my first Tea with milk, my first A’s in English class (lol), my first recital of We Are The World -years after it was released in the US of-ha course-ha, and finally my first Guy Fawkes’ dummy made out of my brother and father’s old clothes.


His story dates back to 1605, when he and his friends wanted to blow up the House of Parliament in London, but he was caught and imprisoned on November 5th, giving birth to the celebration of the English Thanksgiving for dismantling the Gunpowder Plot. Long story short, what they do overseas (but not here in the US) is to celebrate the 5th of November with fireworks, bonfires, and burning a dummy that looks like Guy Fawkes, while children knock on doors asking for “a penny for the Guy” (yes, this happens not even a week after they went around annoyingly trick or treating for All Hallows‘ Eve). Let’s get to the point now: have you ever watched V for Vendetta? Yes? Good! No? Go watch it NOW!

V for Vendetta

Created by: James McTeigue
Based onV for Vendetta, 1988 – DC Comics by David Lloyd and Alan Moore
StarringNatalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, John Hurt
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures


In a dystopian future ca. 2020, Americans are almost all dead and fascists rule in England. V, a vigilante wearing a Guy Fawkes’ mask, saves a TV reporter, Evey (Natalie Portman) from rape, and forces her to join him not before teaching her something with what I would call harsh but necessary manners. For 12 months, from Guy Fawkes Night’s Eve to the 5th of November of the following year, V “plays games” with Evey in a sort of “Phantom of the Opera style”. But I am not going to spoil the movie so please, watch it and see for yourselves what happens next.

What needs to be said is that the film provides food for thought: “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” Basically what I understood from watching it over and over (and again last year after my head shaving madness) is that if you want a revolution, it has to start within yourself in order to have effects on society. People who are the victims of oppression and some kinds of distraction, enforced to live wearing masks, can actually remove them and replace them showing their true self. To remove these masks you have to dedicate yourself, to gain knowledge, to get informed, to turn the lights on and face the shadow of society, but you have to repress and sacrifice part of your social self in order to succeed. Evey’s torturing rituals are painful to watch, but after all that pain there is one big truth that gets revealed to her: “You said you wanted to live without fear. I wish there would have been an easier way, but there wasn’t.” She is at complete peace, without having to rely on someone else’s help, looking for it on the outside because she is has strength within herself. Both V and Evey went through traumas before getting reborn like Phoenixes, burning and raising back again from their ashes. “What was done to me, created me” V says, and no major truth has ever been told.

Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 9.33.25 PM

My previous studies on Freud may influence my perception of this character, but I found fascinating and tremendously relatable (metaphorically!) that he was imprisoned, used as a lab rat, tortured until he reached a point where he could no longer recognize who he was. He wants revenge and freedom from tyranny detaching himself from what it means to be human, to be a social animal, and he chooses loneliness or better, aloneness over community, sharing, relationships. He has an extremely strong mind, but also a kind heart and a just spirit, and what he does, he does it with a purpose. Today he would be considered a terrorist and a psychopath. Although he is highly intelligent, he does not corresponds to the standards of normality.

Let’s try to look at this man from his characteristics more than from his actions, then. V stands for justice, he wants people to know the truth, to wake up and to pursue freedom from oppression. He sacrifices himself so that people can live in a free world and although he loves Evey, (which is quite understandable) he suppresses his feelings for the greater good. Is there anyone capable of doing something like this as of today? I doubt it. Would we need it? Yes. I mean, would you judge Batman for his actions? No, he’s a hero. Just like V, and sympathizing for him does not mean we are sociopath. Understand? Capish? Very well. Now let’s go watch this movie. Again. After all, it’s a tradition!

Christmas Pudding With White Sauce