The US: first impressions – part 1

Here I am! Again after a while, but I’ve been quite (a lot) busy lately. What can I tell you? I came back from my first trip to the US on Monday. Normally you would have read something like “WOW AWESOME GORGEOUS GREAT AMAZING”. But that’s not the case. More than the usual trip that tourists do (and Italian tourists usually go to New York for five days and then they come back telling how cool the States are), I took a spiritual journey and I mean literally. I went there to take part in a conference, and that’s the first unusual thing of course. And I was scared of going, because I knew that the bubble of images and hopes and dreams that I’d been building around the US would have exploded. And it actually exploded, in many different ways. First of all, it’s a place full of contradictions. And it’s very different from Europe. It’s really ‘the other side of the pond’ for a reason. I feel that Americans think in a very different way in comparison to Europeans – despite different nationalities. I felt that they risk a lot, they care a lot about themselves, they are very self-focused, and they do not know much about ‘the other side’. They are also brave and reckless. They are very smart and they know how to obtain things, which is not bad at all, but they sometimes do it by knowing the right people. There were many things that I didn’t understand at all, such as constructing tons of independent wooden houses with their beautiful gardens but if you want to go to the supermarket to buy a damn apple you have to take your damn huge car.

But I’ve also discovered so many beautiful places and I’ve felt emotions so big that I couldn’t have ever imagined. For example, we went – finally – to Thoreau’s gravestone. That was the peak of the trip. We were there, in front of his tomb. I was there. It was truly unbelievable and I cannot even explain how I felt through words. Words are not enough to express the awe in front of him.

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I felt so near that porous line between reality and dream and yet I felt also so sad. So sad in front of what the US have become in comparison to the awesome nation that Thoreau imagined. He already knew the dangers of his contemporary society, and our society is just the shitty result of what he had already understood. Capitalism. Buying and selling. Buying through loans. Buying more just to pretend to be happy, just to show off, just to seem like anyone else. What’s the point? What’s the point, he would ask. I’m sure. As I stood in front of him I felt so little and helpless, because I know that we could not fulfill his dream of a better future. As my boyfriend said, however, we must try to keep his message alive. We must learn from what he did in Concord, Massachusetts, and try to bring his message to our own home, being sort of ambassadors on his behalf. I felt I want to do more for him, to celebrate his greatness and the importance of Thoreau in my life. Because, as we all said during the conference, he changed so many lives and I was so happy to show to other people how he changed and he has been changing my own perception of things, of reality, of myself.

That’s my first happy thought about my trip to the US. More will be posted. As said, I think I’ve lots of things to think about, because it’s still too close in time to be truly understood. For the moment, that’s it.

Keep it wild and free

AnaKWildness

Cats choose us.

As my dear readers may have understood, I’m experiencing some troubles in keeping my journal updated. This is not because I’m lazy as f***, but because I’ve been quite busy lately. Or, as Emily Dickinson would have said, I’ve been a busy bee!

So many things going on all together, some issues to face and solve, many people to get rid of, and too many changes that are slowly arriving and they are going to knock at my door.

I don’t remember my last post, but as you well remember I saved six wonderful and precious kittens in May. I’ve been so lucky and I kept one. He’s the Snoopox, Snoopy the Snoofox and many other names, maybe too many for such a little and lovely being. He’s here with me right now, purring and being just adorable, as he usually does.

I think I’ll never be able to explain the strange and profound relationship between me and cats. And I’m sure that those who love cats know what I’m talking about, while those who have never lived properly with a cat will never get it. First of all, you can learn a lot from them, because they are not human. You learn how to relate with a different being, you learn how to interpret signs you’re not used to in your little human universe. You learn another way of living, which is so meaningful today, when everyone tells you how you should behave and think. You learn to appreciate little treasures and moments. Therefore cats give us a different perspective on life and they have the ability to completely change your life. I’ve never lived without cats. I’ve been raised with cats and I’m sure I wouldn’t be the same if I hadn’t lived with cats all my life. I’m sorry for those who won’t be able to understand, because they’re losing the most intense part of life.

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“What greater gift than the love of a cat?”
Charles Dickens

Keep it wild and simple.

AnaKWildness

Kittens <3

The best thing that can happen in one’s life is saving another life. And what if the life that you’re saving are not one but six? And what if they are six wonderful and cute kittens? I must admit it. I hate human beings because they are cruel and mindless. But I do not hate life. I love it and I love doing something in order to help the others. Plants, birds, flowers, and cats. I can well be described as one of those selfish people who prefer animals over men. That’s right and I’m not ashamed of it. Instead, I’m proud. I wish I could do more and I wish I could save other lives. Sometimes when you are a volunteer and you’re trying to save someone you feel powerless. You always want to do more and save as many lives as possible but it’s not possible at all. You have to face defeat and you have to face the harsh reality. Deal with it. And yet, think that you’re doing something good anyway; you’re helping someone and that’s the important thing.

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“In its flawless grace and superior self-sufficiency I have seen a symbol of the perfect beauty and bland impersonality of the universe itself, objectively considered, and in its air of silent mystery there resides for me all the wonder and fascination of the unknown.”

by H.P. Lovecraft

Keep it wild and simple

AnaKWildness

Please, vote for my pic!

Hi there!

Since I’ve quite a big number of readers, I’d like to ask you a favor. Would you go to the following link and click “VOTE” for my pic!

http://woobox.com/iezhej/gallery/Gwj0fHJJLok

I hope you’d like it. It’s for a scholarship contest and I’d like to secure a prize (which is quite a good amount of money!) so please, just spend two minutes of your time to vote my photo!

Thank you so much!

Keep it wild and simple

AnaKWildness

In the mountains, there you feel free

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I don’t know if it was because I’d never truly felt at the top of anything or because I’d never actually been at the top of anything. But it felt so strange. I felt like nothing and yet I felt like everything else. The most useless and yet the most powerful being in the world. Up there, on the top of that mountain, I felt scared. And free. And scared of being so wild and free. I truly experienced what it means to be on a mountain, in that ‘hostile’ environment, with the wind blowing so hard, with clouds coming behind us, and cold rock, standing there, having been stading there for ages, watching humanity passing by. Impassible. I guess it was one of the most impressive scene ever.

The land just spreads all around, the clouds run so fast, the wind moves everything, beating grass and men alike. The sky stretches. There’s no end. No end to this view and no end to nature’s power.

You know you don’t belong in here, and yet you’re grateful that you are allowed to go there for a minute or an hour. The longest breath before returning to that civilization that brought us away from all of this.

Thoreau was right. Mountains are not for humans to inhabit. Mountains are untamed and forever untamable. And yet Muir was right too. In the mountains you could truly experience something higher than you and than me. Something that spreads and flows. Something that’s in you and in me, something that moves the wind and your heart alike, something that gave you lungs and clouds. As well as our freedom. Our freedom to truly be whatever we want to be.

In the mountains, there you feel free – “The Waste Land”, T.S. Eliot.

Monte Croce – Alpe Camasca

Quarna Sotto

Italy

16 / 04 / 2017

Keep it wild and simple

AnaKWildness

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

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Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.
Paul McCartney – The Beatles
I hope I’ll learn to fly too.
Keep it wild and simple
AnaKWildness

Uova della LAV 2017

Cari amici italiani,

eccoci al consueto appuntamento con le Uova di Pasqua della LAV, la Lega Italiana Anti-Vivisezione! A parte la bontà del cioccolato equo-solidale e fondente (il che è un fattore assolutamente da non sottovalutare), le uova della LAV aiuteranno – come ogni anno – l’associazione nelle sue battaglie quotidiane, che ormai spaziano ben oltre la vivisezione. Ci sono gruppi locali di volontari che si prendono cura di animali maltrattati e abbandonati e si battono quotidianamente per i diritti di chi non ha voce per difendersi, come gli animali sfruttati nei circhi! Comprando le uova della LAV aiuterete non solo i numerosi volontari ma anche gli animali, a vivere una vita degni di tale nome.

Perciò accorrete nelle maggiori piazze italiane oggi (1 aprile) e domani (2 aprile).

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Al seguente link potrete trovare tutte le piazze italiane dove sarà presente un banchetto LAV: http://www.lav.it/lav-in-piazza

Inoltre, potrete firmare la petizione per chiedere al Governo di destinare il 50% dei fondi stanziati per la ricerca in ambito biomedico e sanitario per la ricerca allo sviluppo dei metodi sostitutivi. So che è difficile credere nelle autorità in questo momento, ma dobbiamo iniziare a far sentire la nostra voce!

Quindi tutti in piazza oggi e domani per le uova solidali della LAV e una Pasqua più dolce!

Keep it wild and simple

AnaKWildness

World Water Day

Today is the World Water Day! It is a very important day and it’s celebrated every year on March 22nd. It is organized and sponsored by the UN and you can find more information at http://www.worldwaterday.org/ .

Sometimes we – in the Western world at least – forget the importance of water. Water is everywhere and it is SO everywhere that we almost forget that many people do not have direct access to water resources or that in many places clean water is still a privilege. We don’t pay attention to the fact that water is often polluted and we are drinking pollutants, as well as eating polluted crops. We don’t think about glaciers that are melting or droughts and climate change, and how it is shaping the rate of rainfalls and snowfalls. More than the 60% of the human body is made by water and all the world around us, from bacteria to other animals and plants, relies on water for basic as well as highly complex living processes.

Therefore, we have to preserve water. We have to understand that water is not an endless resource and it’s growing scarcer and more polluted. Do not take water for granted. Remember to use it carefully and do not waste it!

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Keep it wild and simple

AnaKWildness

“Such Singing in the Wild Branches” – Mary Oliver

It was spring
and I finally heard him
among the first leaves––
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness––
and that’s when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree––
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass
stopped
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing––
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfect blue sky–––all of them

were singing.
And, of course, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last

For more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then––open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

Mary Oliver

Happy First Spring Day

Keep it wild and simple

AnaKWildness

Farewell

I didn’t know if I truly wanted to write this piece in English or in Italian. Since I’m listening once again to Dream Theater’s “The Spirit Carries On“, I thought that English would have been appropriate. Then I realized that maybe I’m using English to build a sort of cover, of barrier, between what I’m writing and what I’m feeling right now. You know, sometimes writing and thinking in another language different from your mother tongue allows you to detach yourself a bit from the topic itself, or at least you are obliged to think in a completely different way from the usual stream of thoughts in your mother tongue. I think it’s normal. I’ve always said that when I speak in English I feel different, a better person maybe, maybe because it helps me create this sort of tension between feeling and expressing those feelings. And maybe tonight it’s what I need. I’d need a veil to cover my head, I’d need a way not to feel the pain and not to think. But I’m writing. Therefore, I’m thinking. Therefore, I’m feeling the pain involved in thinking and digging deep inside of you. But I have to deal with this feeling, as I’ve done before. Yet, every time, every single time that you try to deal with pain and you keep repeating “you’ve been here before, you’re gonna overcome this, you’ve been brave and you’ve passed through other painful experiences, come on”, you find yourself right back at the beginning.

Clearly, I remember that morning when I knew she was gone. And all the questions involved. About the meaning of life. And still, I keep asking questions but I don’t know the answer. And I remember the night when Blues flew away. And today another friend, another good friend of mine, left us. His name, at least in my family, was Romeo, like the happy lad from the Aristocats. However, maybe he was more like the unfortunate young lover in Will’s tragedy. They both were good-hearted and cheerful, kind, easy-going, young. They both were dreamers and wild spirits. They both wanted to run away from home and go to their Juliets, in this case my red cat Pando. And they both died too young.

Romeo is no longer here and I keep asking why. I keep asking why cars run so fast, I keep asking why human beings exist and why they are so damn stupid. I keep asking why the sweetest creatures on earth have to die, while hateful people keep on living their stupid and useless shitty lives. I keep asking why I have to be good and do things, while other people just do not care. I keep asking where justice is. I keep asking why people do not understand that we are not just human beings, we are living creatures and we should live together with others, being them animals or plants. I keep asking why human beings keep valuing their lives more than they are actually worth and I keep asking why we all are so blind.

I think I’ll never find the answer. And I’m sure you’ll never see me crying in front of people dying in wars or because of hunger. I’m sorry. I’m one of those terrible people. I’m one of those terrible people that think that the life of a friend is more important than anything else. No matter if that friend walks on two or four legs or fly.

I’m young and I still have to accept that death is a part of life. But what I’ll never accept is human blindness and violence against other creatures. It’s so hard living in a world like ours. It’s so hard when you feel different from many people that surround you and you know they’ll never understand how you feel. So what can I do? … Some months ago, almost a year now, I promised to a friend of mine who was dying in my hand that I would have never let go my dream, that I would have tried to do my best to fulfill that promise. Today, I’m promising you Romeo, sweet and good cat, that I’ll fight for a better world for everyone, for birds and cats and humans alike. For a fairer world. I’ll fight for you and all those creatures that have flown away too early. Because you’ve taught me so much, something that the mass of men will never understand. We’ll fight together, I’m sure.

Romeo

I may never find all the answers,

I may never understand why,

I may never prove what I know to be true but I know that I still have to try.

I hope you’re free now, and in a better place. We’ll never forget you.

Keep it wild and simple.

AnaKWildness – Pando – Micia