Back to list All Articles Archives Search RSS Terug naar lijst Alle artikelen Archieven Zoek RSS

Entries for 'Pietro'

Moments

Moments

A couple of months ago I happened to watch a video clip from 1976 of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC. The video was about a street live performance of the song It’s a long way to the top (if you wanna rock n’ roll), featuring on their second studio album. A great song by the way. The performance starts with only a few people standin...

A light in the storm

A light in the storm

There is a wonderful painting by James Ensor, a Belgian painter who lived across the nineteenth and twentieth century. The painting is called “Christ Calming the Storm”. It represents Jesus calming a storm which caught him and his disciples by surprise, while crossing the Sea of Galilee. The turbulent sea and sky are reproduced with an ...

The Ife Head

The Ife Head

Some days ago I happened to read one of the most beautiful considerations I’ve read in the last years. It was by Ben Okri, a Nigerian-born novelist. It was about the sense of tranquility emanating from the Ife Head, a brass statue from Nigeria, dating back to the fifteenth century. The author was talking about how the presence of tranquility ...

Time for time out

Time for time out

I like Christmas and Christmas holidays, I always have. It’s a magical period which brings some relief from the greyness and cold of winter, and fresh oxygen to start with motivation the new year to come. To me it’s the right moment to slow down, relax, spend time with family, enjoy all the food I normally try to avoid during the year, ...

No Excuses

No Excuses

Two years ago I was given the opportunity to contribute to the English column of the Observant, and each year for the first column of the academic year I have written about happiness. This year I thought it would be nice to keep the tradition.   In the first column I was mainly insisting on the importance of knowing ourselves and being r...

Real experiences

Real experiences

Sometimes people ask me where do I get hints or ideas for a column from. It’s actually a good question. I think I get inspired by all people I run into and everything happening around me. I have always liked to listen and talk to people, and to observe the way people live their lives. There is so much we can learn from each other, just by pay...

Moving house

Moving house

Recently we had some minor renovations at our home, for which we had to pack some items into boxes. It has been some months later and a couple of my boxes are still sitting unpacked, and my ability to remember their content is increasingly vanishing. This should probably not surprise me as the same thing has happened every time I moved house. I hav...

Jetlag

Jetlag

My first intercontinental trip was quite an overwhelming experience, as likely it is for many people. I went to the United States for a conference, and I can still remember clearly the emotions of being on a long flight, and arriving in a country so different from what I was used to. Everything was exciting, even little things like turning on the T...

Identities

Identities

Some time ago I was asked whether I consider myself a poet. My reply was quite an instantaneous "no". Writing poems does not make me feel necessarily a poet. Moreover, I don’t think it’s up to me to decide if I am a poet or not but rather to those who end up reading my writing and then go on to generate an opinion about it. On...

Choices

Choices

Some time ago I accidentally happened to watch a YouTube video clip titled “this drummer is at the wrong gig”. It was an excerpt from a concert of a semi-professional American band, where the drummer offers a performance beyond any words in terms of talent. His name is Steve Moore, also known as “the mad drummer”, for a g...

Like a child

Like a child

One year ago at this time I was working on what would have become my first column in Observant. Since then, a few other columns have followed over the course of the past academic year. It’s been a beautiful experience so far, at the same time inspiring and instructing. Coming up with a column every so many months has required me to spend some...

The meaning of art

Last week, while hanging around Maastricht, I ran into several contemporary art events and expositions. I stopped at some of them, just the time for a quick peek. As usual when it comes to contemporary art, I felt first amused, then confused, and finally irritated by my inability to understand it. As maybe many other people, I have always struggled...

The battle against laziness

I recently watched Whiplash, a nice movie about a boy who dreams to become a great drummer. His hard-shell instructor at a certain moment says a line that caught my attention, “There are no words in the English language more harmful than 'good job'”. His reasoning being that the (ab)use of these words makes people content with w...

The power of books

Recently I was on a road trip with my family and while driving through the beautiful landscapes of Germany and Switzerland, I had those words of Jack Kerouac bouncing in my mind: “Road is everything, road is life.” I love road trips, I always have. I don’t remember when it started, or if it’s just something you are born with...

Thank you Maastricht

This was my first Christmas in Maastricht, the first after moving to the Netherlands four years ago. I had a very nice time. I had the chance to enjoy my family and our house for longer than just a weekend, the possibility to discover a bit more of the beautiful surrounding countryside and I avoided coming back to work with an extra 5kgs from over ...

Daddy time

I’ll never forget what a friend of mine told me about the first day his son came to life. While looking down into the cot at this little and vulnerable creature, with a mix of immeasurable love, pride, surprise, and anxiety, one of the million things that went through his mind was: “I’m not qualified for this.” He made me la...

“Do you love your girlfriend?”

“Why do you believe in God?” The question came straight. It was one of those summer nights among friends, with no particular worries in mind, fuelled by beer and the enjoyment of each other’s company. It was quite common to end up talking about “philosophical questions”. I could see from my friend’s gaze that the...

The pursuit of happiness

The starting of a new academic year is always an exciting period, especially for first year students. Often there are doubts. Will I be able to keep up with it? Have I made the right choice? These are common concerns. I personally have much still to figure out in my life, but so far I have noticed it is not about right choices. It’s only abou...