It has been a while since I last wrote on my blog, but I have to admit I have been quite busy. I went home for Christmas, there was my birthday (which I was happy to celebrate unlikely some years ago), then I came back to Rome and I went straight to work. At work I really have a lot of things to do. With the new year everything is coming all of a sudden: I had some boring things to do (such as writing names and addresses on 150 envelopes, putting the papers in the envelopes in a nice way and sending them, or going through the applications for a curricular internship that my orgnization is calling and arranging it in a spreadsheet), but also some thrilling ones (like writing a couple of reports that look easy but aren’t and following a platform where we write articles). I am enjoying it very much: it’s very stimulating, I am learning a lot of things and they trust me so much that I can’t but be honored!

However the stimula to research and learn things haven’t come only from work. In fact the moment I came back to Rome I immediately felt the urge to visit a museum and I had to wait for the weekend to do so, but when I did it, I was so happy!

Before Christmas I went to many different concerts of symphonic music and I have to admit I loved it. It is different from opera, but in the end what it is not sung, is played by instruments, so it isn’t that much different. It has given me the opportunity to really listen to some instruments and to find out composers, whom I had never listened to. Following this paragraph I insert a very beautiful poem from Charles Baudelaire, who was really able to transpose this feeling for music in words. It comes from Les fleures du mal and the english translation is right after the original in french.

La Musique

La musique souvent me prend comme une mer!
Vers ma pâle étoile,
Sous un plafond de brume ou dans un vaste éther,
Je mets à la voile;

La poitrine en avant et les poumons gonflés
Comme de la toile
J’escalade le dos des flots amoncelés
Que la nuit me voile;

Je sens vibrer en moi toutes les passions
D’un vaisseau qui souffre;
Le bon vent, la tempête et ses convulsions

Sur l’immense gouffre
Me bercent. D’autres fois, calme plat, grand miroir
De mon désespoir!
— Charles Baudelaire, Les fleurs du mal


Music often transports me like a sea!
Toward my pale star,
Under a ceiling of fog or a vast ether,
I get under sail;

My chest thrust out and my lungs filled
Like the canvas,
I scale the slopes of wave on wave
That the night obscures;

I feel vibrating within me all the passions
Of ships in distress;
The good wind and the tempest with its convulsions

Over the vast gulf
Cradle me. At other times, dead calm, great mirror
Of my despair!
— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

I am happy that my curiosity is continuing to push me to do and see new things and I hope that this curiosity will stay with me for many more years to come because I still have lots of thing to learn!


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