Sunday by Edward Hopper (1926)

My parents divorced when I was nine. Countless reasons lie behind the break-up of my family, and the relative importance of each is probably impossible to determine.

Among the many reasons that led to their separation, I wish to talk about a specific one. It seems to me that my father bottled up his negative feelings and rarely shared them with my mother.

As further evidence of this, my mum experienced my dad’s request as an unexpected wake-up call. She had little to no idea about the negative feelings my father harboured.

I can only speculate what led my father…

What’s New by Paul Gauguin (1892)

Some days it seizes me. Even though it comes from afar, I don’t see it coming.

I struggle to label it. It is a muddy mixture of feelings and thoughts.

It is not like every other feeling. It comes and goes, like a shallow physical pain, that you feel and forget repeatedly.

It feels smarter than other feelings, in a cunning way. It infiltrates my thoughts, like a virus that seeks to corrupt them.

Is is unpredictable. It can be obsessive. It can trigger fears. Or not.

I may call anxiety, but it likes to be vague and escape the…

What are good ways to use the internet to reduce loneliness?
What are good ways to use the internet to reduce loneliness?
Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash

During last year, I found myself living alone for several months, with a social network of at best 2 or 3 people around me that I would meet in person every 3 or 4 days. I immigrated to the UK 5 years ago, my family lives in Italy and my partner in China. The pandemic brought to my life a lot of solo time, some weeks above 95% of my waking hours.

Luckily, throughout all this, I have managed to stay healthy, happy and (most times) calm. For this, I thank a few simple healthy habits: sleeping enough, eating well…

Animals are lovely. But when you have a pet you can see first hand how instinctual they are. When they are hungry, they ask you for food. When they are happy, they cuddle. When something concerns them, they hide. Even if some of us struggle to, loving animals is not that difficult. As they are fairly clear about their needs, you only need to pay attention to them and try to satisfy them in a way that balances the short- and long-term wellbeing of your pet.

But hey, humans are animals too! While obvious, this was an important realisation for…

Let me explore this question starting from thinking. Thinking, in its undefinable form, seems to be at the root of all cognitive tasks. Writing, like speaking, is interactive thinking. With each stroke or type, we materialise our thinking. We engage in a relationship with the page and attempt, through a sequence of such actions, at representing our thoughts. This is the first important property of writing, its genesis from the interaction between thoughts and symbols. This property is often implicit in the advice of writing to clarify one’s thoughts or to make a decision. …

Riccardo Volpato

Coding, writing, thinking and talking to live life fully

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