Cemetery Pere Lachaise

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

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We navigate the tree-lined pathways of Cemetery Père Lachaise. The quiet, the foliage, and the unstudied orderliness promote a sense of peacefulness, but the cemetery also gives rise to another feeling, like reverence or maybe fear. We arrive at the grave of the French writer Honoré de Balzac, surrounded by a wrought-iron fence. A lone, dying rose is resting against it. Though I'm only vaguely familiar with Balzac's work, I feel touched by his genius, just as I feel touched by his mortality.

Airplane through Window

Friday, March 14, 2014

 photo f57886ea-b25d-491a-8c1e-f3b84a4ed162_zpsc51d194b.jpg The shuttle picked me up at 5:45 a.m. EST. I slept on the way to the airport. When I got to the terminal, I had enough time for a quick breakfast and then I walked across a covered bridged to the gate. In the bridge the light changed from dim to clear, and when I looked outside, the sun was brilliant, burning up the fog that cloaked the runway, the planes, and the semi-tropical brush on the horizon. I paused for a minute to take in the sight and then I headed to my gate, and home.

Mont Saint-Michel

Friday, February 28, 2014

 photo a45739eb-9fa6-49fe-8289-889cc14d307b_zpse0350625.jpg A rocky island sits at the edge of a bay, sometimes on land, sometimes surrounded by water. It's said that forces exerted by the sun and moon control the tides, and you definitely sense heavenly bodies at work on this sometimes-island. From a distance, the stone paths, walls, and surrounding blockade merge with the mossy rock that supports them. Once inside, the many hallways, paths, windows, towers, and rooms give the impression of so much more to explore on this small patch of land, while up on the roof, you take in expansive views of silt planes. Despite the noise and busyness of a major tourist attraction, your skin tingles at the idea of being stranded on Mont-Saint Michel, nothing but water in every direction, the sounds of monk chants reverberating off the walls and disappearing into the bay.

Sunset Boulevard

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sunset Boulevard photo 2cb1e94f-3549-4d63-a72b-8e7c06143d32_zps54e7629c.jpg As I walk down Sunset Boulevard toward Chateau Marmont, I notice a proliferation of the color pink. Raspberry lips on billboards, fuchsia bougainvillea spilling over cement walls. Pepto-Bismol and magenta façades. Bubble gum and carnation and cotton candy. Pink, pink, pink. Once I notice it, I can't not see it. Even the name has me thinking pink. It's a wild revelry, a carnival of color, that says more, more, more.

Cinque Terre

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

 photo efb143f0-9ca1-4d20-9a66-d8c76c06d1f7_zps22dc8d4c.jpg As I walked the worn trail toward the village of Vernazza in Cinque Terre, I looked toward rugged mountains on the one side, some painstakingly cultivated by traditional farmers, and a steep, rocky drop to mermaid green water on the other. You feel half-tempted to respond to that deep-sea Siren call with one wide-armed jump, but are pulled back to reality by dusty earth, terraced vineyards, and a well-trodden path to a colorful, welcoming village.

Ornaments from Around the World

Monday, January 6, 2014

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A fat, brown angel with paper-light wings and a crown of stars appears in the branches of a Christmas tree, bringing grandma-kisses all the way from Hawaii.

Breckenridge, Colorado

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Breckenridge, CO photo f5e0350f-3e71-4565-913b-8e64028571c2_zps3d757980.jpg
On a clear winter day, we went snowshoeing outside Breckenridge, and as the sun began to set, we wound up a narrow road to a little motel at the top of a nearby mountain. We settled in for the night, our legs aching and our skin salty-smelling, with the snow falling lightly outside. The next morning, pure white covered the ground, shrubs and trees, and ski trails across the valley and contrasted with the evergreens—eye-straining brightness reflecting the sun's rays.
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