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“Italians respect Germans but don’t love them – Germans love the Italians but don’t respect them”

Not sure who takes credit for the quote but each agree it’s true. And it was probably Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s “Italian Journey” that secured a long lasting relationship. Photo above was taken from Torbole and here’s Goethe’s first impression from the same place, on September 1786. From the shifting winds to the lemon groves toContinue reading ““Italians respect Germans but don’t love them – Germans love the Italians but don’t respect them””

Today the ancient patron fair of Sant’Andrea in Riva del Garda

Today the ancient patron fair of Sant’Andrea in Riva del Garda. Stalls everywhere, locals sharing their specialties, Italians eating gelato in the cold, talking talking talking as if it’s another day in late May. Like most towns in this culturally catholic land, there are several churches, but only one patron saint. I appreciate the saintContinue reading “Today the ancient patron fair of Sant’Andrea in Riva del Garda”

Rome, the Eternal City

Of all the places we called home Rome is forever my favorite city to visit. If Italy has acted like a balm, and it always has; this city relaxes the mind like no other. For 3 years we called it home and of all the homes we had I miss Rome the most.

Looking back there was so much drama; why not make our own!

Two separate celebrations in Seattle. On this day, twenty two years ago we were married by Judge Richard Jones, brother of Quincy Jones; equally extraordinary brothers. Had to wait to celebrate – my brother Blair was ill and would die from a brain tumour. Blair was far too young and life is so unfair. AndContinue reading “Looking back there was so much drama; why not make our own!”

flame-thrower or truth-teller – it must be Giorgia Meloni

She’s been all over twitter for the past few days. However you feel about Meloni, geographically – Italy’s at a disadvantage, the human traffickers make it more difficult, and immigration have become a major issue. A weight upon the State. When I lived in Paris for 3 yrs the issues were different, they didn’t assimilateContinue reading “flame-thrower or truth-teller – it must be Giorgia Meloni”

Hey writers – happy #NaNoWriMo – it’s national novel writing month

Everyone’s a writer. Some are working on long prose or pithy posts…and I know a few of you are working on your first book – so happy #NaNoWriMo. Maybe you’ll make that goal of 50,000 words or maybe focus on fewer and making those few sing. So happy staring at the screen, the wall, wherever, andContinue reading “Hey writers – happy #NaNoWriMo – it’s national novel writing month”

Learning the art of patience. Anything worthwhile takes an awful long time.

Foto: Lake Garda, 2020 From The Marginalian: “Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.” This is borrowed from the wise and wonderful Debbie Millman, for it’s hard to better capture something so fundamental yet so impatiently overlooked in our culture of immediacy. The myth of the overnight success is just that — a myth — as wellContinue reading “Learning the art of patience. Anything worthwhile takes an awful long time.”

Learning…to be generous, with your time, resources and words.

From The Marginalian Be generous. Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being critiqued. ToContinue reading “Learning…to be generous, with your time, resources and words.”

Learning…the uncomfortable luxury of changing you mind.

Foto from Prague in 2012 Language is fluid and learning is too… From the Marginalian: Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Cultivate that capacity for “negative capability.” We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressionsContinue reading “Learning…the uncomfortable luxury of changing you mind.”

Tallinn, Estonia; shows what youth and political will can do

Never been to Estonia but my guy goes once a year. To a town called Tallinn; small, very buzzy, full of young people, most online place in Europe, kinda like our version of Silicon Valley. Interesting how this town came along, 20 yrs ago, not much going on, bordering the Baltic Sea and Finland, formerlyContinue reading “Tallinn, Estonia; shows what youth and political will can do”

National Novel Writing Month; not necessarily photogenic or sexy but ideal for the imagination

Like any writer, I stare at the screen, often at the wall, and will it to happen. Or just write and let the stream of consciousness flow. Apparently the goal for writers, officially called NaNoWriMo, is to write a 50,000 word manuscript. I’m afraid I’m going to have to focus on fewer words but IContinue reading “National Novel Writing Month; not necessarily photogenic or sexy but ideal for the imagination”

The Truffle Hunters; a truly original movie about hunting truffles

They say Piemonte is a magical place. I lived there, so it’s easy to believe. A great state of mind where time remains on their side. Where you’ll find hundreds upon hundreds of herbs and thousands of flowers and magic is strewn throughout their magical land. This film is a one off, an original. It’sContinue reading “The Truffle Hunters; a truly original movie about hunting truffles”

Time to take a drive through Transylvania to see Vlad

Stunning drive through Transylvania, from Prague to Bucharest, think we took this drive back in 2012. Wonderful way to see the world on Halloween. Gorgeous castles, livestock along the way, the Danube river showed up every now and then although I cannot recall how many countries she flows through here in Europe. While still drivingContinue reading “Time to take a drive through Transylvania to see Vlad”

Cemetery season continues with St. Peter’s in Salzburg – for all you Sound of Music fans.

Hey, if you’re late to my party I’m celebrating cemetery season. Transylvania and Vlad are coming up – – along w/All Saints’ Day – a major holiday here in Europe, followed by All Souls on Nov 2nd. Until then it’s time for Salzburg for I know it well and love the place to pieces: theContinue reading “Cemetery season continues with St. Peter’s in Salzburg – for all you Sound of Music fans.”

‘Waiting for Godot’ effect on German prisoners was electric – and how Beckett regrets waiting

Samuel Beckett had a long association with prisoners because of the nature of this play. Later on, an American prisoner would become Beckett’s protege – however, before the English speaking world could see and struggle with the play, a German prisoner got the meaning behind “Man wartet auf Godot” back in ’53 . The storyContinue reading “‘Waiting for Godot’ effect on German prisoners was electric – and how Beckett regrets waiting”

Mark Twain on Steglieno Cemetery: We will remember this after we’ve forgotten all the palaces

Necropolis literally means city of the dead. And there’s nothing like this open air museum, this cemetery called Steglieno, in a city like no other. Mark Twain said, “We will remember this after we’ve forgotten all the palaces” Atmospheric and dramatic, you could spend days dancing with the dead. All that old money spent onContinue reading “Mark Twain on Steglieno Cemetery: We will remember this after we’ve forgotten all the palaces”

To La Serenissima for All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day

Working on my next book ‘Personal Legends of Piemonte’ – publication date this winter. Transcribing a major project for someone else; deadline EOM. When I will leave for my annual trip to La Serenissima for All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day. Venice awaits. In the meantime I will post fotos and videos of some ofContinue reading “To La Serenissima for All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day”

Art is the best medicine

When they asked Gustav Klimt to paint an allegory for medicine he gave us “Hygieia” Women as caretakers, and defiant and powerful – behind her the vulnerable women, the pregnant women. The snake and bowl remain symbols of pharmacy to this day. Vienna is a treasure trove of Klimt and Schiele. I’ve combed the cityContinue reading “Art is the best medicine”

America may still rule the world; if only it would try and understand it

I’m in Vienna, tucked into the doorway where Orson once stood. “The Third Man” is important not just because of it’s technique but because of its theme: Just because blundering Americans rule the world does not mean they understand it, and the American cultural hegemony has transformed the global economy into the plot of aContinue reading “America may still rule the world; if only it would try and understand it”

Spent about a decade driving across Europe’s borders and it sure was worth it

Driving through all her borders, this truly was a highlight of a nomadic life; informing and amplifying cultural realities, often illuminating why there’s so much solidarity in the European Union. It’s also awfully pretty. When we lived in Prague I used to drive to Vienna, only took about 3 and 1/2 hrs by car. WhereContinue reading “Spent about a decade driving across Europe’s borders and it sure was worth it”

“I’d rather have a 1,000 school board members than the President of the United States”

Quote from Ralph Reed, former Executive Director of the Christian Coalition. Now we know why and how they’re winning key battles. They recently had both. A combination of hyper, local races, and a hyper conservative Supreme Court allows 20% of the population, the Evangelicals, to dictate Roe and their pro life stance. This is justContinue reading ““I’d rather have a 1,000 school board members than the President of the United States””

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