Old City: a visit to Pompeii

When the train doors open, we can already feel the heat. Nine forty-five, cloudless sky, the second heatwave of the summer sliding leisurely through Europe. We are spending the day in Pompeii. We've taken the train over from Naples, six euros for the express with air conditioning, three euros for the slow train. Last night,... Continue Reading →

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This story isn’t your masterpiece, and that’s fine

Harsh feedback taken too personally caused me to stop writing for four years. Angry, afraid, but mostly ashamed, the voice of self-doubt grew enormous in me, any time I had an idea or a vague vision of a story--hold off, I told myself. Wait to write the perfect thing. So many of the barriers to... Continue Reading →

Short Stories in Naples

On Thursday morning, at the patisserie Poppella, I wrote this in my journal: I'm so overwhelmed by Naples. It's so busy. I feel like I'll be trampled when I walk on the street. Everything is dirty. Garbage is all over the streets. I'm afraid to take out my computer. I'm afraid someone will take it.... Continue Reading →

A quick note from Naples

It's 10:30pm, and I'm just sitting down to write. I'll have to keep it a quick one. A long and sweaty, beautiful and adventurous day of travel now at an end, I'll recount a bit and reflect, see if I can tease out a few details to remember. Naples has a reputation. I think everyone... Continue Reading →

Every-colored flowers

In the eastern parts of Umbria, the land lofts up from fertile valleys into rich-forested mountains. These are the Apennines, a range I'd heard mentioned before but knew nothing of, a string of low mountains stretching the full length of the Italian peninsula. Yesterday, on a recommendation from our Italian language teacher, we drove out... Continue Reading →

Authenticity–what is it really?

My husband's and my goal for this summer was to settle: to root ourselves in a place for a length of time, to get to know it well, to accustom ourselves to some new surroundings, to avoid the pellmell back and forth of place-to-place travel, to focus, to breathe, to find some deeper sense of... Continue Reading →

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