Your mileage may vary

This is a great message for all…young, old or in-between! Go for the dream! Always go for the dream, everything else will work itself out.

Piaggia Del Giuggiolo

Libba Bray

Recently, I received a post that really got under my skin. It’s from Fiona (Hi, Fiona). I started to dash off a reply and then I thought that it required a much longer, more considered answer. With her permission, I’m reprinting her original comment below followed by my response. My response is lengthy; I apologize. But it is from the heart.

“I’m in a bit of a dilemma and I made a deal with my father that I would get advice from three people: my high school counselor, my voice coach, and an author. I want to go into the fine arts: writing, singing, composing. My father wants me to go to Columbia, Yale, or Harvard. I’d be fine with these but I want to go to a smaller school and then study abroad for at least two years. “It’s my life and this is a decision that will alter…

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Post Italy

It has been busy and painfully stagnant since returning from Siena. The reverse culture shock continues to surprise me, like the near melt down in Fred Meyers (grocery store). We had moved in to our new apartment and went to stock up on groceries. It was the first big shopping trip since returning from Italy and I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelm. Too many products, too many shelves, too many options and choices. I just wanted to leave the cart in the aisle and leave. I didn’t and we got home with groceries.

I have been busy with online classes this term and the isolation is getting to me, but then I also want to isolate at times. It is a strange thing right now. I am beginning a yoga class next week. That should help in several ways.  It is a strange kind of let down after walking so much everyday to and from school in Siena. Now I must work at getting enough movement and it is definitely a challenge. The social invitations have begun to come in and I missed that part of life. I was lonely in Italy and missed my friends a great deal. I missed socializing with all the banter, laughter and discussion. I am looking forward to more of that!

Setting up a photography portfolio and writing on my book…thinking of publishing a photo book on my final project which was a photo book of Pompeii with poems by me. I have so many projects and that together with school is the busy part. It is a lot of sitting on the computer, editing, and writing…this seems stagnant to me after awhile. I will find the balance or it will find me…for now, I am here and listening.

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The view from our house in Siena, Italy one foggy morning.

New Year, New Beginnings, New Body, New Sight…New Life

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As we move into 2014 I am thinking back over the last year and what a year it has been. So many changes at a fundamental level for me. Friendships have been redefined, my body has become a healthy dwelling place, my mind has relaxed into a state of grace and really life has become closer to being what feeds my soul and gives meaning to the words, ” live with intention.”  Italy was one of the defining periods of my life over the last year, Italy opened me up and breathed it’s sweet wine into my spirit. My thankfulness is overflowing for that experience and as I have only left Italy 2 weeks ago…I am still processing what took place and how the levels that living as an Italian were transformed within me. I know that seeing my mom standing in the airport waiting for us was one of the best sights ever and being a part of all of the love and support from family and friends has been the highlight of this journey. True friends, the ones that support you even if they don’t agree with you or think your ideas are crazy and family that understands you and supports your dreams and even encourages you to follow them are what it is all about. These people are why I went to Italy and they are why I came home to live near them. As I think more about connections, support, community and where my energy flows I wish all of those that I call friend a wonderful new year and I look forward to being your friend in 2014 and supporting each other in all we endeavor.

The Hunger Games

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Lost Souls

Spiritually, about half the populace in the United States congress, has clearly lost their way.

Completely.

They claim to adhere to the Christian values of mercy and charity, but instead, they worship money. They are so far removed from the suffering, poverty, hunger, and despair of ‘the least among us,’ that they actually consider cutting $40 million dollars from the Food Stamp budget (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), a victory.

217 men and women in Congress — who’ve never been hungry or cold or homeless or desperate in their whole lives — cut the money that feeds 47 million Americans, many of them children.

They claim that all children…

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