10 April 2012

The Writing Life

"Every morning you climb several flights of stairs, enter your study, open the French doors, and slide your desk and chair out into the middle of the air. The desk and chair float thirty feet from the ground, between the crowns of maple trees. The furniture is in place; you go back for your thermos of coffee. Then, wincing, you step out again through the French doors and sit down on the chair and look over the desktop. You can see clear to the river from here in winter. You pour yourself a cup of coffee. Birds fly under your chair. In spring, when the leaves open in the maples' crowns, your view stops in the treetops just beyond the desk; yellow warblers hiss and whisper on the high twigs, and catch flies. Get to work. Your work is to keep cranking the flywheel that turns the gears that spin the belt in the engine of belief that keeps you and your desk in midair." 

{Annie Dillard from The Writing Life}

Before I left for Riga last week,
I got caught up in reading a short book called
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard.
The poetic prose was wonderfully tempting
and inspirational
that I couldn't help but to jot down some notes
and take in the idea that perhaps one day I will write
in solitude near the sea or deep in forests
as Annie has done over the decades,
along the eastern sea shore and the western cliffs.

Spring has revitalized my ambitions
and my motivation.
With the sun out I am doing and creating and working and playing,
not hibernating in my warm room and fluffy bed as I've done all winter. 

It's time to go out and wonder at the world
and the people who inhabit it
and record my sightings and imaginings. 

*photos were found herehere, and here.
*My Latvian Easter will be up in the coming days. 

03 April 2012

I wish I could live this way.

Just go. Not tell anyone.

Though I do love spontaneity, a daily dosage of it is great
for staying young and lively, I must admit
I am a planner when it comes to travel.

I'm the one writing detailed emails to my family and roommates
informing them of my travel schedule, the people I'll be with, where we'll be staying, etc.
Not that I anticipate anything going amiss; it just brings me comfort knowing
my whereabouts are being closely followed. 

I do dream of a day, however, when I can just pick up and go 
and not tell a soul
and not log on to any technological device.  

How freeing that would be! 
My limbs want to carry me off into the wide world right now!

What do you think, dear reader? Did Oscar Wilde have it right? 


*the photograph is my own, the text borrowed from a Mr. Wilde.

02 April 2012

Liva and Latvia::Upcoming Easter trip::

I have some exciting news!
I am going to Lativa for five days! I leave on Wednesday.
I can't wait to have some of my own photos of Riga, the capital city of Latvia.
(the top photo I found here)

I'm going to stay with my old roomie, the crazy girl above with food dripping from her face. ;)
I miss her so much and we have had so many fun memories together, like the food fight in the forest
for her birthday celebration or the pillow fight we had in public near the river or the time our flat was robbed and we got upset together (but prayed in our aggravation).

I'm also going to get to meet up with a fellow traveler and couch surfer whom I met in Sicily last May.
It'll be a nice little reunion in many ways.

On top of all this excitement, I am going on a solo day-trip to Lithuania.
The country where my grandfather's family came from.
At the turn of the 20th century.
A place so different from Florida, where my immediate roots come from.

I am looking forward to some soul searching the week before Easter.
Some time to journal and reflect as I wander a country that is not my own,
but brought me here, all the same.


01 April 2012

Saturday mornings...

my market treats-flowers, veggie chips, french bread, honey cake, and a mini fruit tart.

Saturday mornings, when I'm not hiking or traveling,
you can find me at my favorite market along the river.

This Saturday was dark and windy and cold,
as if winter had come back to us.

I must admit, I rather liked it.
It was a day worthy of lazy idleness. 

After strolling and sipping on some Masala Chai
and shopping for some yummy goodies to be eaten back in bed,

the annual Prague half-marathon found us,
exploding with runners, banners, cheers, balloons, and video cameras.

We stood and cheered along the sidelines for a while,
when the amazing professional African runners whizzed past us on their way back!

Their speed was my speed for a 5-minute sprint....
We stood with our mouths gaping, wondering what we just saw....

The winners of the Prague half-marathon 2012!

Have a wonderful first week of April around the world!
Happy Holy Week!


The city at night is bright,
not sunshine bright, even in daylight
the city mutes its colors under clouds,
but a dim bright, if there can be such a thing.
Lit trams and flashing neon signs
and the occasional candle flickering in a low window
of a restaurant---

These are my stars.

I follow the street lamps by the river,
tree     light     tree     light     tree     light
my steps are uneven on the wide stones.

Uneven and worn down.
Just like the Czechs.
Just like my thoughts when I wander
the city at night---which isn't often, I admit.

I can't afford to let my thoughts wander
from street to street under protection
of darkness
of stillness
of intimate couples strolling ahead
of rowdy study abroaders staggering behind.

Danger does not exist under the starless sky 
Night holds a painful beauty
It aches to be seen, to be admired, to be given lavish gifts---

But photos can't discern those desires.

So I give night my time, my attention.
I give it my thoughts, my fears, my decisions,
and in return
it gives me open admittance to myself.
It lets me wander, alone, down deserted paths,
under dark passages---

To where I fear to be in daylight.  

-a poem from my journals
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