La Partenza

Perhaps there are sadder words in the Italian language than partenza, but not for me. Partenza means a leaving, a sailing away, a goodbye. But more deeply, it implies a breaking-apart, a separation from something, or someone.

In the image, the boat is a ferry on Lake Lugano in the southern, Italian-speaking part of Switzerland on the border with Italy. Green mountains surround the city and the lake, and the beauty of the trees and sky and the light shimmering on the water make it feel like being there is living in the set of a magical film. Travelers visit Lugano and ask “why would anyone ever want to leave a place as lovely as this?”  But the woman is going to leave. We don’t know why; we can only imagine. Read More

World Of Wonders

On a late afternoon in October, like any other late afternoon in Autumn, I was driving home on a two-lane road from a temporary day job. As you get close to our town the road takes a long, gentle curve past a clearing, then a pond and a grove of pines that mark the edge the Fairgrounds. On the opposite side of the road a meadow sprawls over several acres. As I entered the shadows of the pines there suddenly appeared in my rear view mirror a plume of light and a wave of light, like silent explosions.

A road to Grass Valley is not the road to Damascus. There was no bolt of lightning, no one thrown off a horse into the dirt, no voice from the heavens demanding to know why I was persecuting somebody, just a middle-aged guy in a beat-up Datsun pick up truck enchanted by a vision of light. The vision became a revelation.
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Girl Child. Men With Guns.

It is night. Rain has fallen. A deserted plaza in some city somewhere, anywhere: abandoned buildings crowned with television antennae that used to bring The News to whomever used to live in such places that were perhaps once beautiful: their homes. The street and the plaza are torn up, three twisted traffic barriers, some paving stones, a ribbon of yellow police tape. Under a street lamp a girl child plays around the puddles on her bicycle, alone in her own world . She’s not aware yet of five men with guns behind her, but we can be certain that the men are aware of her.
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