Being There

Being There

Have we lost contact with the tangible world? Look around. What do you see? Screens! Information gleaned through hand-held electronic devices. Through those screens we love to look at animals, our friends, mouth-watering foods, faraway landmarks, natural wonders. What...
Bill Viola in Florence

Bill Viola in Florence

Here was a long-awaited experience—the chance to finally see the great Pontormo Visitation along with Bill Viola‘s haunting video response made five hundred years later. There in a single darkened room was the newly-restored Mannerist painting portraying the...
On the Other Hand

On the Other Hand

My bags are always packed! To go from here to there is to indulge in a blend of aesthetic schizophrenia, wanderlust, and bad faith. Insisting that I love exactly where I live, I still climb onto a plane roughly once a year to become whatever the next large foreign...
Bilocation and other travel puzzles

Bilocation and other travel puzzles

Ah the unavoidable psycho-physical malaise of bilocation—the doubling of oneself that happens between travel and homecoming. Think of it as a variation on the mind/body problem. Our body is spatially bound but our consciousness is adrift; e.g. somewhere near the...
Authentic Cuisine

Authentic Cuisine

Now this is strudel! I was seated at the dark wood bar of Demel’s, arguably the most famed and luxurious coffeehouse in Vienna—where the coffeehouse was invented 300 years ago. From a vast kitchen not 20 paces from where I sat had come this insanely fine...
Time Travel Conflicts

Time Travel Conflicts

There are many forms of being in conflict with oneself, but few are as universal, if irrational, as that feeling you have after a satisfying trip far away from your everyday life. For two weeks I was lucky enough to be in Vienna and, briefly, Florence.  By the end of...
the ugly underbelly

the ugly underbelly

Being an Author: the true story. . . Think twice before you fantasize about becoming an author.  In the six months leading up to the publication of my book, Inside the Flame, and for the past five months afterwards, I have been enslaved to blog writing, Facebooking,...
Carmel Book Meet & Greet!

Carmel Book Meet & Greet!

Carmel was always the spot my aunt favored for weekend getaways. “Let’s go window-shopping,” she would say, and away we went. Like a miniature English country village, Carmel seemed to offer an endless parade of intriguing pocket gardens, shops...
Book Crazy!

Book Crazy!

I could read almost as soon as I could walk, and never looked back. Books were early friends, companions, conjurers, and sages—leading me straight into the heart of myths and fairytales, my favorite early literary genres. Books showed the way to my own powers of...
six ways to dig deeper!

six ways to dig deeper!

Experience is always more precious than stuff. Never forget that. So give yourself the gift of a new experience—or revive an old favorite experience—every day. You will never look back with satisfaction at owning that Mustang convertible or those Manolo Blahnik spiked...