flyover country

"It’s less than exhilarating, my existence here. Friends have moved on, to engagements and new cities. My old jobs are positively vintage, inaccessible. What’s left is family and this old house where each creak of the floorboards is familiar. In a world so full of noise, this kind of quiet feels almost radical."

from newlywed to retiree: on places, and what it means to love them

It's interesting what we block out when we dream of or anticipate a place. We must ignore the great unspooled ribbon of mind-numbing highway. The ugly big-box stores. The cloud cover that renders a day as colorless as a lump of pizza dough. Sometimes I think we reserve those kinds of stringent observations for home: to criticize what we are used to and tired of.

travel notebook: alone in italia, day two

Cinque Terre teems with tourists. Scattered about the rocks like camera-happy penguins, people are: sinking into squats for the photo angle showing their 'best side' crunching on fried things served in cones dripping gelato (and offering bites to their dogs) brandishing walking sticks like weapons, the hallmark of the serious hiker carrying hot cardboard boxes …

Continue reading travel notebook: alone in italia, day two