A Happy Reunion

serendipity in Costa Rica

I arrived at my little paradise of Playa Lagartillo on Costa Rica’s west coast a few days ago, where I resumed my cherished simple routine of rising with the sun and strolling the dusty, 150-meter-long path to the beach…

Travel Anxiety

Path to the ocean

Who, me? A seasoned solo traveler? Filled with trepidation? And in anticipation of going to a place I’ve been twice before, loving it sufficiently that I’m returning, rather than exploring the undoubtedly many other magical spots located elsewhere in Costa Rica? Yup…

Mustard Seed

I keep this photo on my laptop desktop. It captures a banal moment in my peripatetic life. Taken on the S-Bahn (commuter train) between Berlin and Potsdam, I love it because of the way its significance has metamorphosed over time….

An Accidental Martyr

The Eiffel Tower in Paris darkened in honor of teacher S. Paty executed by Islamic terrorists.

Here’s a 21 October 2020 excerpt from my forthcoming An American in Pandemic Paris. A Coming-of-Retirement-Age Memoir, available at your favorite book-purchasing location by 25 November. “It’s strange walking to the 8 p.m. Eiffel Tower twinkle in the streetlight-lit night. Instead of studying architectural details, I now focus on shop windows and apartments. I adore… Continue reading An Accidental Martyr

Wondering About Wu

Around 10 p.m., the doorman rang to ask if he should allow a Chinese gentleman up, and a few minutes later, Professor Wu rang my tenth-floor doorbell. Professor Wu spoke little English, and I had trouble understanding why such a well-dressed (he always wore a suit and tie) Chinese bureaucrat would need to crash with a stranger…

Rewards

For dogs, it’s a biscuit, for cats, a spot in the sun. For people – a martini or a massage at the end of the workday, a bonus or vacation for jobs well done. For teachers, it’s student feedback. Today, I opened the student evaluations for the Women Artists’ course I taught in the spring.… Continue reading Rewards

Educating Whitie

Long ago, I realized that some of my most memorable experiences were those resulting from my choice to do something alone despite hesitating when I couldn’t find someone to join me. Now, I rarely hesitate. One such event occurred two decades ago when I was temporarily immersed in, really, embraced by, Black American culture…

The Wise Bird

In  1893, Norwegian artist Gerhard Munthe made a watercolor design for a tapestry, one of many. His subject, The Wise Bird, illustrated a Norwegian legend about a king who sought advice from a Wise Bird living in the chestnut forest beside his castle instead of from his courtiers. Munthe pictured the king engaged in conversation with… Continue reading The Wise Bird