Lionesses in the Bathroom

Papa und das Meer

Europakapelle

Just past the Europabrücke (Europe Bridge), South of Innsbruck in Austria, you can pull over at a reststop. There’s a place to eat, a place to gas up, a place where you can jump off said Europabrücke with a bungee chord. You can also pray. There’s a small chapel atop a hill. The chapel was erected in 1963 and dedicated to all the workers who died while building the 820 meter long bridge. Standing atop the hill, looking through the chapel at the autobahn and the rolling foothills of the Alps I did feel rather peaceful. Later, while researching this place I stumbled upon the phrase “gas station for the soul”. I am not particularly religious, but in a weird way, I found this quite apt.

My Parents’ Palazzo

My parents and I walked into the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel in Venice like we belonged there – like we were guests and had a right to walk up the grand 18th Century staircase, look at the frescoes by Pietro Longhi and lean out the huge windows overlooking the Grand Canal and the Rialto Market. The staff didn’t mind. I think people come there all the time to look at the Palazzo that dates back to the 14th Century, is a national monument and has in recent years been pristinely restored. What was out of the ordinary was that some of the rooms were absolutely deserted. My parents and I (in fact my entire family) are early risers and we arrived at the Palazzo when everyone else had just settled down for breakfast. We had the rest of the rooms to ourselves and I indulged in some early morning daydreams about my parents being Venetian nobility and owning the place.

Eugenie and the Gooseberries

Eugenie is a very close friend of my mother’s and I’d heard so much about her that I felt I knew her. I finally had the pleasure of meeting her last Fourth of July for a cold glass of lemonade on her porch. Eugenie and her husband have the greenest thumbs I have ever seen. Their garden is a place of magic, of huge trees, tall grasses, colorful flowers I have never seen before and vegetables and fruits that made my mouth water. Eugenie will always give my mom small gifts – a glass of strawberry freezer jam, gooseberry marmalade, fresh lettuce… These things never survive long when us kids are around. They’re simply too delicious… all the more so now that we know where they come from!

Joshua Tree

Last October Jan and I went to visit our friends Sarah and Ben in LA and went camping in Joshua Tree. I had never been to the desert. It was like something out of a storybook: coyotes howling by night, stars so bright that you felt you could reach out and pluck them out of the sky and a sunset that would drown all the color out of the world. Watching the sun go down was like watching the world turn to stone.

Julian with Driftwood

Belize

It is almost a year ago that I visited my husband while he was working in Belize. I never posted any of the images I took there. I wasn’t really happy with them, yet, ironically, when I look at some of the pictures today they make me happy. It was so delightful and luxurious escaping from the freezing grey winterscape of Manhattan and stepping out of the plane into a country that I knew very little about but that overwhelmed with its tastes and smells and sounds and the incredible hospitality of its people.

 

©Sarah Girner

Venice

I had never been to Venice. It’s one of those cities where everything that could possibly have been said or thought about it, probably has been said and thought already. I still want to write a few lines.

What surprised me was that though I had seen countless images of Venice – moving as well as stills – and read books about this city I didn’t expect how it might feel. It is an assault on the senses: the scent and sounds of the sea are all-encompassing and you are never really  able to drown out the splashing of the waves against the canals because these are sounds we aren’t always surrounded with in city life. Oftentimes the ground shifts beneath your feet and that shifting and the slightest hint of nausea made their way into my dreams.

Finally the light: The light also shifts from delicate tones of pink and purple to crisp, clear moonscapes with the reflections of the moon and stars gently glittering on the waves. It’s all a bit much. There’s a German word “sattsehen” which means literally to see until you are full; to see until your appetite is sated. It’s impossible to see Venice until you are full. You just need to keep looking and looking and looking some more.

Marcela & Lucio