Wednesday, July 13, 2016

In Order...

Venice, Rovinj, Split, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Giardini Naxos (Taormini), (Ana)Capri, Rome.

Those are the places I visited from the 22nd of June through the 5th of July.  Those are the places that caused me to snap over 800 photos; those are some of the places where I swam either in the Adriatic or Mediterranean; where I walked on streets older than civilizations and watched people laugh, drink, and argue.  It was wild and wonderful and overwhelming and nonstop.  It was two weeks of wandering.

And it has taken me nearly as long to sort through all those aforementioned pictures.

Here are some of my favorites (this is a long series and I'd like to apologize ahead of time for that):

Sometimes I take artsy photos.
Deal with it. 

Piazzo San Marco, Venice at sunset.

And sometimes I take photos of flora and fauna. 

On the ferry on the way to the ship. Husband excels at two
photo reactions- laughing at my absurdity (always makes
for a great shot) or ignoring me until I remove the camera
from his face (makes for artsy ones).

There's a son by OneRepublic called "Come Home."
One of the lyrics in the song reads:
I get lost in the beauty of everything I see/
The world ain't half as bad as they paint it to be. 
When you come across the oddball photos (the flowers, the
things), hum that to yourself. 

In Rovinj, Croatia.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm not even a little sure of where exactly
I snapped this photo (I'm boldly assuming Split) .  But the
sun does funny things on the Dalmatian Coast.  It makes the
blues bluer and oranges more tangy.  It floods the world at
sunrise, burns it at mid-day, and releases it at sunset.

Um... some bronze something 
in the middle of Dubrovnik. 
(Which, by the way, is AH-
Dubrovnik, not 
the bronze guy.  He just had a 
funny nose.)

The next two are both from a spot overlooking Dubrovnik.
The sunset there was un... everything.  Unreal,
unbelievable, unstoppable.  Impossibly beautiful.

The oranges more tangy and the golds more graceful.

There are, indeed, a surprising
number of cats in Kotor.  The sort of
deserve a musuem/shop unto

The boys have a smoke break
before the lunch rush.

Mount Etna.  And what a glorious thing it is, to see the
absolute power in a volcano.  To witness the wisps of steam
escaping into cloudy potential. 

In Giardini Naxos... where boats go to die. 

After a day at sea when this was our only company. (There's
something incredible in the solitary boat- something silent
and stoic.) 

Well, the boat and the mountains. 

The Blue Grotto.  Beneath the island of Capri, there are
caverns- carved by the sea out of limestone.  They are magic.
Or, the blue one is anyway.  The others could be utterly

Looking down on Capri.  There are two versions of the same
photo.  This one and another in which the town is in focus
and the flowers out.  This version shines. 

And again... some dude.  Outside of Terminale in Roma.
If you see him from the front, his coat reveals a hollow,
bodiless space beneath.  Welcoming and terrifying at the
same time.

Trevi Fountain.  It took a lot of maneuvering to power
through the immense crowd surrounding this thing. Men and
women, kiddos and creatures all sitting there, enjoying the
summer heat with their feet in the pool and their mouths

Because who doesn't love a sculpture
of severed hands on a spike?

And there you have it... the fewest favorites I could justify.  There are maybe twenty more that I'd happily unleash on this post, but it seems too tedious to put you all through.   So for now-


Friday, July 8, 2016

A Thousand Hues of Blue

Many many many moons ago, I traveled to Australia.  I went there and spent three weeks wandering the coastlines and countrysides; sleeping outside and waking to the most intense sunrises and shrill animal alarm clocks.  It was something else entirely...

But the thing that has always stuck with me was just how gold it was there.  I've rambled on about it to distraction, but it's true.

Everything in Australia is Gold: the sunsets, sunrises, mountains on the horizon; the dew coming off of grapevines in vineyards, the batter on fried fish and the taste of ice cream in the hot hot heat.  It's all just so gold.

Fast forward to only one moon ago... I've been away for a little over two weeks now, cruising around the Adriatic Sea and Dalmatian Coast.  And besides the obvious, the difference between this trip and that one of the distant golden past is the blueness of it all. I've never seen so many shades of blue before (save for the transition from sunset to dusk to night skies).  Everywhere here, there is blue.

There's the soft, almost dusty blue of early morning and late evening.  There's the blindingly bold blue of the midday sky.  There's the clear, dark, crisp blue of the Adriatic itself- so clean and so fresh and so startling.  There's the freshwater river-blue which is a step toward green but still so beautiful.  There are blues that are so bold they become almost violet through the right lens- a blushy, lush purple color that reminds me of dark hydrangeas.

There are blues that bracket the land.  Then the land itself becomes blue in certain lights- distant mountains take on that rich depth of color.  The blueness infringes on everything there, even the sun- spending time between the constantly changing sky and the constantly moving sea.

Every new shade of blue I met over the past few weeks chiseled a little bit more of my soul off.  These colors kept a part of me to themselves- a little sliver of me stayed behind in every one of those blue hues.  And I was happy to leave it.

It is one of the most profound perfections of nature- how many different shades of the same color are contained, refracted, and reflected there.  How many different bits blue there are in the Adriatic; how much gold is there in Australia.  It is a palette of unimaginable complexity and density with a quality that borders on addictiveness: how rich the world around us truly is- in life and color and goodness.

And if we can all give and take just a sliver of that liveliness, that blueness or goldness or goodness... imagine that.

And until next time... just imagine that.