Il Buon Viaggio: My First Flight

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We don’t travel much in my family. It just takes too much time and effort what with taking off work, and buying gasoline, and checking into hotels, just too much. And yet here I am, at the ripe yet unexperienced age of twenty-one, I’ve decided to go to Rome. Never been out of the country, never even been on an airplane but I was determined to get to Rome and there was only one way to get there (because boats take forever and I don’t know how to swim). So I secured a flight (or flights rather because it took two to get here) with a travel agency (because I didn’t trust myself to do it correctly) packed my bags and headed off on my Roman holiday. Here’s a brief look at the assortment of thoughts that passed through my head:

Wow, this is a lot tinier than I thought it would be”

This plane is comprable to a flying yellow-dog (school bus)”

“Really wishing I had a better grasp of physics so I could rationalize my fears away”

We have nothing to fear but fear itself….and birds getting stuck in the turbines causing us to explode in the sky,”

If the plane crashes I hope CNN uses a good picture of me….they probably won’t”

I hope we don’t burn up on re-entry to the atmosphere…..wait, we’re not in space…..but still”

[In my Seinfeld voice]”What’s the deal with airplane food?”

That wasn’t so bad”

Wait, I think I’m going to throw….”

Great, now the flight attendants keep referring to me as “the sick one”

“Airplane pilots should really use the word “unfornately” sparingly”

Oh my God, that’s Italy down there, kind of looks like California, so beautiful”

All in all it wasn’t that bad. But I have to admit I’m not really looking forwar to that return flight.

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Sogno nel cassetto: On Faith and Travelling

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For years it has been my “sogno nel cassetto” (dream in a drawer to speak idiomatically to visit the country of Italy. And about a days worth of gruelling travel I finally made it. Here I sit, in Rome, Italy the most beautiful and spectacular city I have ever seen typing on a little weird keyboard that forces you to hold down Ctrl+Alt if you want to make the  “@” symbol. Rome is amazing, its completely foreign to me but it feels like home, like I’ve belonged here all along, and that getting here was coming to an old familiar place.

Even though I’ve been here less than a day I can tell you that coming to Rome has done wonders for my faith. The entire stressful process of getting here took some real stretching on my part. I believe in God, not a god, the God, God the Father who is intimately involved in all of our lives whether we realize it or not. And when I was down and out, when I was stressed and wondering how I was going to pay for things, if I would have the things I needed, if this trip was really going to happen I had to walk the walk of what I always talked of and trust that if God willed it then He would provide for me in his perfect timing. Sounds weird, I know, praying to this invisible God you can’t see, hoping that He hears your prayers, wondering if that little tiny voice you hear is divine inspiration or just evidence of your lack of sanity, but its all very real. In fact coming to Rome was kind of liked meeting God face to face. I did’t have to come to Rome to be confinced of its magnificence, I knew it was great before I even got here. But upon seeing it I can now say that its beauty far exceeds anything I could have ever imagine. Its an honor just to be here.

I feel like none of this makes sense (could be the jet lag talking) but nevertheless I needed to write it. I’ll be chronicling my adventures here so stay tuned. Grazie

Decalogue For a Reader

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Attenti al Lupo

  1. You have the right to read                               oldbooks
  2. You have the right to read whatever you want
  3. You have the right to stop reading a bad book
  4. You have the right to stop reading a good book
  5. You have the right not to like a famous book
  6. You have the right not to like any book
  7. You have the right to reread the same book
  8. You have the right to be bored by Moby-Dick
  9. You have the right to not understand a book
  10. You have the right to read sitting on the toilet

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WOW

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If I could write a letter to the women of the world,

I’d tell them be an enigma, let people fall in love with the mystery of you, your Mona Lisa smile a maze in which we gladly wander 

Be moonlight, the soft beacon by which lovers leave footprints in the sands of beaches yet strong enough to push and pull the tides

Let men retreat into your veil when they are weary and gaze into the constellations you call eyes, irises libel to capture the soul of a man and transport it to another place, like the black holes that warp time and space

Be the air we breath, bring a moments clarity, bring life to heart and caress us with the breeze, encapsulate the moments that bring us to our knees, your gentleness makes life livable and your harshness takes it away

Be a calloused hand but a warm embrace, showing much wear from love’s labors, yet still open

Be laugh lines and crows feet, bear the scars of a life lived proudly, show the marks of the joy you created and the stories you authored

And when you’re gone we’ll bask in the warmth of who you were like good friends at a campfire