Storms, Baccalà, and Nureyev

Two days before Halloween, extremely high winds racked Rome to the point that public schools were closed. I walked briskly through the cobblestone streets of Trastevere, pivoting at the school, then the plumbago and so forth, picking my way through the labyrinth....

Booking It in Rome

Awaking came with the bittersweet awareness that this was my last day- this trip – in Italy and in Rome. My beautiful room in the Albergo del Senato surpassed what I’d already come to expect: exceptional. The Pantheon exerts a powerful attraction for me.  Divine...

Carrying the Cat’s Meow

Sweetness showers on me in unexpected ways. It happened before a trip to Italy, cloaked in a dubious situation: when a friend asked me to do a favor. “Diane, would you do me a favor and take something with you the next time you go to Rome?” In her loving and imploring...

An Auspicious Autumn

Swiss cheese itinerary? Opportunities for sporadic adventures? Both? In any case,it felt good to deliberately leave open a sprinkling of dates throughout:It had been a year since my  trip to Puglia, and I could barely contain my eagerness. A couple of weeks before my...

Liceo a Roma – Part 2: The Forum School (’73-’75)

The Forum School, Rome, Italy My head buzzed eerily as I heard the Headmaster’s words reverberate in my brain.  Expelled?I walked out of his office and passed his smirking secretary who seemed to relish the scene. I continued into the open air courtyard. It was early,...

Liceo a Roma – Part 1

St. Stephen’s School in Rome (‘72) In moments, I would be… Solo. No parents. No siblings. Glancing around the spartan departure area, I manufactured a yawn with that well-practiced cool look teenagers wear to mask all the excitement inside, feeling triumphant,...
Thanks, Gaddafi

Thanks, Gaddafi

“No one sleeps in the front bedrooms tonight.” I’ll never forget my father’s directive. It was September 1, 1971. A military coup had swept into power in Tripoli, Libya. My family lived in a villa adjoining our Jordanian landlord’s villa. Outside, it was getting dark...
Deserts and Beginnings

Deserts and Beginnings

A few days ago, I got into a massive project. You know, the dreaded yet invigorating purging ritual so folksily called, “Spring Cleaning.” The upheaval, not the reorganizing, challenges me. Stacks upon stacks of family photos – how did I ever collect so many?...
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