Travelogue #3: Water Stories

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falls, runs, rushes, gushes, gathers, laps, trickles, carves, digs, advances, retreats, holds, shapes, reflects, destroys, moves, wanders, travels, covers, reveals, smooths, softens, breaks, bursts, begins, ends.


will have/make/work

its way

without asking.



*These photographs are part of a series, all taken in Iceland, June 2019. ©edifiedlistener

Travelogue #1: At Your Own Risk


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Seeing danger, they fled.

Fleeing danger, they saw.

Feeling danger, seeing flight, fleeing feeling

Their imaginations were too powerful for their own good.



(Deadly sneaker waves…imagine!)




*Photographs in this series, all taken in Iceland, June 2019. ©edifiedlistener




On Travel

Away from home we may be asked why. Why here? What made you choose this place.


Ah, to see what we can see. And in a city like Glasgow, we saw historic buildings. We also took pleasure in magnificent street art.


We travel to both get away and to get closer. We leave home behind and create little pieces of home as we go.


Or in this case, little pieces of home are created for us.

Our travel comprised a tour. We moved from city to town to town to city and back again. Lots of movement punctuated by two-day stops along the way. Our bags were never unpacked, only opened or loosened, with contents shifted as needed. To my surprise, this came as an organizational relief. Our objects never strayed far from their appointed containers. We apparently left nothing behind.


The things that caught my eye: Distance and detail.

Distance and detail


Distance and detail


While on the road with my 10 y-o companion son, it occurred to me that travel involves managing an ongoing tension between public and private, between out and in. To move from place to place we took buses and trains. In one direction we flew business class and economy in the other. Trains were less crowded than buses. Conversation with strangers, however, could happen almost anywhere. I notice that being able to choose when, where and with whom we will converse can take some extra practice while traveling. Our personal boundaries can shift, be poked or become oddly elastic.

After a day of being “out,” both of us appreciated the close and comfortable confines of our guesthouse rooms; of being “in”. The boy could zone out on his Switch while I dipped into Twitter for a break. It also allowed me time to step back and reflect on the intricacies of culture we were experiencing. I developed a fascination with doorknobs, knockers and the like.


Landscapes. Green, broad, rolling hills. Tremendous expanses of land occupied only by sheep. Boulders seemingly caught mid tumble – stuck indefinitely onto the side of the mountain. And next to no people. Relief. On my next trip to the Highlands, I’ll be walking.


To travel necessitates spending time with ourselves. Spending time with our vulnerabilities, fears, deeper desires (i.e. for rest, privacy, silence, or action). Patience will be tested. Sooner or later. Definitely at one point. There will be surprises.

A quick story: because we could only take an afternoon train back from Mallaig and we had time on our hands plus the boy’s swim gear, we found the local indoor pool and he swam.


This is what is looked like when we arrived. He spent 90 minutes, swimming and diving to his heart’s content. Along the side were all sorts of water equipment – goggles, fins, kick boards, noodles. He tentatively asked if he could borrow some fins. “Sure!” came the answer from the teen life guard on duty. I was struck. What if we all had a similar understanding of the commons as this community pool? The least touristy attraction turned out to offer the greatest value that day.

As the photographer on this trip I have few pictures of myself. But as the times have made common, I snapped a couple of selfies. And I’ve written about doing that to prove that I was there; that I, black middle-aged woman, was on that trail, that beach, in those mountains. Because travel ads will never show me a comparable facsimilie. Plenty of middle aged and young white women, but not Black women or men. So I take the selfie to preserve evidence of having been there, of having traveled, of having had the means and gumption to travel to a country I did not know before. Maybe this didn’t matter so much to me before. Now it does and I behave accordingly.


The first pic is sitting outside our delightful hotel in Forres after a great day at Findhorn Bay. I am relaxed and I am also thinking deeply about what I’ve been reading in Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. The second pic is from our cool weather trip to the coastal town of Mallaig. Smiling selfies are the ones I take with other people.

So travel, I note, belongs in my repertoire. Travel, navigate, traverse, cross, cover, move, advance, go.




Alpine Meditation

Vienna is the city. Austria, the country. This place. These places belong to who I am, who I am becoming.

This is where I have matured into adulthood. It is most likely where I will grow old.

This slideshow is a way for me to put myself in context for you and me. I see these places and I see myself but my challenge, alas, remains the capacity to see myself in these places and in turn, see these places -and their meanings – in me.


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Body and Mindset Fitness

Move the body, move the mind, right?

Do a plank rather than walk the plank.


Push up rather than push back.

Grin and bear walk!

No need to be a crab; try to walk like one.

Give the term “turnaround” a fresh spin.

Alright friends, these are  just a few moves to boost the body while you’re changing your mindset.  None of these require much space or special equipment – just you, a flat surface and a few seconds.

Have fun with these. More to come.