Posts Tagged ‘travel

03
Jan
14

As towering things go …

As towering things go …

Paris, 12/30/2014, Izzi Stevenson

With the coffee brewing and a day old baguette heating up in the oven, all seems to be set for the early morning … and oh yeah, it’s a snow day for the prodigal just home from a week in Paris.  Ah, the life!

The trip was momentous for her–likely life altering–having had the opportunity to see things from a different point of view and without her parents to render opinions and shape the experience as she traveled with a friend and his family.

It puts in mind that the big things in life often come in small moments that cumulatively equate themselves to momentous change. For her, at fourteen, it seems it was in experiencing the textures, sights and smells of the City of Lights along with the joy she had in discovering pain au chocolat. And yes, to state again, without her parents to filter things through–just herself going about defining each experience on her own terms.

Travel always has a way of transporting a person–but no less important are the transformative moments we push ourselves to even in the “ordinary” routine. Sometimes it is in taking the time to tarry, or in how one puts an extra something special into those parts of one’s day that are otherwise forgettable.

Creating alone time is another way. The gym comes to mind wherein whatever time one allots, one can experience something of the sacred about it. A daily run can certainly fit that bill–as can the rhythms of each round spent shadow boxing or perfecting a left hook.

Whether to time, to the number of rounds or to the body’s inner clock that seems to have a sense of beginnings and endings that are quite apart from how the mind (shall I offer up the “parent”) defines what can and cannot be done–that period can become an entire world quite apart from the rest of one’s day.

So if a trip to France isn’t in the offing, an hour or so among the plants, kneeding bread or banging away on the double-ended bag may be just the trick for adding a dose of transformation to an otherwise, cold and snowy morning.

24
Dec
13

Merry xmas eve ….

Merry xmas eve …

Miracle-On-34th-Street-1947-5-300x168

It’s been the most delightful of evenings.

The tree is up and lighted. The dining table cleared. Family happily ensconced with the prodigal daughter aching for the morning when she can tear through her many brightly wrapped packages.

There is something wonderful about seeing one’s 14-year-old still so excited about what Santa will bring!

I admit to a bit of excitement myself mostly because Jewish pagan that I am my investment in the holiday has its own crazy sort of quality to it that is devoid of religion–yet tied to the ideas of joy, peace and giving.

Having reclaimed the living room from writing space (the couch was my literary island for weeks at a time when I wasn’t in the basement of the Dean Street Starbucks in Brooklyn) to actual place where the family can gather, I am feeling a rising crescendo of anticipation, not so much about what loot I’ll net, but at the thought of the twinkle in my family’s eyes when they uncover the secrets within the paper, ribbons and bows that festoon their presents.

I guess that’s what it’s always about in the end. Thinking of the one thing that can bring absolute joy to another.  Sometimes it is something as simple as a favorite food or the special hot chocolate that accompanies breakfast or perhaps a kind word said at just the right moment.

It all puts in mind the months I traveled through Asia on my own. I traveled light having figured out that each thing I brought with me meant that it had to be schlepped on my back–and after a while I shedded possessions as a snake would its skin, growing a new self that would only carry things that could have several uses, trading as I went for books and other nice to haves that I carried one at a time.

I also came to embrace things for what they were: moments in time that were unique and unlike any other. These experiences were serial in nature and while time certainly didn’t stand still–the days always felt longer because my experience of them was so complete.

Christmas is like that for me. It is full and every second of it feels kind of precious. A true day off from the work-a-day world where so much of it goes by without thinking, I find in the tiny red, gold, blue and green lights of the tree a kind of magic that makes me feel very alive.

Sure, the spell will be broken–but for the moment I feel at one with Santa as he drops off presents in Georgetown, Guyana.

Please accept my very best wishes to all of your this very lovely holiday night!

02
Feb
12

Road Trip

Road Trip

I’m traveling up the Hudson River by train this morning from New York City to Saratoga Springs.

To say that I’m feeling footloose is not to fully appreciate how free I feel in mind and spirit. Perhaps it’s because I have two days off as a celebration of sorts: I’ve been invited to speak at my college to the incoming group of graduate students about writing the final project. I’ll also do a small presentation on my thesis, Boundaries in Motion: Women’s Boxing. It’s a lovely honor, one that I truly appreciate. Beyond that it means I get to talk about the wonders of women’s boxing as a metaphor for perseverance, hard work and effort, and the feeling of accomplishment that one can have at attaining a goal.

I also appreciate that it’s a good thing to revel in one’s own accomplishments from time to time.  So this is a bit of an “atta’ girl” to myself, which I figure that all of us need from time to time.  Meanwhile, I’ll get to hang out at the indoor pool or tool around the town of Saratoga Springs while the students are busy having their minds blown with all the dawn till midnight roster of activities that graduate school residencies are famous for.

I am talking true post-grad heaven here.

Otherwise, it’s on to the next goal!  Crunches on the train!

17
Apr
11

On the road (and I don’t mean roadwork)

On the road (and I don’t mean roadwork)

Yep, I’ve hung up the old “gone fishing'” sign and found my way up to Montreal, Canada with my daughter for our spring break.  We had a terrific flight up this morning — and aside from some wishful thinking on the weather, enjoyed a couple of fabulous long walks through town plus some reasonable eats.

And who knew that one city could have the same name pronounced two different ways: Montreal and Mon-re-al.

We are staying in the old part of the city called “Vieux Montreal” — along the old Port on the St. Lawrence seaway.  It is quite beautiful and while it certainly has the feel of a big city, the architecture is decidedly European in the older neighborhoods.

Having not been away for some time — especially with the young one in tow, it’s been quite a treat to experience something outside of our usual routine.  Tomorrow, I hope to find out where the locals box to see if we can pay a visit.

Until tomorrow then — bon nuit!




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