Vietnam. First Impressions.

6 a.m. in Saigon. As the night workers slowly trade places with their diurnal counterparts, I head to Ben Canh Market in search of Vietnam. The street vendors are busy setting up their stalls. The smoke from small charcoal grills fills the air with the scent of barbecued pork. A grandmother tends to a small…

Shameless Beauty

Sunrise on the Mekong. I can already feel the heat stalking beneath the skin of the day. Like a body in repose, the river heaves and recedes with each passing vessel. The laborers across the bank have started toiling in the brick factory. We visited yesterday with our guides Vy and Ha and saw the…

Lost In Maps

Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar. ”         Antonio Machado                      (Wayfarer, there is no path, you make your path as you go.)           To my parents’ great chagrin, I was not big on books growing up.  Very…

Día de los Muertos

The first death I recall is my Flemish great-grandmother’s.  I was six years old, and  because we happened to be in Belgium at the time, I attended her funeral.  I remember giggling uncontrollably in the back of the village church.  Nerves? Apprehension?  I got a good wallop in the face for it.  After that, the…

Comfort Zones

As I establish myself in a new environment, divergent on many levels from any place I’ve lived, my thoughts have turned to the meaning of comfort.  For most of us, it is the familiar, the routine, the patterns.  It is predictability.  It is being surrounded by people we know and love, by personal objects that…

A New Life

Two months ago today,  I untethered myself from my home, my job and my husband and moved to my own small “cottage by the lake”.  On the cusp of 60, life gifted me a chance to blossom into my true self and live my best life.   I was, and continue to be, quite bursting…