There is no easy way for me to sit still, but somehow, after months sheltering, I am doing slightly more of that, daydreaming right back to fabulous memories, like this girl’s trip I took to France two years ago. Concocted and plotted during the winter months and executed during the heat wave called July, four of us converged to explore Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Cassis, Arles, Eze and Nice. We delighted in the architecture and art and space and sea and trains and food and drink and each other. I invite you to lazily daydream through my photo story, and as you do, imagine roaming with pure freedom once again.
I’ve been to Tokyo. London. Paris. New York. Miami. But still, I want a gondolier to inform me about the ancient waterways of Venice as we float along the Grand Canal and attempt to navigate the bustle of Delhi in a rickshaw, party until dawn taking in the nightlife of Rio de Janeiro and reveling in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I want to see my reflection in the Taj Mahal fountain, watch the grand Everest peak peek out of the clouds and the northern-lights light-up Iceland, and explore everywhere possible in northern Italy. Yes, there are plenty of places to sail, fly, drive, pedal or walk to, and all those comprise my life list.
There has been an outpouring of tremendous world-wide empathy showered on France since the terrorist attack on Paris. On this sentiment it seems all people agree. Beyond that, we fall into a chasm of differences. Over where we should place our attention. Over borders and refugees and immigration and political policy. Over ideology and religion. There are hundreds upon hundreds of blogs stirring up hate, defining us separate from them, each new headline fueling the fire of terror. But none of those charged issues are my concern in this post. I just want to reflect on a more humane reaction. A reaction that elicits compassion. “Empathy is a gateway to compassion. It’s understanding how someone feels, and trying to imagine how that might feel for you — it’s a mode of relating. Compassion takes it further. It’s feeling what that person is feeling, holding it, accepting it, and taking some kind of action” (Chandler).