SEKUMPUL FALLS: ODYSSEY INTO NOWHERE

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PART III:   LAST DAYS IN PARADISE

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MY DRIVER, MADE S, AND I DEPART THE SACRED TEMPLES ON LAKE BRATAN and head north towards Singaraja and the secret waterfalls. It’s lunchtime, so before leaving the lake, we pull into a restaurant, obviously serving day tripping tourists—clean, well appointed, sterile, no locals. I’m not a big eater. In my mind, the healthiest diet is the diet of countries who have only one Starbucks and no KFC’s in their cities, what I call The Eat Like A Bird Diet—to simply under eat, eat anything you want to eat, just stop eating before you’re full. Continue reading

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL WITH A CHEESEBURGER IN PARADISE

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IF I WEREN’T SO MACHO, I MIGHT FEEL like shedding tears. Not because of what has happened to me, but because I’m such a wuss compared to some. Like, two bloggers I’m following—young women whose husbands both died recently, and these women are blogging their hearts out, slogging away into their futures with grace and panache, even humor.

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8 WAYS TO WRITE LETTERS HOME

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Writing 101 Day 14, First Word & in a letter: Dawn

Dawn:

You’re a rusty dagger in the heart of this horizon. One white cloud—graceful and elegant—always shadows scenes like this. Today, a lone cumulus lays its somber consort on the tall grass, the way Picasso paints reclining nudes. Or Van Gogh…skies. Turns out, Van Gogh’s skies are closer to reality than what we see with our eyes. The sky is a swirling mass of living matter, constantly changing forms: liquid, solid, vapor. Our eyes see little. Certainly not reality. Nor a parallel universe where your heart rides a Harley, and dangerous things—like love and trust and honesty—abound.

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Here’s another truth we could never imagine from the heavens: Saturn is not our only planet with rings. And why is it so damn hard to change the way we feel? What are the rings made of? What binds a ring to one body, yet not another? You cannot believe anyone, but now, some people say Titan, a moon circling Uranus, has lakes and rivers and rain. But no water. An atmospheric soup of deadly gases. You say, “Trust me.” And yet, you trust no one. There will always be another lover waiting just around the corner. Dark matter holds everything together, black holes thrive.

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You believe there is no rain on Titan. You believe there is no hare with amber eyes. You believe the stars are wrong in this picture. Sometimes, you cannot imagine what your god is thinking. At times like this, we look at each other, you and I. We see only the hilt of daggers. We see people wishing they could walk backward to September. We both imagine swallowing someone else’s pride.

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Maybe we are the kind of people who imagine many things. We both imagine sipping high tea in a garden on the island of Loss and Faith. But we listen to A Symphony of Disappearing Beers. Call it wishful thinking. Or, call it karma, destiny, kismet. But we both know this unnatural selection is an allegory for heavy air. Heavy air, turns out, rises from the serrated horizon and veils the sunrise in a mist of vagaries we may never comprehend. We may never quite acquire the skills required to deal with dangerous things. We should have known.

Yours, truly.

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Find other Photo Rehab photos here:  Photo Rehab

ANATOMY OF A NOMAD HEART & ICE CREAM

Outside a Bedouin tent

Outside a Bedouin tent in early light

DP Writing 101—Day 10: Favorite Childhood Meal…Ice Cream

DP Photo Challenge: Early Bird Light

Only form of transportation for some

Only form of transportation for some

The little girl in the photograph I’m holding in my hand is my mother at two years old (circa 1908). I can’t show you the picture because it’s an antique and in a frame, and too fragile to remove to scan. In the photograph, my mother’s blonde hair is cropped short. She stands in a white lace dress in front of three women: her mother, her mother’s mother, and her mother’s-mother’s mother.

This third woman in the photo is my great-great grandmother, a full-blooded Native American. Iroquois or Apache is our best guess based on the few pieces of information discovered about her Continue reading

3 Good Reasons to Buy a Tiny House

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DP Photo Challenge: Afloat

Are you thinking what I think you’re thinking about my title? My blog is not meant to teach or help people get through their lives, so I offer little advice. However, here is one thing I have learned: you cannot always depend on people. But here is one thing you can depend on from me: if I say I’ll never do something, like go bungy jumping off a bridge in New Zealand or write a title like that, I probably will.

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3 Rooms with a View: Part One

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Writing 101:   Day 2

I’m not going to tell you these were the happiest days of my life. I’m not going to tell you this story has a happy ending. I don’t think I’ll tell you much at all about myself. I will tell you one thing: while I attended grad school in Texas, way back in the days before personal computers adorned everyone’s laps and mobile phones adorned everyone’s hands, I lived in a one-car garage that had been nicely renovated into a studio apartment (read: elegant hovel…a one-car garage is a little wider on each side than your car). The front door led into a kitchen designed by a woman: larger than needed in such a small place. A hallway led to the master bedroom/living room/office. A bathroom harboring a shower with exquisitely hot water and powerful spray sat on the other side of the hall.

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Photo 101: Five in One—Home, Street, Water, Bliss, Solitude

Family home in Pune, India

I have warned you about me. You need a decision made, or you need something done on time—don’t ask a Libra. Go find yourself a Capricorn.

I’m signed up for Photography 101. My intentions are good. My execution is a little “dodgy,” as the British like to say. Today, Friday where I am now living, is virtual Sunday, or religious day. And tomorrow, Saturday, is…well…Saturday. Saturday just comes after the religious day instead of before it, here. Sometimes life is complicated even if you know what you’re doing, even if you know what you’re saying. Even if you have good intentions.

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The Clinic–Photo Rehab

View from my bedroom window

View from my bedroom window

I’ve just learned of a group of photographers who are in rehab. I’m not sure what that means because they were in the Photo 101 course, I believe, which I was not in…ever the outlier here. They seem a friendly and social group of folks, and they have invited other photographers to join in their group to share their work—some use iPhones, some SLR’s, and some post edit like pros. You can find the group and join in the fun at this site bridging lacunas, hosted by Lucile.

I resist post editing. Actually, I don’t do it. All my photos are straight out of the camera. I simply have not learned how to do editing, and I truly resist that learning curve on Photoshop. But one of the

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