This week I was sent a cryptic message from someone named, Andrew Silva, alerting me that he left two photographs inside the front door of my home.
When I studied them I immediately thought of two things:
1. I really love my $5 yellow, thrift shop, 1980s jacket.
2. These images look like I’m a spy in a 1980s movie. I was rather certain I had other images to round out my spy thriller storyboard fantasy.
The film opens with an urgent call being made from a phone booth in Florence, Italy by the spy in the yellow jacket.
She’s investigating a missing American student studying abroad in Amsterdam. The student disappeared in Florence on holiday. The photo was taken by her roommate and potential femme fatale in their shared Florence hotel room.
Male characters (suspects #1 & #2) are photographed in Florence. They are being exceedingly careful with their public conversations. The younger of the two is an American architectural college student. He was seen seated next to the missing student at a cafe the day she disappeared.
An older man (suspect #3) is waiting for the bus in Florence. He’s under surveillance by the spy in the fabulous, yellow, 1980s, five dollar, thrift shop jacket. No one is quite sure why though, and neither is he. The spy’s sneaky photographs are really annoying him. He’s constantly swearing at her in Italian. This provides the levity in the film.
The American student’s roommate (suspect #4) was spotted walking toward the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam two days after her roommate’s disappearance in Florence with male (suspect #5). They clearly both know more than they’re telling investigators, casually seen shopping at Albert Heijn, the grocery store near the museum to give the appearance that it was just a normal day.
Male (suspect #2) is unknowingly photographed enjoying dinner out in Florence the night of the student’s disappearance. He’s the father of the American architectural student and there’s obviously something quite shifty about him. The angle of the photograph was carefully composed because the spy in the yellow jacket really wanted to remember the brand of balsamic vinegar from Modena on the table.
images by Andrew Silva, April 2018
My husband, daughters and I just returned from a trip to Belle Mont Farm on the island of St. Kitts. Now that we’re awaiting a blizzard in Vermont, our whole vacation feels like a dream. The beautiful & generous people, the warmth & color, monkeys, mongoose, birds, flora, farm to table food and the views of other islands were all so magnificent. Belle Mont Farm is a hotel up in the mountains on 400 acres of fertile, organic farmland and tropical forest. It was remarkably special and now etched in my memory. I’m so grateful for the experience.
I had a realization while staying at Belle Mont Farm that I often live with a strange sense of guilt when I enjoy nice things. Why in the world do I feel this way? After a little soul searching, here’s where I landed. I believe some ancient part of me feels that there’s only so much abundance in the world and I’ve already been granted my share. I’m not really deserving of more.
This thinking is more than a little absurd, right? Life is not a zero-sum game. I’m genuinely happy when other people get to experience cool things. I don’t think, damn, now the universe has less for me.
a situation in which one person or group can win something only by causing another person or group to lose it
Thank you Belle Mont Farm for the lesson learned I learned about abundance.
San Francisco, California
Pickstown, South Dakota
Los Angeles, California
November 1st-3rd I had the privilege of attending the TEDwomen’s conference in New Orleans. I have yet to distill the stories I heard into something easily shareable. I will eventually though. However, after the conference ended Friday at noon, and I had lunch with new friends, I had to shift hotels and…
when I walked into the Catahoula Hotel I was so instantly smitten.
This courtyard space at the Catahoula will be where I go in my head when I get dental work done or just want to escape. It so spoke to me. My room was really funky. The staff was great. There was a rooftop deck and bar. The coffee was delicious.
When I woke up the morning after the conference something funny happened. If you listen to TED talks, which I highly recommend you do, you will get this.
I woke up speaking TED.
My first thoughts when I woke up were, “Twenty-eight years ago, I was searching for something I did not understand and landed in the hippie hills of Vermont. How could I, a small town girl from conservative, southern South Dakota believe that the lefty enclave of Burlington, Vermont would be where I would find my husband, my tribe and myself. How could I…”
And it just kept going on like this. I couldn’t stop thinking in TED speak. I cracked myself up. After hearing those remarkable stories for three days, one right after another, the cadence of the talks became a part of me. I don’t speak TED anymore—just in case you were wondering.
There are some links below to TED talks. You can find something to spark you on any subject in the universe—oh, and also the link to the hotel if you are planning a trip to New Orleans.
This morning I couldn’t sleep, it was foggy. I’ve always loved fog. I grabbed my camera, a few bills for coffee and slipped out quietly so Jeff could sleep a little longer. It was a little after five. After taking a few shots in my yard, I was bored. I drove to the beach and ran into a friend walking to work. I watched as he vanished into the fog.
Then I drove to the canal to take pictures of the guys fishing.
I witnessed some lovely fishermen camaraderie. I got quite an education too. I tried to not be in the way. I think I might’ve been a couple of times. But, they were gentlemen and didn’t mention it to me. Mark, Norman and Nick seemed like pretty good guys.
This fish really didn’t want to give up the fight. He was in too rough of shape to be thrown back. I think I saw the last breathe of this 38″ (37.5″ to be exact) striper.
R.I.P. big guy
Mark (tan shirt) offered his fish to Norman and his son, Nick. Norman soon had a fish on his line and his son helped him pull it up. It was all a thrill and the fog added some drama to the whole scene…oh, how I love fog.
Later Norman caught another one and released it because it was in good shape. They were going home with two good sized fish (one caught and one gifted already). I appreciated seeing the care taken to get the hook out as cleanly as possible. Norman threw it back into the Cape Cod Canal to live another day.
Swim on little fella, there’s mackerel to dine on.
Mark, Norman and Nick were good guys. I bought them coffee to thank them for letting me take photos…it seemed like the least I could do. Mark and I take our coffee the same, “black with cream”. I found this funny…black with cream. I’ll never order it any other way again.
By getting out of my comfort zone, I was given access to a world I had little knowledge of.
I usually sit on my porch in the morning or walk the same loop.
This morning the siren song of fog lured me to explore and I was handsomely rewarded.
Thanks fellas for one of my favorite mornings in Town Neck.
Graffiti never fails to inspire me artistically. I’m now thinking about the empty walls of my garage…so many possibilities.