The Tomb of Inspiration (Weekly Photo Challenge)

I’m never quite as inspired to live, to create, to walk with purpose, than when I’m confronted with death. These statues represent the bodyguards at the Tomb of Khải Định, near Huế in Việt Nam. This is just a small part of the entire tomb complex, which includes an elaborate palace at the top tier.

Foreign (Weekly Photo Challenge)

This week’s challenge from WordPress is on the word “Foreign.” It would be easy to just put up any of thousands of location photos I’ve taken, because anything not familiar is foreign. But what the word made me think of first was about Việt Nam and how many times that little country was occupied by other … More Foreign (Weekly Photo Challenge)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

WordPress is challenging bloggers (good God, am I a blogger? When did that happen?) to post a Silhouette Photo this week. The first one that came to mind is this photo with my friend Janice on a Travel Writing tour of Việt Nam in May. Wide awake at 4:30 a.m. on our first day in the … More Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Iced Tea that Tastes Like Happiness from a Little Cafe in Hà Nội

From my seat by the window, I was sipping the tea and attempting to draw what was in my line of vision: Thap Rùa (The Turtle Tower/Pagoda) in Hồ Hoàn Kiếm (Lake of the Restored Sword, or of the Returned Sword).  That cafe, the Avalon Cafe, I visited twice. It gave me views, tongue-rolling tea and … More Iced Tea that Tastes Like Happiness from a Little Cafe in Hà Nội

Traveling with Mom and Dad in Viet Nam

Ashes of my late mother and father rest in a sealed locket around my neck. Each of their children and grandchildren has a locket. Some don’t wear it. Others, like me, wear it only when traveling to places my mom or dad never went. Mine is a butterfly, now a little worn and scuffed. It … More Traveling with Mom and Dad in Viet Nam

Floral Notes on Viet Nam and Pennsylvania

Surrounded by flowers exotic and expensive to maintain in the chilly northeastern United States (orchids, bougainvillea and the sacred lotus to name a few) I was surprised that it took me several days to be present, to stay focused on the beauty around me. I kept wondering about what was blooming back home. The ferns … More Floral Notes on Viet Nam and Pennsylvania