The Replaced Roses: Belarus by Klaudyna Szewczyk I stood far high up above the ground. At least higher than I previously thought. The distance from the last step off the train to the grass in the ditch below appeared to be at least 3 feet. When the train slowed down, I jumped and suddenly everything … Continued

  O sole mio, Italy We were married in Naples in the sixties, practically penniless and with no plastic or other financial safeguards.  In the seven weeks of paperwork before we foreigners could get legally wed Patti au-paired with the rich Buonomo family while I stayed in the youth hostel on 200 lira a day, … Continued

“Welcome to your homeland!” Our Birthright tour guide Zvi exclaimed to my group of 40 other international Jews upon our disembarkation in Israel. We were among the few who didn’t cancel their trip during this particularly volatile time. Hamas was firing a steady barrage of rockets, most of which were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome … Continued

I sat on the beach over a coconut that I’d just broken open.  I’d never opened a coconut without a hammer or another tool.  There was no hammer here at Secret Beach where I’d run away to be alone. I didn’t expect to find a coconut. I didn’t know what I’d expected to find on … Continued

Concave apricot slices are belly up towards the desert sky, their wet insides unaware of the drought to come. In three days time, they’ll shrivel to brown. Lulu and I have just finished spreading hundreds of these slices on four white tables, singing Hebrew nursery rhymes all the while, laughing as I echoed her words. … Continued

As the car turns left from some joint in the Tabanan Regency of Bali, we get a feeling of entering a best-kept secret land which is actually not that far away. A Balinese village atmosphere beams right in front of us. The temporary stupas in front of the temples stand tall and elongated made of … Continued

I have always been interested in both film and music and the way the creative process works for both, but was unable to choose which brought more passion to my life.  It wasn’t until I started back at college, this past year, to complete my degree, that things started to turn around.  It has taken … Continued

The bright green, perfectly manicured grass illuminates the giant pink and white rose petal heart, and a guitarist strumming a Beatles Love Song amplifies the cheesiness of the situation to everyone within earshot. I stand, dizzy with anticipation and sweating despite it being a comfortable 65 degrees, on the deck overlooking the 18th tee of … Continued

Finding one spot where I’m filled with gratitude is incredibly hard. I’ve moved a lot, slept under various skies, eaten many different kitchens, and said “good morning!” in a few languages.  I’ve returned to places I had initially felt good, but found the scenery had changed. I’ve visited friends who at one time ignited a … Continued