…another place I haven’t been to in a while (other than posting here) is Italy, so given the opportunity, along with facing my (ahem) five-oh-ieth, I decided to carpe-diem my way to St. Peter’s to make it a jubilee.  And in the true spirit of a pilgrimage, we made it a journey:   starting in Venice, through Florence, Siena, and capping it off, literally, in Rome.  What a treat!  I can’t think of a better way to take on a birthday that marks the season of “middle-age” than contemplating the Renaissance.

Ave Marisa!


It was my birthday last month. I didn’t have any special celebration. In fact, I had to report for jury duty that day (and the next) and John had a meeting to go to that evening. The Sunday before my birthday we went to Venice Beach where John captured the photo above. It easily reminded me of Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

So my birthday was just another day but I love my birthday – that one day of the year that is mine. There’s something about birthdays that jump off the calendar. It’s as though those thin-lined squares that frame the numbers on the calendar become some kind of inverse cross-hair; all those targets you aimed for and small choices you made are cast into that frame to reveal a fray or some sense of composition. I have to admit I’m old enough to have gotten past the fray – all those small choices have assembled into something – like dots of color in a Seurat painting – a gratifying composition…although not a masterpiece…yet…

(For Mom and Dad)