Photo Credit: Jennie Anne Benigas



April 2015

“Forty rooms covered in Roman-African mosaics beckoned with a mighty power.”




Dear Reader,

January and February’s weather was brutal in the northeastern United States. Snow and ice piled up in record-breaking amounts, leaving us to negotiate ever-narrowing streets and nearly burying us in our homes. Fences, stone walls and decks disappeared. Roofs threatened to collapse, along with our spirits.

My salvation came with working on art and writing projects. While revising my manuscript, The little O, the earth: Travel journals, art & poems, I came across a quotation from Hilary Spurling’s two-volume Henri Matisse biography – “Matisse…traveled in order to see his inner landscape in a fresh light.” My inner and outer landscape needed work, so I pondered this question: “Where would I travel right now, if I had the time and funds?” It did not take long to identify a quartet of destinations:

  • Piazza Armerina in Sicily – To visit Sicily again would be a personal dream come true, but to see the mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casele would be an art-lover’s destination. The mosaics there inspired the Normans in their designs for Palermo’s Palazzo dei Normanni (2010 December Judy’s Journal). Forty rooms covered in Roman-African mosaics beckoned with a mighty power.

  • The Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam – When we visited the city, these two museums were being renovated. Both stemmed the tide of disappointment by mounting exhibitions of masterpieces (2005 May Judy’s Journal). A decade has passed, so it’s time to return! Beer! Bicycles! Boats! Bridges!

  • Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, Turkey – When we had the privilege of visiting Istanbul, there wasn’t an opportunity to visit this natural wonder. The rock formations were created 30 million years ago. Nature and man worked to sculpt dwellings which can only be called phantasmagorical.

  • La Alhambra in Granada, Spain – Reading about it or seeing a television program makes my museum shoes twitch. The Moorish craftsmanship boasts patterns and colors that would excite a stone.

Stop and think. Where would your dreams take you?