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The Nymph of Ogygia

The following paragraph, from Mufidah’s post of yesterday, sums up the significance of our now being on the Ionian island of Ithaca, off the west coast of Greece. Specifically, we’re now living in, and writing from, Vathy, the island’s capital.

It feels good to be here after 29 months of travelling, a journey inspired by Sean’s and my shared desire to travel together. Greece is a key destination for both of us. For ages, I’ve wanted to spend considerable time in Greece, to get to know the country of my father and ancestors, and to connect with the Greek in me. Likewise Sean, who has for many years wanted to experience Greece, having studied ancient Greek and the Greek classics in graduate school. And, so, it feels particularly fitting for us to be on Ithaca, home of Odysseus and the island he took ten years to return to after the end of the Trojan war. Not only have we both held the dream and intention to come to Greece, Sean and I have been through a whole host of Odyssean trials since we began our travels in 2012.

I, therefore, think it a befitting time to finally publish the sonnet I penned Read more

Bicycling, Bagels & Kebabs in Berlin

Tiergarten Ferris Wheel, Berlin

Tiergarten Ferris Wheel, Berlin © 2014 Sean M. Madden

Yesterday, we planned to bicycle to Shakespeare & Sons in Friedrichshainnot to browse or buy books, but to sample the delights at Fine Bagels, located within the bookshop.

Having grown up in the Northeast, twenty miles south of Boston, I’ve been a lover of good, fresh-baked bagels since I was a wee lad. One of my early memories is driving with my mother to a Jewish bakery in the nearby town where my sister’s swim team trained in the ridiculously early hours each morning. It was St. Patrick’s Day, and so, naturally, there were green bagels on offer. I thought that was a most splendiferous thing. But scarcely had I indulged in this rather Dr. Seussish affair when I threw it all up. It might have been that I’d come down with the flu, or perhaps green food coloring and bagels just don’t Read more

Summer in Berlin and Beyond

Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus, Berlin

Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus, Berlin © 2014 Sean M. Madden

Mufidah and I arrived in Berlin one month ago today. We also crossed into the third straight year of our slow travels on 16 May, while preparing to ferry to France on the 21st.

But while the first of our three months house-sitting in Berlin this summer is now behind us, I’ve yet to publish a blog post here or on my Mindful Living Guide blog. In short, this dearth of posts comes out of our being simultaneously busy with our work, nearly as busy with our daily explorations of Berlin and the surrounding area, and our both feeling the need to simply rest after all we had to manage during our seven weeks back in England this past Read more