A Month in Bari, Italy

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Yes, here I am in Bari, Italy in the Puglia region.  Why I’m here is a long story.  The shortish version is that I needed a break, from work and from winter.  Living in Chicago, means I need a break from winter every year.  This year we are having one of our mildest winters ever but I didn’t know that when I planned this trip.  Even so, a Chicago winter is long, dark and cold and the lure of a warmer climate and an exotic adventure called.

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One could also call this trip a midlife crisis, a sabbatical or a retreat.  This is the longest vacation I have taken in a very long time and also the longest time I have spent living alone, perhaps ever.  No roommate, kids, husband–just me.  This trip is also a project.  I have a book written, a children’s book, but it has needed editing and has been stalled for longer than I care to admit.  This summer I took a workshop and my instructor said it was time I looked into getting published.  And then I got stuck again.

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It seems I cannot live my normal life and finish this project, so I rented an apartment here in Bari, where I can be warm and walk outside by the Mediterranean and escape my responsibilities and just write.  So far, so good.  I am currently editing page 67 of 88 of my manuscript.  A few more days to go and then I will begin the next step, that of trying to find an agent.  I am anxious but committed.  After all, I’ve traveled across the Atlantic and hidden out in southern Italy to do this.  I can’t return without having given it my best shot.

More March Images

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I have work today and I’m preparing for a major trip so I’ll just share a few more pictures. I loved the signs on Saturday.  There was so much creativity and good humor.

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It was hard to take pictures looking backward.  The march had momentum and it risked getting stepped on or running into people in front.  The sea of faces behind me was impressive, though.

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Why I Marched

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I marched for universal healthcare.  I marched out of respect for our Muslim citizens.  I marched to support our immigrants and because my great-grandparents were immigrants, my husband is a naturalized citizen and my kids are the sons of an immigrant.  I marched because my people have been marginalized and persecuted and came to America to escape from all that.

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I marched because I am a woman.  I marched because I am a human.  I marched because I voted for Hillary.  I marched because it was the right thing to do.  I marched because my patients are afraid for themselves and their families.  I marched because black lives matter.  I marched because Planned Parenthood provided healthcare to me once.  I marched because I listen to NPR and value the arts.  I marched because I have children.  I marched because climate change is real and a threat to future generations.

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I marched to stand with my friends, all 250,000 of them.  I marched because it is what a nasty woman does.

Marching

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I am a bit rushed today but I wanted to post a few pictures from the Women’s March in Chicago which was yesterday.  I may add some thoughts about the experience in later posts.

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The “electile dysfunction” poster is one of my favorites.

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I went to two marches this weekend.  That is more than I have been to in the last 30 years, I would guess.  Fellow marchers were dear friends who likewise haven’t been done anything of this nature in years.  I guess old feminists never die.

More images later.  Hateful comments will not be published.