Nashville, Tennessee

The day the world reversed we were quiet; the rooftop was waiting. Each of us just tiny vessels of stardust looking up for the big, round invisible. 

The mid-day sunset hugged us closer, like a cloak. A rainbow ribbon appeared at our horizon and the shadow came on fast, but gently. The breeze, a reprieve from the heat, rippled through on the current of a lone bat.

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Then, without a sound, the moon was there -- graceful, black, perfect. 

I took off my glasses and there she perched, like a pinhole in the universe with a silver halo she wore well. It was as if all the earth converged on this dot, hinged on the ability for us simple eyes to, for once, look together where we were meant to.

[Audible gasps.]

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She stayed just long enough to whisper, maternal, something words can only at best pretend to. In this place, sensing our fathomless space, we would be OK. 

The Great American Eclipse, 2017.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

A town of gentle dragons and disarming views. You want more grit, and maybe some exists here, but it also feels like a welcome escape. From the other world. The one you're not sure is the real one anymore. Meanwhile, the coffee you're drinking is a bit stale but the croissants are okay and whatever's cooking for lunch smells like home.

Morning sun turns frost to dew and you're happy to sit for another hour, wondering the story behind the Indian restaurant across the street. 

Bassano del Grappa, Italy

To miss a place is to know place. Maybe not perfectly. Probably (definitely) nowhere near exhaustively. But you know it in a way that's imprinted on your senses, your spirit; it's suspended there like dust in the air only noticed through a sunbeam.

You can't catch it. You can't bottle it up. You can only breathe into it, hard and deep, hoping the memory materializes before being fossilized in the bones that once brought you there. 

Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin

Through a park that's seen the worst: bombed and burned and stormed with hate; yet, the grass grows back. A beacon stands. Sprinklers dance and businessmen pedal. You feel the shade and thank the sun, have a pesto sandwich and keep moving on.

Inside, there's a timeline of stories. You think, "Art is thinking, then not thinking at all." It's smart and free, simple, special. It has the power to unite, yet often birthed from being alone. Maybe it's an object -- a chair or a lamp; or maybe it's an idea -- a setting or a view. It's an act of rebellion and just as much, expression. Art is superfluous to living, but essential for life.

Gullfoss, Iceland

Here I stood, and here I melted. Into a moment where nothing made sense, yet everything clicked to center. Thoughts, feelings and dreams fell in line, like iron shavings around a magnet.

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Do you remember the last time you felt small? But small in a way that made you so glad to be small. Glad that you didn't have to shoulder the world's problems or ills or expectations for a moment.

Here, the gaping wounds don't make you feel afraid, they're peeks into promises of restoration. Reminders that the crags and the confusion, the bumps and upside-downs... are where rainbows are born. 

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Bellagio, Italy

It's where I learned that an Aperol spritz is best accompanied by a bowl of potato chips. Dressed up in a bar framed by dark wood and seated with leather, anything's fancy. 

Later on, when everyone else stays straight, take the right. The stairs are steep, but the cypress trees friendly. They'll stand at attention, ushering you up to the prettiest view and the bakery on the left -- enter it. You'll speak in Italian and feel wonderful. The nocciola gelato, capped with berries, helps. You won't forget how it tastes when the crowds disappear and you find a moment truly delicious.