Monthly Archive: February 2015

A Place that Made Hemingway

Oak Park, Chicago – I like Ernest Hemingway. So years ago I made my pilgrimage to his birthplace. When Hemingway was born in 1899, his Victorian style home was lit only by gas lamps. No radio. No television. Hard to imagine in our time. The boy, Ernest Hemingway, grew up surrounded by books, arts, music, and his grandfather’s storytelling. Not hard to imagine how he had been groomed to become a great storyteller. “His childhood was filled with cheerful moments,” the docent leading the tour told me. A different time…
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Only in the Woods There Is Peace

Umbria, Italy – When you drive to Spoleto, you’d see rising above the medieval town a sacred mountain of Monteluco. Saint Francis of Assisi had meditated there for peace. On the ilex-covered slope, surrounded by the shadows of the trees, you’d find an old hermitage. But you won’t find any monks. The sanctuary is now an inn, schemed by an old dentist. My wife and I had sought refuge from our work in Napoli. After checking into Hermitage Inn of Eremo delle Grazie., we stood gazing from its terrace at the…
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Story’s Love Chiseled in Stone

Rome, Italy – I love the Eternal City. But after a few days, the stress of the big, ancient city oppresses my spirit. I need a break. So I seek solace in a shady, quiet place that smells of earth. Yes, it’s a cemetery. A cemetery for the Protestants in a Catholic city. “The atmosphere of this place strikes people,” Ms. Thursfield, the director of the cemetery, once told me. “I see people walking, just thinking, perhaps with the idea they are strangely alone in the center of the city.” There…
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