Sunday, May 17, 2015


Venice Reflections, oil on board, 20 x 16 inches
I love the word élan. When I make private affirmations of inner qualities I like to think I have, I include it. The dictionary describes élan as: energy, style, and enthusiasm. The thesaurus gives synonyms such as, flair, style, panache, confidence, dash, éclat; energy, vigor, vitality, liveliness, brio, esprit, animation, vivacity, zest, verve, spirit, pep, sparkle, enthusiasm, gusto, eagerness, feeling, fire. I love all those words too!

And this is how I want to live the rest of my days . . . with élan.

Although it is a bit unpredictable and maybe not following precaution, I am planning to sell off possessions and leave the United States in September, not knowing when I might return. I know that I will begin in Venice, Italy for a month. I have Venetian friends that look forward to my arrival and they are helping to find an apartment. After that, I don't know. Spirit will take me.
The Gondoleer, digital photo
Once, when I was living in Venice, I was walking with my friend Lycia. We were heading toward a canal to cross a small stone ponti (bridge). Two men were by the canal, arguing heatedly and pointing fingers. In that moment, my élan emerged and without thought, I grasped both of their hands in mine and held them together. They looked up at me in shock. I let go, smiled and walked on with Lycia. She asked me if I understood them. I answered no, not really. She said, “That was a Jew, arguing with an Arab man!”

It was élan that allowed and propelled me to enter the space of the two arguing men and act as I did. I hope to always have this quality . . . if only for surprise.
Night In Venice, digital photo

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