The Odyssey, by Homer
Translated by Robert Fagles. Penguin-Putnam, New York, NY. 1996. p. 80
So Athena vowed and under her feet she fastened the supple sandals, ever-glowing in gold, that wing her over the waves and boundless earth with the rush of gusting winds. She seized the rugged spear tipped with a bronze point-weighted-heavy, the massive shaft she wields to break the lines of heroes (she) storms against. And down she swept from Olympus' craggy peaks and lit on Ithaca, standing at Odysseus' gates...
Excerpt: "All The Light We Cannot See", by Anthony Doerr.
..."'Oh, it's a long journey this time,' Etienne will say in an entirely new voice, smooth, velvety, a conductor's drawl. 'That's the Atlantic Ocean far below, it's shining under the moonlight, can you smell it? Feel how cold it is up here? Feel the wind in your hair?'
'Where are we now, Uncle?'
'We're in Borneo, can't you tell? We're skimming the treetops now, big leaves are glimmering below us, and there are coffee bushes over there, smell them?' Marie-Laure will indeed smell something, whether because her uncle is passing coffee grounds beneath her nose, or because they are really flying over the coffee trees of Borneo..."
Live life with reality, but add good doses of imagination to lighten the load.
Families debating whether to travel with a youngster, especially a teenager, or to approve a junior-year program to historic places, especially Paris, say yes. For the things we absorb when we are young and impressionable can enrich our entire person. I know it for myself, and I quote: "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."
Ernest Hemingway, Author - from the novel A Moveable Feast .
WHO AM I? Continued...
Lana is my literary name, but beside mystery stories that involve exotic destinations and sometimes the hidden-mundane, you have asked for stories about my earlier life: In the air with PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS, for example.
I’d never put that in my writings because there are numerous books and biographies published about the “golden days of flying.” What more can I tell you? Well…it turns out…a lot more! So stay tuned from blog-to-blog once a week, and hear about what factual, mysterious and scenic moments evolved for me during my personal walk through history.
TEHRAN, PERSIA: Today there is so much talk about the U.S. changing relationship with Iran, so I want you to know how glorious it was to wake up at the Royal Hilton Hotel (now called the Parsian Esteghlal International Hotel), as we had layovers between various legs in the Asia arena. We enjoyed ourselves in that historic and ancient capital., just as you may one day.
We could walk outside in safety and sightsee as we wanted. I’d gaze at the vast mountain range to the north, always white-tipped against the crisp blue skies. The Alborz Range runs along the Caspian Sea, and yes, that’s the home of Beluga Caviar. And yes, I confess, it was the best! AND, the lamb dishes with a multitude of sauces, fruits and vegetables…yum.
I do have a strong affinity for high, sheer granite-sloped peaks, which is why I wrote Traveling to Death with the gorgeous Canadian Rockies as backdrop. The Alborz magnetized me too, but I never had the layover long enough to enjoy skiing the Alborz, which is touted by some to offer the best slopes in the world. On the other hand, other experiences filled the days. Travel made us Pan Amers and our travelers anxious to meet the people everywhere. In Tehran we’d move easily through the streets, but quietly, for that is the best kind of visitor. We’d enter the daily bustle at the Grand Bazaar and absorb the excitement, fragrances and personalities of the Persian character. There we bargained for things to grace our lonely apartments at home like; large, circular brass trays, or giant spittoons for end tables, lamp bases as well, and a host of small, hand-crafted items. We bought and read books on judging Persian carpets, and the carpets were beautiful. I remember that my heart was set on a Nain, woven of soft, silk threads with muted colors. Alas, that was a purchase never made.
We were welcome Americans then, at least to the naked eye, and the chatter around us seemed happy and full of energy. Our shared conversations, some translated from the Farsi and some in English, led us to better feel the strength of a culture fourteen-hundred years after Cyrus the great, the empire-maker. We thought that the sixties' strain of religious faith against western values would reconcile.
Tune in next week and read about the fate of a college friend and the fall of the Shah…