Will and Allison Tame Wild Horses

Feeling the World

Will and Allison Tame Venice

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I can hardly believe I am here. Today walking around Venice for the last several hours has me totally lost. Just crossed some famous old bridge over the Grand Canal that has been turned into the worst tourist trap I have been to. Five Hundred years ago I am sure it was awesome; the intricately carved white marble arch that makes the span; the 3 broad grey veined sets of white marble steps that ascend and descend. Now covered in Chinese and Russian’s pushing their way around happily buying cheap made in China and cheaper made in Myanmar trinkets. Fucking snow globes! Does it even snow here? I should look it up but I’ve never heard someone mention it and it seems so ridiculous anyway. Venice2

 

 

 

 

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Such Grandeur this city had, now crumbling into nothingness. Its soul sold with the imported plastics. Without a doubt though it is one of the most beautiful places on earth, beyond compare, it was so great.

I sit here and write

Lost
Alone
Drinking good wine
Watching Russians walk by
Cobblestone streets and bronze caped wells
Venetians drinking beer
And an Indian Merchant selling more shit for a landfill
 

What happened to the western world? To the whole world? This city had so much magic or our world had so much magic. It all seems gone.

The Venetians live off the ghosts of their former glories. Stand of the shoulders of greatness to look down onto whom to sell plastic and ugly glass too. All of us are nothing more than greedy urchins feeding off of history and in doing so we helped kill the magic. We build rockets to take us to space but there is no more mystery up there. We build grand skyscrapers that reach towards the heavens but they seem ordinary. Nothing as great as this city was lives with us any longer. We even solved the chemical mystery of love. Way to kill that one last magic asshole scientist whoever you are.

Looking at all these churches maybe God gets to be the mystery again.

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In the Evening Allison and I went for an long walk together through small streets and over little bridges. She was starving so we tried to find what we believed to be a charming restaurant off the beaten path. As if one exists within that city. Somewhere in the time it took us to consume 3 carafes of fantastic cheap wine and 4 very mediocre dishes of “Traditional Venetian” cuisine our suspicions that we were in a crap restaurant were confirmed. A local family out for the evening (first locals I think we saw) stood next to our table remarking on the menu and commented “Alimentare turistica”… Tourist Food. Sad. And Expensive.

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Being a tourist is hard for me. I like to smell and breathe what it is like to be a local, get lost and taste and watch, to be as local as possible which is impossible in Venice. The lesson here is just don’t eat the food in the restaurants. You will spend a fortune for mediocrity (My Italian expectations were set high through a brief visit to Livorno near Florence, La Anchora is the finest meal I have experienced in the world, and I have eaten all over this globe. Truly a marvelous experience. If you wish to find it on the Canal just before the bridge that takes you to the commercial port take a left and walk 1km and on the left you will see a lone light bulb and a small carving of an anchor on the wall. I promise you that if I was not there with my Amazing fiancé’ I would have asked the 100 year old woman cooking to marry me). Do yourself a favor and while in Venice have a picnic. Stop at one of the fantastic little delicatessens and pick up beautiful cheeses, wine, cured meats, and olives.

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That’s what Allison and I did our second day in town. We wandered from the Piazzale Roma through town and over small and grand canals in the beautiful sunshine, found a charming little deli and picked up our meal. Cruised through and checked out St. Mark’s square. GOD! What a structure that cathedral, the thing is made of marbles imported from all over the known world. Pinks, purples, greys, dove white, and cream stone work all over the façade and so many tourists you could hardly see it. So we quickly fled the beauty of the square and walked along the seafront towards La Martiri Park where we found not a tourist in sight. Just some young and old local lovers and the one crazy dude a park needs siting enjoying the beautiful day.

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My impression of Venice is better today.

Still I feel it is a city living off the ghosts of its past. Still today I was happy to be a tourist. This city is glorious; its past was glorious! A sad truth as stated by Homer is that the son is rarely as great as the father and the children of the builders are sadly that. Yet they were given a tremendous gift.

After lunch, we did what a few locals advised me earlier that day and jumped on the water bus through the Grand Canal without paying. Apparently if you act like you know where you are going then no one bothers you for a ticket. It seems to work as we rode for an hour taking in the splendor of the city and saving 14 Euro. Helped to make up for how much we had spent on our dinner together the night before… Were off now. Into the world!

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The Will and Allison Wedding Future Life and Travel Fund

To those we Love and Love us,

Some friends and family have asked us what they can give us for our wedding. Truthfully, the only thing that we ask of our beloved friends and family is your presence at and your blessing of our marriage. In response, we live a life of love and travel and are seemingly always somewhere new. For those who feel compelled to give us a gift you may donate to our travel & future life fund. We have big dreams and whatever you can do to help facilitate that, whether it is your love and blessings, advice, presence, or a small offering, it is all a great help and whole heartedly appreciated.

This link will take you to a webpage where you can make a gift: http://willandallisonaregettingmarried.bbnow.org/

 

Thank you and with love,

Will and Allison

Istanbul and the Hagia Sohia – Photo Hightlights

The other day I found myself in Istanbul!  The most cosmoplitian city in the world.  Below are some of the images I created during my stay.

This first image of the Hagia Sophia is a composite of 38 seperate images.  The Church turned Mosque turned Muesum is so massive in scale that it was imposible to take a simgle image that expressed the grandur of this incomparible building.  I hope you enjoy!

Returning to the Atacama Desert

There is something about this southern coast of Peru’, the Atacama Desert, it calls forcefully to me.  That deeper part of my soul, my spirit, that quiet knowing remembering eternal part, is demanded to enter her vastness.  To be quiet.  To feel her breath and breathe.  Listen to her winds and learn.

The Atacama is cruel beyond imagining.  After hours which seemed of days in this desert immortal where time means nothing.  I managed to crest the highest sightable coastal peak (a mere 2000m foothill to the great Andes rising to the east).  The view was spectacular.

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Hong Kong Globalization

I hear people complain about globalization, about the Westernization of the world’s cultures and cities. The other day Allison and I were sitting in Hong Kong and it got us thinking about this. Is it so much of Westernization? Is it a bad thing? Do the great cities of the world not retain their own customs and culture?

When you go to Paris do you not say how French they are? They are certainly western but uniquely French. When people visit the Sates do they not comment on how American we are? We discussed this topic for some time over a bottle of good Argentinian wine and two bottles of bad French and Australian. Needless to say, fueled on this mix of alcohol and the unique cultural mix that is HK our tongues loosened and minds freed, at least for a bit.

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Vikings, Trolls, and Monks

Iceland, a totally inappropriate name.  Though winter is most likely a different matter.  Once I heard that the island received it’s name from a mix up on a map.  Iceland is Greenland; Greenland is Iceland.  Makes no difference really, it’s all green and ice.  Quiet and cold.  Beautiful and wild.

One of those mounts of earth on the outskirts of town is supposed to be the body of a beloved lady troll the locals say.  Who upon her death the citizens paid honored by placing her within a great burial mound just outside the village.  The troll husband apparently became the mountain in some perverse way of thanking the citizens for the honor paid his wife.  His gift being a massive obstacle to the water filled prevailing winds causing yet more rainfall.  Probably seemed like a nice idea, so many are, but in the end just made it wetter.  It’s supposed to be summer now and I’ve been told it’s a nice day from a few locals now, but a drizzly rain has been falling all day with but barely a reprise from the wet or the sun making anything more than a meager appearance.  I guess it’s all a matter of perspective though what qualifies as a nice day. Viking descendants are a hearty stock of people for sure.  They seem to love it here.

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The Land that Time Forgot – Qorqortoq, Greenland

I sit here smoking in the land that I think time forgot.
The earth is nothing but glacier craved rock and wind swept fields.
Only life that grows here are hardy little shrubs, an artist spattering of
wild flowers there and about, and patchwork quilts of black and white lichens
atop the rocks.
It might be the most beautiful places I he ever seen and I’ve seen a few.
I love these harsh environments that nature still owns.
You know you are nothing but a visitor in these places with a painful and pleasurable knowledge of your own
mortality.

How fragile we are in her greatness.

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Old Man and His Guitar

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Today I sat and listened to an old man playing guitar.  He sang in a voice that cried like a Cash but flavored by the sea.  Told me he had been playing since he had been nine.  From a nowhere corner of Canada on an Island further from there.  His nose bloated and bulbous from a life of heavy drinking.  His body and mannerisms what you would think when you picture a sunbaked drunkard in some old western mining town, except himself seasoned with northern sea and snow. 

He could be anyone.  Any old man.  From anywhere.  A cigarette between his strings.  Lips sucked in from the draw.  Holes in his badly soiled pants with the stink of weeks unwashed upon them.  Held up by haphazardly worn suspenders.  Matching hat with wisps of white hair.

His music makes me want to cry but people keep passing.  Never stopping to listen.  Can they hear?  Singing of beautiful women and Jesus Christ.  Of the good times forgotten to all except his old mind. 

I love him.  I love him for the tears he brings to my eyes.  For the sadness and hopefulness that floats from his strings.  I imagine angels in the airs above him greedily stealing the notes for themselves.  Never blessing him but with more life so he can play for them more.  Fuck them.  They should let others listen.

After a while I gave him twenty dollars and said goodbye.

The Last of Thailand Reports

Chiang Mai, The Rose of the North……..

Northern Thailand is mountainous, green, lush, and bordered by Burma, Laos and Cambodia.  Our train ride left us in Chiang Mai, the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand. Chiang Mai is one of three Thai cities contending to host the World Expo 2020.It has also recently positioned itself to become a Creative City and is considering applying for Creative City Status with UNESCO.

Chiang Mai formally became part of Siam in 1774, after the Thai King Taksin helped drive out the Burmese. Chiang Mai then slowly grew in cultural, trading and economic importance to its current status as the unofficial capital of northern Thailand, second in importance only to Bangkok.  Chiang Mia is known as the Rose of the North and is located in the broad fertile basin of the Ping River.

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One last Scooter sundown trip on Koh Phangon

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