For many reasons, I’ve been thinking of my travels this past year. When news came that Maria Von Trapp, immortalized in The Sound of Music, had passed away, I immediately started looking through my photos from New England this fall. When I briefly visited the Von Trapp Lodge in Stowe, Vermont I saw some of the most beautiful foliage of my visit. I completely understand why a family would want to live in that location– the views are simply stunning.
I saw a colleague and his wife today at the store and I told them that I think I’ve been in a funk ever since I returned by my trip out west. I can’t shake it. I can’t shake the people, the scenery, the everything. So, I have a feeling my photos for quite a bit are going to be informed by that unshakeable feeling.
Today’s installment comes from South Dakota. Specifically, the first rest area after crossing into South Dakota from north I-29.
Where in the world did the summer go? My colleagues return to work on August 13th, with classes beginning on August 19th. I can’t believe that I’ll be on sabbatical, simply for the fact that I have so much that I want to do in that amount of time. Here’s to the glorious summer that is quickly coming to a back-to-school end.
It’s Monday. It’s the first Monday of summer break, or as I choose to look at it, the first Monday of my sabbatical. I know that technically my sabbatical doesn’t begin until the fall semester, but why put off until August what I can call sabbatical today? In honor of this eagerly awaited time, I thought I’d write some simple goals I’m looking forward to during this time.
Starting today, by my count, I have 245 days to try and replenish and accomplish much. My first goal is to:
Read 35 books while on sabbatical. It’s a modest goal– a book a week, so let’s cross our fingers that we can do it.
Goal number two:
Watch a movie each day. I do teach film courses after all and will be teaching a new film course when I return in January 2014, so this seems a tad significant.
Goal number three:
Focus on me. Make me happy. I don’t know how I can quantify that, but just this past week I feel like I’ve done more for myself than I have done in a very long time. That needs to continue.
I have to say that out of all my travels (38 states and 10 countries), this single place is one of the most fascinating to me. After various beginnings, the mosque was completed in 987. During the “Reconquest” it was captured (1236) and then converted into a Catholic cathedral. The idea of ‘claiming’ one holy place and deliberately manipulating the angles and interior, specifically build to honor one faith, so that the ‘superior’ faith can have a place of worship… well, it speaks volumes of the our centuries long battles and proving how unholy our holy wars have been.
Since the turn of this newest century, Spanish Muslims have been petitioning for the right to pray here. They have been turned down every time by local authorities and the Vatican. A month before this photo was taken, 118 Muslims knelt to pray. They were asked to rejoin their tour to leave.
The photo below shows the two worlds. The red and white denotes parts of the great prayer hall of the mosque, up against the carved saints and angels in the cathedral.