I’m sitting on my couch looking out on a white world. Snow is falling in those big, beautiful flakes that you can easily distinguish. It’s producing white fluff, like marshmallows, on the ground. Our Greek neighbor, the oldest man on the block, has already cleaned his sidewalk so well that it looks like it never snowed.
And though I don’t want to admit it, this fluffy world is beautiful. It hides city dirt and throws a blanket of lovely across roads and houses.
It’s been a busy week. We came back midday on Martin Luther King Day and the very next day I went to an all day workshop on health insurance and the Affordable Care Act. And if you are in the United States and you don’t understand the ACA or health insurance, don’t worry – it really does take a rocket scientist. This I can attest.
But on that note – here is a site called ObamaCare Explained that includes a video called ObamaCare for Dummies. The title may not endear you to it but believe me, when it come to health coverage, we are all dummies. It’s that crazy complicated.
This week I am focusing on some photojournalism – pictures that tell stories in places and ways where words limit.
- Demolished. Here is a look at the history of public housing in Chicago through pictures.
- Along with that, a friend who lives in Afghanistan alerted me to this photo essay. A “majestic building in Afghanistan and the destruction it has seen.” Take a look here.
Both of these essays feel critically important to me – the story they tell, the people that are affected. What do you think?
- Dear Dr. King – a letter from a white mother of bi-racial children. A post written last year by a blogging friend of mine, Jody, is a poignant letter to Dr. King in honor of MLK Day. I highly recommend reading this excellent piece.
- A Railway Pilgrimage in Pakistan This piece called took me back in time to the many train journeys in my youth. For those who read my book Between Worlds you will remember the essay “The Train Party.” The essay I link above is a wonderful piece that includes beautiful pictures and stories of people along the journey.
Excerpt: “The train whistle blows, echoing throughout the station. “Can I carry your luggage?” a porter asks me. I shake my head and push my way into the crowd. The Khyber Mail is parked just ahead—the Pakistan Railways logo painted in fine white lettering in English and Urdu on the side of the engine. Through the windows of the Mail I glimpse families stuffing metal trunks, rolls of bedding, water coolers, and metal containers of food under the berth or wherever they would fit. For the tuck-shops—the small kiosks selling toys, snacks, and everyday items—on the platform, this is a burst of brisk business. Chai vendors scurry back and forth collecting empty glasses from passengers as the train starts to pull out of the platform.”
- Right or Rude? An Expat’s Etiquette Guide to China. A fun piece for expatriates and those who travel for business or pleasure! While you may not live or have visited China, it is a great piece about living through and among cultural differences.
Excerpt:“Chinese will regularly comment on your weight, your age and the way you raise your kids. You get used to it, but some comments are stunners. In 2012, near Chongqing in central China, a weathered peasant, who was standing around eating peanuts, asked me my age. When I told him 61, he laughed. “I’m 80 and I look better than you,” he said. So this guy, who probably weighed 100 pounds and was missing most of his teeth, thought he looked better than me? Next time, I resolved, I’d say I was 90 and see what happens. (I never did it.)”
Reader Jocelyn brought this piece to my attention: Thoughts on Peace, MLK Jr., Hiba, and Life Unarmed.
On my night stand: I continue to read I am Malala – I don’t really want it to end and I haven’t had much reading time lately so my wish may come true!
Travel Quote: This one comes from blog reader Ginny. Thank you Ginny – love this!
What have you read or seen?