Author Archives: April Lee

a magical evening at villa magnolia

there was a different and interesting vibe at villa magnolia yesterday. people in and about throughout the day, transforming the living and dining rooms into a concert hall.

eric and i helped where we could, going about our regular daily routine when we weren’t needed.

the events that never happened (or a case of wasted worry)

certainty is never part of anyone’s existence. we are surprised, pleasantly or otherwise, on a regular basis. i’ve found this to be especially true since moving to italy. i just never really know exactly what is going on. and as a result, anxiety tends to spike up at inopportune times.

THE ATMOSPHERE. (exploring THE ARRIVAL, bit by bit)


TUSCANY, ITALY | MAY 20-25, 2018

Is it finally YOUR time?

In 6 months, you can say “YES” and join me for an enchanting retreat-no-more experience at Villa Magnolia! I will be breaking down and exploring the idea behind THE ARRIVAL, bit by bit, over the next few months (so that you can decide if a ticket to Tuscany is EXACTLY what you need right now).

one year in

okay, one year in. and my new country of choice is a warm, inviting, beautiful place.

but there are still difficult moments. this week i was feeling a bit discouraged, a bit blue:

  • i know i’ve said this over and over, but i thought my grasp of the italian language would be further along by now.

swirling untamed thoughts (or my-week-in-review)

villa magnolia stairwell

chilly villa
the curve of a cat’s tail

pending citizenship
first mountaintop snow
tech problems
first quinoa

the sting of bitterness
wild thunderstorm
isolation and frustration

italian verbs
a medical emergency
regretful fear

exceptional humans
cozy comfort
moving meditation
what mental images emerge for you when recalling your week?

the lean

leaning tower of pisa

the tower famously leans,
and we are in awe of it.

we lean,
and feel unbalanced, out of control.

the same characteristic that
makes the tower so appealing

makes us feel like
we are on unsteady terrain.

yet we stand strong too,
despite our faults.

it will happen.

well, saturday will mark a year that i’ve lived in italy! amazing challenges. unbelievable growth. it seems like the time’s gone quickly, yet it also seems like forever. a lifetime of unparalleled jubilation and disorienting bewilderment, in just twelve months.

so after being here a full year, i should probably be able to speak italian (perhaps even be fluent).

sunshine and humanity smiling

when i’m feeling
inadequate and small, and
the world has a good chance
of swallowing me whole

i seek peace, stillness,
and clarity of thought.
with both sunshine and humanity
smiling upon me.
vernazza in october
“what sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.”
~joseph addison
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on this day, october 11

4 years ago, on october 11, 2013.
in besano and induno olona, italy.

me with my italian cousins
with a few of my italian cousins.
discovering my roots.
grandma's house in italy
the home where my grandma was born and raised.
now a pharmacy.
eric in induno olona
the hotel where we stayed.

after the trembling, dare to hope.

violence. bloodshed.
here we are once again.
tragedy. heartbreak.
incomprehensible to comprehend.

i tremble.

so much pain. catalonia, france, the united states.
the vegas shooting far from me, yet at least six
had come from places that i’ve called home.
two of the six are now two of the 58, gone forever.