Contemplating Sky and Sea

Casablanca, Morocco

June 18, 2019

Jutting out of the skyline of the densely packed ancienne medina, the world’s second tallest minaret beckoned us. Ki and I walked to the direction of the newly-invigorated Boulevard de la Corniche along the Atlantic coast. We followed an elderly man with a walking cane crossing the scenic highway toward Casablanca’s architectural jewel – Hassan II Mosque. As if emerging from the ocean, the majestic place of worship marked the western tip of the Islamic world.

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Armageddon Ground Zero

Megiddo, Israel / Palestine

October 6, 2019

Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

Revelation 16:16

The drone of a distant fighter jet reverberated throughout Jezreel Valley as I stood at Armageddon, the name derived from Har Megiddo, Hebrew for Mount Megiddo, an actual place located in a kibbutz called Tel Megiddo in Northern Israel. Tel referred to a mound of land, many of which dotted the entire country. In modern times, the historic hill had become a protected archaeological site, Tel Megiddo National Park, containing remnants of ancient settlements dating as far back as 3,500 years ago. Of course, the place was more famously known as the ground zero of the apocalypse.

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Living Paintings

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

June 7, 2019

Maids and mothers working at home, nature in action or inaction, food and flowers on the table. Whatever the scene, tableaux vivants and still life paintings were the photographs of 17th-century Netherlands. Dutch Realism rendered these static and silent paintings as “living pictures” evoking movement and texture, sound and smell. A visit to Rijksmuseum, particularly the Gallery of Honor, provided a peek at a time in history we would otherwise only see with our mind’s eye.

Rijksmuseum @ Amsterdam
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