“I came to myself, in a dark wood, where the direct way was lost.”

In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself, in a dark wood, where the direct way was lost. It is a hard thing to speak of, how wild, harsh and impenetrable that wood was, so that thinking of it recreates the fear. It is scarcely less bitter than death: but, in order to tell of the good that I found there, I must tell of the other things I saw there.

I cannot rightly say how I entered it. I was so full of sleep, at that point where I abandoned the true way. But when I reached the foot of a hill, where the valley, that had pierced my heart with fear, came to an end, I looked up and saw its shoulders brightened with the rays of that sun that leads men rightly on every road. Then the fear, that had settled in the lake of my heart, through the night that I had spent so miserably, became a little calmer. And as a man, who, with panting breath, has escaped from the deep sea to the shore, turns back towards the perilous waters and stares, so my mind, still fugitive, turned back to see that pass again …

— from Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, 1321 (Canto I)



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Gustave Dore, 1857

Dancin’ with the Star.

I am endlessly trying to get juuuuuust the right photo of St. John’s Episcopal Church with the Mill Mountain Star in the background.  I’ll probably never get there, but sometimes the results are fun.

As I’ve noted in the past, this is at the corner of Elm Avenue and Jefferson Street in Roanoke, Virginia.



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Walnut Avenue Bridge in Roanoke, VA, November 2021

I am not an excellent photographer by any means, but I’d like to think I got lucky with this set of pictures.  I set out for a nice, long walk on a temperate Autumn Friday — and decided to cross Walnut Avenue Bridge for the first time.  I was lucky, because the setting sun seemed to set Mill Mountain’s trees ablaze.  (And I didn’t even realize I’d be treated to a great view of the Roanoke River beside it.)  What a nice and unexpected turn of events at the end of a November day.

I’m sorry, as always, for the shaky-cam! (The bridge was shaking too.)




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