As I hit the age where people stop automatically using “untimely demise” to describe one’s death, I’m still working on getting a Venn diagram where “something at which I excel” overlaps with “something about which I feel passionate” and creates a ménage à trois with “something financially feasible.”

Because while I’ve had jobs I liked well enough and I’ve had jobs that made moonshine seem like an appealing breakfast treat, I’ve never actually been in love with a profession.


So I exhale green-tinged sighs when I meet people who have always known PRECISELY what they wanted to do for a living. Though potentially a frying pan/fire situation, I immediately want to exchange souls with them. And–lest I be accused of age discrimination–I’m also ready to swap with anyone who discovered his or her calling later in life.

Clearly I’d be better off if I were the type of person who could cheat on a ho-hum job with exciting, fulfilling hobbies. Then I wouldn’t need to be in love with what I do for hours and hours of my day, dammit. But as Mr Vix likes to remind me when I’m in the throes of existential despair:

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”

While I look for my niche, I’ll continue to be intrigued by where people work, how they work, and why they work. And to be selectively fascinated by what their labors produce. Because sometimes we make our own destiny, and sometimes our destiny just manifests.

…it’s a big world out there, and each corner seems full of ways to create, repair, maintain, and evolve…

(clockwise from left: Torcello’s wild abandon holds traces of its 20,000 former inhabitants; an upper terrace at Fortuny’s palazzo/studio-turned-museum (see an official shot of Fortuny’s library); contemplation during cobblestone repair; a Missoni colorway holds echoes of Italy; workers pass a former monastery; family and fishing boats rest while laundry dries)


I woke up one day last winter and realized that, apart from a short family-based trip, I hadn’t left the U.S. in 20 years. I’m still not sure how I let that happen; granted, I have a tendency to sleepwalk through my life when I’m not making fairly substantial changes but REALLY.

While financially it was not a great time for me to travel farther than the corner market, I was determined to celebrate my 40th by going somewhere I’d always wanted to see, someplace crumbling and splendid, bustling and languid, illusory and workaday.

Someplace as contradictory as I was feeling.

So I started making plans, and once Mr Vix got on board, we even decided to squeeze in a little second-city stop-off on the way home. Though of course I would have loved to roam even longer.

…my trip made me as happy as a raisin in a rum cake, and today’s a day I need to revisit the smaller moments that made me smile…

(top to bottom: Mr Vix wandering in Venice; Amsterdam carnival vendor; a midnight vap rider brightens the Venetian scene; Amsterdam window display; strutting it Amsterdam style; old meets new on an Amsterdam canal bank; a central city carnival flashes against Amsterdam’s grey sky; Murano factory sign; orange bag huddle on the Riva degli Schiavoni; memento from G. Nason’s studio)