Personal essays, travel articles

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(This article was published in the New England Yoga Journal, "The Beacon")

There were so many yoga books on the bookstore shelves that I wondered where to begin.  So many types of yoga, so many colorful covers, all beckoning toward a fresher, more holistic, youthful, and toned body.  Giving up on making a decision based on the cover and promotional blurbs, I closed my eyes, and reached for a book.  On its cover was a photograph of a young woman, with a long braid and wearing a red leotard, in what I have come to know as Utthita Trikonasana.  The book was Yoga the Iyengar Way by Silva, Mira, and Shyam Mehta. On each page was a picture of a pose explained in what looked to be exhausting detail, and the book came with an index and back pages full of yoga philosophy.  Good! Everything in a nutshell, I thought as I moved toward the cash register.  I can do this. Click here to read more..

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On a recent trip to Paris, a peek at my dining guide confirmed the Restaurant du Midi was still there.  As I read on, however, my heart sank, realizing that my friend was gone.

We met over fifteen years before, when I was moving to the city and temporarily set up at the Holiday Inn in the 15th arrondissement.  Near train stations and exits to major highways, the quarter idled between the dingy outskirts and the intimacy and glamour commonly appreciated as Paris.  Dog mess stuck longer to the sidewalks, migrants with wooden teeth and unsavory regards passed on the street, and at night cats furiously mated while drunks shouted.  To awaken to the sounds of someone throwing up outside my window wasn't unusual in the wee hours of a Sunday morning.  On occasion from above low-lying fog and largely decrepit buildings, the Eiffel Tower's pointy top helped me remember what city I lived in. 

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Kathleen Burke       About   Writing  France Contact