Bogliasco, Italy 9-26-17

After dinner each evening, perched above the Ligurian Sea, we adjourn to the formal, yet welcoming parlor where we are surrounded by history suspended from the walls, and by stories buried deep within them. Our nightly ritual begins with tales from our days through collective listening, or through the intimacy of side conversations. And lots of laughter. Inevitably, the conversation expands back out to the full circle and veers into 45. (In the recent days, it included Angela Merkel.) But 45 is top of mind among our 10 international Fellows. Head-shaking. Voices unconsciously rising with fear, conjecture, opinions. History lessons. We are tempered or fueled by chamomile tea, or espresso, or liqueur from locally-made herbs, or a whiskey. For the first time in a quarter of a century, I have been opting for the latter.

L.Belans