W. S. Williamson is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and international educator. She is a graduate of Indiana University and Western Michigan University and lives in Italy with her family. For more information, visit www.wswilliamson.com
Blaise Pascal said, “The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.” Whether your heart is broken or full of love, it’s important to listen to what it’s telling you, if you want a happy and fulfilling life.
Did you know that the heart is the first organ that forms in the body? From one minute to the next, it just starts beating. Nobody knows how; it’s a mystery.
That’s not all; the heart thinks and remembers too. There are about forty thousand neurons in the heart. In the case
In Milan, there is a law that requires a smile on the face of all citizens at all times. Unless you are visiting a patient in the hospital or attending a funeral, which are both considered exceptions, you risk a fine if seen in public without a smile.
Italy is full of very interesting laws, which are ironically hidden behind big bureaucratic desks void of smiling faces. On top of that, laws are always changing, so even if you think you know them all, you can never really relax. Some u
Yesterday we went to the Tavarnelle val di Pesa market, which is not far from our house. It’s every Thursday morning in the center of town near the Municipio (city hall). I was browsing through some dresses when I heard this deep beautiful voice bellow out in song. I turned around and one of the vendors was singing opera. He was probably in his mid-forties and was wearing jeans and a short-sleeve buttoned shirt. His hair was pulled back in a pony tail and he was straightening up the clot
For as long as I can remember, I have been full of questions. Why do I exist? What is the reason for life? We work so hard to educate and support ourselves and each other, only to die in the end. Really, what is the point? It seems like a colossal waste of time to me, yet most people don’t want to die, they want to keep living. I want to keep living! The Bible says we are made in the imagine of God, with free will in a divine plan, but aren’t free will and divine plan the opposite?
We made it! Alas I can write while taking a break along the sea in a beautiful medieval village known as Castiglione della Pescaia. We have been here many times, up on a hillside; it’s where I wrote the best of Bridges: An Extraordinary Journey of the Heart. Words cannot describe the beauty and peace of this place. It’s about an hour and half journey from our new home in Badia a Passignano and very popular in the summertime with tourists from all over Europe. The locals are friendly and it’s
Today is our last full day in the USA. The house is quiet and the dawn has broken. Francisco and the boys are still sleeping and I am sneaking in some writing time, which I’ve severely neglected in the past few months—as well as my regular physical exercise and other balanced activities. After Bridges published in April, I got straight to work on preparing for our big move to Italy. We are going to miss the Forth of July here but will still celebrate with you somehow. Some of my family at
It’s been a while since my last post. My first fiction novel, Bridges: An Extraordinary Journey of the Heart, published on April 15th and I’ve been busying preparing our big move to Italy. Mostly, I’ve been going through an enormous amount of stuff, little by little. There are boxes all over the house and piles of everything you can imagine, waiting for me to figure out what to do with it all.
“It’s hard to believe that you and Daddy made enough money to buy this house and all this st
Soon, I will start my new position as Director of Adago Way in Italy. I’ve been traveling back and forth for some time now for planning and visa purposes. We are preparing to move this summer and there is much to do.
Adagio Way was founded by Fabrizio Guarducci (president of Lorenzo de’ Medici: Italian International Institute) and myself in 2013. Adagio means “slow” in Italian. It is a word that is often used in classical music, but we are using it to help people discover themselves a
These are my two sons who are best of friends.
Love. It’s a deep hunger. When we think we’ve found it, we’re completely drawn in and consumed. People live for love and they die for it. It’s more precious than gold. After I wrote Bridges, I sent it to an old friend. He read it all in one sitting, but what I really appreciated was that he wrote me his story in return, sharing his thoughts and feelings about love. He’s a retired pastor and someone I respect, so I listen to him more often t
Happy Valentine’s Day! I was reading Plato last night and posting a few of his quotes on Facebook. I really like this one: “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” Then I started to focus on love. “At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet,” said Plato. He also said “Love is a serious mental disease.” I have always been dazzled by quotes as if they were musical. Like the notes in a s
Roman mosaic depicting actors and an aulos player (House of the Tragic Poet, Pompeii)
In February 2012 (yes—two years ago!), I decided to do something really unique. I took a week off work to attend the International Masterclasses, three-day workshop for professional actors, “Becoming The Person You Were Born To Be” at Rome’s Theatre Golden. A friend who happened to be a movie producer encouraged me to do this. She thought I’d make a good actress, and I had always enjoyed acting. Now, I wasn
Have you ever thought about how words, both sounds and symbols, shape the world? Language is an amazing human capacity with deep rich origins from the dawn of time. Science says that the world began with a sound: the Big Bang. Religion says that in the beginning was “the Word” which was with God and was God, that God “spoke” the world and life into existence (John 1:1). The difference between science and religion is the cause behind the effect. According to science, everything was created cha
I’m so happy to have finally finished writing Bridges: An extraordinary journey of the heart. This was a difficult story to write mainly because it’s so personal. I started working on it after the Peace Corps in 1996. Then I put it away for fifteen years. When I turned forty, I found it in a box and read it again. Something was missing, but I was a mature woman of strength now, and I could say what I wanted to say.
It is the story of a young American woman, Jessie, who joins the Peace