Jodi Hills

So this is who I am – a writer that paints, a painter that writes…



I have come to rely on the improbability of it all.

Venice is remarkable for so many reasons. It is a visual feast. The churches, museums, and bridges, stunning by themselves, and then you add the fact that it’s all on the water…not near, but on the water… you can only shake your head and smile, marveling in the unlikely beauty of it all.

When you visit a place like Venice, there are certainly attractions that are written up in the textbooks, the guidebooks, highlighted on the maps, and of course they are noteworthy, but after leaving, I find myself remembering the little things. Clothes hanging on the line outside of the windows. Small boats, not for tourists, but the local bringing groceries to his small one item pizza restaurant. And I feel as though I walked through a painting. As if I stepped into a forgotten master’s piece. No longer a voyeur, but a participant.

I guess for me, that’s the greatest take-away from any travel. I am learning each day to be a participant. Not just on vacation. Not on the weekends. But in the ordinary events of each given day. If laundry on the line is beautiful in Venice, it can be beautiful in Aix en Provence, or Alexandria, Minnesota. Things are remarkable everywhere.

When I think of what I, we, you, have survived, it is as unlikely as a city floating on water. When something as improbable as the city of Venice still exists, it makes me believe that anything can happen. Any time. Anywhere. And it does. We are the tiny miracles, the tiny red miracles afloat in a sea of blue, participating in the remarkable beauty of today.