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All Posts By

Hudson D.

Only Shadows

By | 2010, Europe | No Comments

“It’s been less than a month since I left Europe!”

I keep telling myself this over and over and yet I can hardly believe it. As of right now so many aspects of the trip seem like shadows of the real thing. The only lingering reality of the trip is the work that follows it. Despite the fact that the trip has begun to dissolve into nothing but memories there is still so many times I see its effects in my day to day life. As I make my way through my life on a daily basis I am reminded of things I have learned on the trip. Whether it’s in passing a church and I realize I know what makes the distinction between Gothic or Romanesque architecture. I certainly didn’t know this before. Or if it’s realizing that a painting in a familiar building I’ve seen hundreds of times is in the Baroque style. Or when I’m picking a beer or wine out at the store and I see dozens of selections I’ve had from their place of origin. All of these are things that have all too easily escaped my grasp until now and certainly escape the grasp of many other people around me. Since the trip I have been taught to more actively engage the world around me and attempt to understand the intricacies and details of even the simplest things. The experiences I had in Europe will always be a part of my life in that they shade and color how I understand different parts of the world around me and that I will never be able to forget.

Beginnings and Ends

By | 2010, Europe | No Comments

It’s funny how initial experience can potentially hold such influence on the entirety of an experience. At the beginning of the trip in Barcelona we enjoyed a lecture from Dr. Susan about Catalonia and its people and their current position as a part of Spain. This context built a unique lens through which to view the city in a different and more meaningful way. Since that initial experience I have been searching in each new location for a context through which I can more fully understand my surroundings. After this local commentary in Barcelona I continued to search for similar things in other places. At first I was disappointed that I was generally unable to find this in other places. Of course I wished that I could have found this, but I have come to realize there is a wealth of different sorts of context if only I can perceive them. While some cities seem only a monument to the past, if it is allowed, this serves as a context of its own and something of this sort exists in every place. Seeing this from the beginning of trip has shaped it all the way through to the end. The beginning and end are formed by the same valuable lesson.

Hudson Doerge

A Simple Beauty

By | 2010, Europe | No Comments

Here I am today in Venice, there I was yesterday in Ravenna at a Byzantine church from the 6th century. We’ve been moving now for three weeks and we have five more weeks of moving ahead of us. Moving, moving, moving, it’s such a large part of what we’ve been doing on this trip. You have to force yourself to calm down and contemplate even in the midst of constant motion. It’s challenging at times to have an epiphany in a thirty minute window. While this is very difficult to do at times, there is also beauty in moving from one thing to another. If it were up to me, I very well may have stayed in Barcelona for weeks or even months, but forcing me to move so quickly forces me to engage my surroundings critically and quickly. On our recent trip to Assisi we only had a couple hours to see as much of the city as we could in the time allotted. We started on the west side at the basilica of St. Francis and one of the main things I was wanting to see was the original cross of San Demiano which was at the basilica of St. Claire on the east side of town. The basilica didn’t open until two, which was also the time we were supposed to be back at the bus. Rather than sacrificing this chance to see this artifact of St. Francis’s life I decided to take the risk and catch a glimpse. I waited outside the church till two, dashed into the chapel that houses the cross, knelt before it, said a brief prayer, ran back to the bus. Even though this encounter was brief, it left a sense of simple beauty on the experience. All I remember of that church was gazing up at the cross for just a moment and that’s all I will remember and that’s all I really want to remember.

Hudson Doerge

Traveling for the first time together.

By | 2010, Europe | No Comments

Unlike most others, right now I am preparing for my first SSU travel experience. Having not traveled to Asia last year with the class this will be a totally new sort of experience for me within this community. While on one hand I feel that this leaves me at a disadvantage, I also see the possibility that this lends me an advantage of not having any preconceived notions of what traveling within this community ought to be like. In some cases I may be less well equipped than others and yet in other situations I may have a great ability to embrace Gregg’s f-word (flexibility). I am extremely excited to travel together with the community and learn. One thing in particular that I am excited about is spending time with the group at the campsites close together. Having lived off campus this last semester and having been away for so long, while I felt very connected at times, I was sometimes disconnected in different ways. There are many people that have been away or that I have not met that I am looking forward to reconnecting with during this totally new experience we are embarking on.