Advice for a Young Woman Travelling in Italy

You are young. Now is your time to set the world alight. A time will come when you will hesitate. You do not have those boundaries now. Fall in passionate love just enough to get your heart deeply broken and cry in his arms when you leave. Make that affair a whirlwind in which moments, days and nights blur into a warmth that threatens an upwelling of emotion that never abates. Make it the stuff romance novelists only dream of writing. As you part, look at him one more time and remember those eyes; you will catch a glimpse of those familiar eyes many years later at a café or market square. The moment will set your soul on fire when you need that warmth most. Endure. The broken heart will help the long flight home. Hold it close. Smile of it, shed a tear, and when the grandkids playing in the yard rush to your arms and ask why you are crying hold them close and tell them it is because you love them so much. All of it will be true.

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CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit

The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Never a heaven such as this…

I am forever sitting upon that wall on Lido, overlooking the pastel blue-green waters of the lagoon. The Riva di Cortino is deserted behind us, but for the occasional passerby. The domes and towers of Venice are golden in the waning hours of the day. Slate blue curtains of showers sweep across the mountains silhouetting the mainland. Ana is silent beside me. Her legs are crossed, shoes set beside her where she place them. From a small plastic cup she is sipping red wine we purchased with an awful mix of sign language and badly broken Italian. Closing my eyes I seal this image, the memory, there where it shall remain when I should close my eyes to sleep or to leave this world. There I know it shall greet and comfort and soothe me.

There’s a world within that memory. I can hear the lonesome harbor bells, and the gentle slap of lazy waves against the wall. Lazzaretto Vecchio’s crumbling walls and failing terra cotta roofs all overgrown and green with moss and small trees stands amid the channel not a stone’s through like a soft and solemn mortuary. Ana giggles at the yelping of a small dog which trots and blusters laughably before the owner calls it back.

“Oh, I want it!” she exclaims just above a whisper, and with a certain longing. Ana loves dogs and laments there is no room in our tiny condo and with two gregarious cats. I make a face, which seems to entertain her as much as the little scamp. It’s the first I’ve seen her truly happy since the illness crippled her energy and stumbled her spirit. It haunts at the edges of her expression, but affords her this respite.

Some might wish of heaven from this life, but no heaven could ever compare to this moment. There is breath in my lungs, and the moment is as tentative as a dream. How many, I wonder, over the centuries sat upon this very spot and could count themselves as lucky. I might wonder that forever, but the wine is nearly gone. The wind has come up as well, and with it the scent of rain now moving in across the lagoon. The storm to come that night will fall with fury upon Lido. The wind will gush cold through the green painted wooden shutters of the old villa where we are staying. Ana will draw closer to me, mumbling something about the pelting sheets of rain thrown hard against the villa walls, the cacophony of thunder and the spectacular theatre of lightening. I’m biting my lip, fighting back emotion, recollecting the peace and perfection in her eyes. Indeed, there never was a heaven such as this…IMG_0361IMG_0335

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