Towers, Temples, Palaces: Essays From Europe out now!
Novelist, entomologist and cat owner. Ryan Frawley is the author of many articles and stories and one novel, Scar, available from online bookstores everywhere.
The Wilderness Belongs to the Weird
The stones are quiet here When I sat like this on the beach in Nice, the stones growled and cracked and rumbled like placid thunder. I sat with my back to the Promenade where the murders happened and watched the sun merge with its own watery reflection. The round pebbles sang with each departing wave.
The Gun That Changed the World
Nobody comes here Not by choice. Sometimes, a bus full of school kids will pull up outside. The young minds of the future will be forced through the echoing halls like toothpaste through a tube, counting the hours until they can escape.
Ghosts of the Green World: A Paddle Through BC’s Past
“Hey!” My voice bounced back from the corroded concrete of the low bridge above the water. Not the best echo I’ve ever heard, but something. A reflection of sound like the reflection of light shining in a thousand tiny pockets of the water’s surface. And if light was as slow as sound, or if our eyes were quicker, the whole world would echo whenever we looked at it.
A Hairy Encounter With a Canadian Wilderness Legend
Something’s been here Here, where there is never anything but me. The beach isn’t mine. It doesn’t belong to anyone, which means it belongs to everyone. But it’s only me who comes here. In the Canadian winter, this huge lake is free of ice and free of people. When I visit to drink in the silence, I remain undisturbed. The firewood I keep in a cave is always ready for me to use on my next visit. The fine pebbles are unscarred by footprints. The beach may not be mine. But it feels like it.
Next Time, Leave Your Camera — and Your Judgments — at Home
A year and a month ago, we were in Narbonne A coastal town in the south of France, sixty miles from the border with Spain. In 118 BC, it was home to retired Roman legionaries. Next, Narbonne was conquered by the Moors, who were later supplanted by a Jewish principality that lasted through the Middle Ages.
How To Be a Digital Nomad Without Being a Jerk About It
Among the sky-is-falling shrieking that makes up modern news coverage, I recently read the story of Kristen Gray. Gray was living with her partner in Bali as an American ex-pat when the Covid 19 pandemic swept across the world. With impressively tone-deaf timing, she decided to release a book telling other Americans how to move to Bali and make a living. The end result was that she got herself deported.
When the Wilderness Looks Back
A branch cracked above me A noise trees make in winter. Shriveled leaves rattle to the northern wind. Branches turn brittle once the sap stops flowing. North of here, it gets so cold that trees explode. I moved to the warmest part of Canada for a reason.
Visiting the Ghost Forest: Exploring Golden Ears Provincial Park
A horse splashed along the beach There were three of them, clustered together at one end of the lake next to the hydroelectric dam. Water churned and splashed around the hooves of the white horse as it playfully kicked, stray beads leaping up to cling to the animal’s skin.
Lose the Fear. Keep the Love
It’s easy when it’s like this. A perfect day under a perfect sun in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo, my favourite place in the world. Even the puffy clouds are only there to provide a welcome break from the heat, and tourists gasp with pleasure at their tables as the light dims. They applaud when the sun comes out, as though it can hear them.
Palermo, That's All
I don't tell those kinds of stories. You know the ones. The Three Drunk Norwegians. The Narcotrafficantes Who Chased Me Through The Jungle That Time. The Multigenerational Balinese Family Who Taught Me How To Love. Is there any greater bore than a travel bore? I can see myself even now, desperately checking my phone for messages while some pompous narcissist drones on about how in Mongolia, like, everything was like, four-dimensional. They talk about travel broadening the mind, but I see people's focus narrowing constantly, shrinking with every border they cross until every country merges into the others, and all that remains in the bright bare circle of focus is themselves.