ImillaSkate's Huara Skating in Cochabamba

ImillaSkate: Bolivia's 'Cholita' Skateboarders

Drifters, Potosí’s altitude had gotten the best of me. I retreated to Cochabamba, where I’d spend a few days recovering. The air in Cochabamba was still thin for my standards, but arriving felt like I had been giving an oxygen mask coming from Potosí. My headache and confusion seemingly evaporated as I walked under the blue skies of Bolivia’s City of Eternal Spring. I made it to the city’s main square....

14 September 2023 · 2 min · 273 words · Jeremy Bassetti
Birds, Wind, Arles

A Note About the Wind and Arles, France

Drifters, What do you first notice when you look at Van Gogh’s Starry Night? Do you see the yellow stars burning in the blue sky? The sleepy village? The cypress tree dominating the foreground of the canvas? The rolling mountainscape? For me, it is the wind, that swirling force of life blowing above the village and through the twinkling darkness. I never really understood the context of the wind in Van Gogh’s painting until I stepped out of a train station not far from St....

14 August 2023 · 3 min · 541 words · Jeremy Bassetti
Sunflowers for Sale in La Paz

Three Notebook Sketches from La Paz

Drifters, This month, I pull from my Bolivia notebook three quick sketches written in La Paz. My journal is littered with notes like these. They don’t amount to much, nor do they spin any coherent yarn. But, with the exception of the final note—I don’t even remember writing it—, they transport me back to Bolivia as I finish The Hill of the Skull. The book is nearly done, apart from a fine-toothed edit....

14 July 2023 · 2 min · 287 words · Jeremy Bassetti
A View of Potosi Through a Window

When Creative Projects Fail: Some Thoughts

Drifters, Before I went to Bolivia last August to work on a few creative projects, I stapled two sheets of paper to my Field Notes journal. On them I wrote two lists: a list of “rules” that I imposed on myself during the trip and a list of “aims” to remind me of my goals. Each morning and night, I consulted these lists as a way to stay focused on my work and evaluate how well I had been doing....

14 June 2023 · 3 min · 562 words · Jeremy Bassetti
Lovers in Rome

A Note from Rome

Drifters, I write you a short note from the Eternal City, where the rain — when it falls — is not hard enough to keep me inside. I’m here in Rome leading a study abroad trip with 13 eager students. But when the students set off to do student things on their free time, I slip away into the drizzle with my camera. They want nothing to with an old guy like me anyway....

14 May 2023 · 2 min · 304 words · Jeremy Bassetti