November 28, 2011
Cell DUB, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 48
It’s 3:00 AM my time; 8:00 AM Dublin time. A cappuccino is cooling for me as I write these notes, munching a naturally Irish “Flapjack” bar comprised of oats and milk chocolate.
My luggage and I found our way to Terminal 2, where I ran into a CIE Tour group gathering. The greeters/tour guides spotted my CIE luggage strap and tried to coral me toward the waiting area, but I explained it wasn’t my week. It would be nice if I had the same guides for my tour. They were very helpful, directing me to Terminal One and the phone kiosk.
Of course, the phone spot was closed despite the sign that declared they opened at 8:00 AM. To be sure they were still in business I asked at the information desk and was told they were just running late. So I waited about twenty minutes, sipped my coffee, and people watched until the shutter rolled up… only to discover that my phone was useless. It’s official. I hate my phone carrier. Well, maybe not. Hate is such a weak word for the wide berth of emotional scarring I can now attribute to this shipwreck of a company. Loath, despise, even fervent dislike are more appropriately descriptive than hate. Whether they flat out lied to me or were just horribly unknowledgeable does not matter at this point. My high tech, document friendly, internet savvy phone is now nothing more than an expensive camera and timepiece.
Although it has since been pointed out to me that car salesmen don’t necessarily know how to fix cars, at the time, finding myself cellularly stranded in Ireland wasn’t making me happy. For lack of some other ideal solution popping into my pooped out brain, I trekked back to Terminal Two and purchased a $5.00 calling card. It hadn’t yet been decided how I would get from Dublin to Longford. It pretty much depended on the readiness of the festival t-shirts. If they were finished and packed for pick-up, someone would drive into the city to retrieve them and me. If not, I would need to take a bus. I called and felt quite badly that I woke my friend up. I know how rare pre-festival sleep is, so I felt badly about that as well. I explained my phone fiasco and learned that she had a spare phone I could use. Termed a “throw-away” phone supplied by a company named Voda, its capabilities are limited to call and text, but, of course, way better than nothing. It would merely require the purchase of a sim card. I trudged back to Terminal One, all these trips with luggage in tow, wishing I’d thought to bring along my pedometer for curiosity’s sake. I paid for the necessary sim card, and at the same time, purchased another $5.00 phone card.
After a few more calls, and an unsuccessful search for a fellow named George and his wife who are also headed to Longford, it is determined I will take the 11:20 bus. In another hour I will head out again to catch the route # 22 bus by crossing the street, going under a building, crossing another street, and waiting at the Aerobus # 7 vestibule on Atrium Road. I have no idea how much that will cost, but at least I have Euros. And, yes, all of these problems have momentarily taken my mind off of the ones I’ve unintentionally brought with me on my so-called escape.
November 21, 2011
Back at Fall, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 47
I wouldn’t dare put a voice to it, but I do think that during moments when I am forced to step out and away from my own constant self-examinatory introspection, I am more open to GOD’s…? Presence? Direction? Channeling? Maybe GODLY thoughts is a better way to describe it.
There are times, many lately, as I am reviewing the past four years of writing – that I come across something and have to wonder. Did I really write that? Lately, my words are wallowing, colored in self-pity, and very much about me, me, me.
No doubt, I’ve been suffering more lately – with time idiosyncrasies. Do I really need to mark time? I guess perhaps I do since I’ve mastered ignoring it. Seasons change and register; they’re gone just as quickly.
I’m back at fall again; beautiful and painful. Trees of brilliance; brilliant memories. Crisp, clear colors; empty branches. Winds kick up, whistle through them; and me. Capturing fluttering fire; my heart in the camera’s eye. It’s simply not enough to satisfy aching unfilled space. Must every beauty bring a corresponding pain?
Tired of carrying counter weights; never nearing equal balance. Even the best is off; lacking for anything perfect, except for Heaven, for which I am neither prepared, nor immediately longing.
November 14, 2011
Anonymity, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 46
Across the aisle, I notice two ladies with CIE Tour bags. Turns out they are sort of on the same path as I am. They are flying in to attend the 2011 Solheim Cup LPGA at Killeen Castle Golf Club, Dunsany, County Meath, Ireland. Then they will return to Dublin to meet the same tour I have signed on to. We head towards international check-in together and it’s nice to know I’ll see at least some sort of familiar faces when I get back there.
Customs on the Ireland side is equally non-threatening. Fast moving line, three agent booths, smart travelers with required documents in hand. Where are you going? Business or pleasure? Stamp, stamp. Enjoy your stay!
Luggage arrives promptly and the golf ladies are off on their adventure. Mine hasn’t come through yet, but in those few short moments of standing still, I find myself consoling another traveler. She’s come in from Canada, called home by her mother to see her father. He’s fading from cancer and his end is near. I flash back to Father’s Day 2002. Standing in Hallmark, crying over cards, trying to pick out the best one possible and knowing it may be the last one I buy for him. I remember my own father’s slow failing over 15 years, and how it sped up his last three days. I remember calling to tell him that Jeff and I were headed to Frankenmuth. “I guess I’ll never get to go there,” he said, “or to the Grand Canyon.” I remember calling the next day and telling him about our trip and the ridiculously marvelous Dale Earnhardt Christmas water globe Jeff had found at Bronner’s and had to have. My father was too weak to respond, but my mother assured me he was listening and smiling. I remember being just about to turn into our friends’ driveway the next day, early evening, when I got the call he had passed. Three quick days.
I tell the weary traveler beside me to share her happiest memories with him, even if he seems unaware. My case rounds the corner first, so I grab it and then turn back. I can’t walk away without offering an impulsive hug. I surprise myself by saying, “I hope your father finds peace. Peace be with you, too.”
I want to share my name and phone number so she can call me. It takes an effort to do so, but I walk away and don’t turn back. Sometimes anonymity is best. I walk away self-acknowledging why I am here. Knowing now, I’ll never have to look back and say, “I guess I’ll never see Ireland.”
November 08, 2011
IFE, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 45
Music & Lyrics: A cute, harmless movie that leads me to these not entirely un-relevant thoughts:
Song writers get to see their audience. Book writers have an anonymous audience; failure is indirect. That’s appealing. I kind of like the aspect of perhaps not knowing who reads me, as opposed to knowing exactly who doesn’t.
Movie’s over: happy ending.
Here come the credits
And the tears.
Unless… I choose to sleep instead.
I think I’m up to the effort, but no.
Five damn years
Of dammed up tears,
Nothing to show for it.
Except four years of non-stop writing,
Some people I wouldn’t have met
And some long thought out
Well planned impulsive stupidity.
And a bit of over eating, unusual but
The airline food tasted good.
So I plug into music
Listening to The Script, Science and Faith
For the First Time, Nothing, This Equals Love.
Reorienting to croissants and coffee and fruit.
Resituating, a bathroom break
Reorganization, and really
Wheels and heart.