December 26, 2011
Light 11, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 52
This year will be ending with a few less old and a few more new doubts. Those who thought as I did, that 2006 would be my hardest year ever, now know as I do, that was just the beginning. 2011 found me repeatedly running to and fro, away from and back to my reality, which may have been a harder route to take than staying comfortably put.
“You can’t go home” wasn’t enough of a detailed warning for me. So I came home, time after time, but it wasn’t the same, and it wasn’t how I wanted it to be and it hurt worse every time. But some of the results were so worth it: reconnecting with bright-sunshine supportive friends all over this country and abroad, acquiring new light-drivers through a silly facebook game, accepting a new position, developing a new set of skills, finding the more I re-positioned myself, ever-widening illuminations reveled more choices, more multi-lighted paths.
Bright lights are rarely kind, though. They draw attention to our flaws, slips into even our finest cracks; easily burning away the instable, highly flammable film we wrap ourselves too tightly in – nothing gets out, but nothing gets in, either. There can be no change if there is no flow.
Living in a vacuum falsely implies stability and control: eventually air runs out and then there is but one small decision left to make. Stop breathing where we are or release the void. Escape into oblivion or take a deep breath. Like a limb shifted after hours of inertia, there is pain in regaining function. There is pain in the commitment required. Every moment demands some sort of forward movement. Most days, I shuffle in baby steps. Some days I can do nothing more than think about putting one foot in front of the other, and some days even that becomes an effort. It’s those days that are the hardest.
I mostly forget to take pride in my accomplishments; sometimes, I list them on scrap paper, just to show myself I am still going. Take today for example; I barely moved but I also: went grocery shopping at 9:00 am, was home by 9:40, had chicken in the oven by 10:00. Took Tylenol for a headache and sore throat, played an online game until the chicken was done; forced down two cups of cranberry juice and took a nap. Washed the cooking pan, ate lunch, played with Miss Fred and Harley Blu. Personalized Christmas ornaments, read for a while, took more Tylenol and another nap. Ordered a pizza, took a bath, talked on the phone for a bit, hard boiled eggs, picked out an outfit for the office. Rested for a while, ate dinner, sat down to work on this week’s newsletter and decided that a decisive step away from my Ireland interlude was in order...
... to thank you for continuing on this journey with me. Just by being out there on the receiving end of a weekly email you’ve given me incentive and another year-long gift of responsibility. Reporting in, reflecting on, remembering, reigning in fears, shedding tears, I’m a long way from where I want to be. Going back isn’t an option, but with so many others lighting my way, moving forward is getting easier.
Blessings for a happy, healthy, safe, serene and stimulating new year.
December 19, 2011
Un-Settling, ME Newsletter, Vol, 4, Issue 51
Refreshed, dressed and ready to go a little early, I decide to take a moment to lightly unload my lightly filled expandable rolling suitcase only to realize there was actually no bureau. I didn’t find the shallow one-drawer nightstand to be very conducive to settling in, either. So, I lugged my luggage up off the floor onto the single bed, and reorganized essentials into distinct areas. Undergarments and sock in one corner. Pants and jeans and shirts were refolded and re-stashed in order of possible potential use. I hung a few items on the few provided wardrobe hangers hoping to reduce wrinkles, and placed my most used make up and toiletries on the bath shelf.
Even with that minor derailment, I felt so good I grabbed my camera. I did that thing all the kids do - leaned into the bathroom mirror, all smiled up and feeling fine. The looking glasses in Ireland seem to be kinder than those at home – I’m sporting an excited glow. I’m pretty pleased with the image staring back at me.
Phone above me, or below me, or straight ahead – it turns out it really doesn’t matter. Despite what I am seeing, happy with my reflection, the photo comes back like a slap – a sudden, unkind unsettling slap. I check the mirror again and confirm what I see - a young, pretty girl, head-on. The camera however chooses to capture a droopy eyed, warble-necked woman. So, I repeatedly try different angles, and am glad I was talked into purchasing a 16 gig media card for the camera – I mean supposed phone. At least that’s one thing the phony knowledge-imposter sales dork was right about.
After fifteen minutes of creativity and oddly angled lens shots, I manage to eliminate the warble, but still appear completely bald in every photographic image. Love the smile though, so I decide when I get home I will edit off the top of my head so you can’t tell. That one became my new Facebook profile picture.
Lost @ Longford, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 50.5
(not published in weekly newsletter. running short on time to get this story line done, and created issue 51 by skipping over this. Choice was to create another newsletter or go forward with the one I created. It's the week of Christmas, I was sick all day yesterday, have more cards to make, presents to wrap, checkbook to balance. I chose to go went forward.)
Every moment, every turn, every obstacle makes us a little bit wiser.
The hotel and main centre for festival activities and shows, was easily close, just a few (and very walk-able) blocks down. Finding my room, however, was not an easy flight. I’d never considered an elevator to be a hotel perk until now. No elevator. Up the stairs, then up the stairs again, faced with a number of oddly angled hallways, I thought I walked them all.
Tired and perhaps beginning to feel the effects of time travel, I warily rewound my way back down to the front desk, and very humbly asked for better directions.
I made it the second time and inserted my huge key into an old fashioned door. The etched acrylic key fob with key and ring was the size of a coffee cup. It made me laugh as I realized I would not be able to stash that in my travel pouch purse and I also would not likely lose it in my large bag. The old-fashioned key and lock opened a kitty-corner door into a tiny angled single accommodation room. It reminds me of a Microtel I once stayed at in Novi for a PBR tour. It was clean and efficient, old but updated and still quaint. I was pleased to see a shower, no bath. The plan was to catch a ½ hour lie-down, shower, re-dress and head out for the evening’s itinerary. The light from the small levered bath window wasn’t enough. After flipping almost every switch I could find, I eventually deduced the loan bedside lamp was unplugged behind the stand. My expensive phone alarm (not over that yet) went off shortly, so I set out to shower. After a while it became evident that the shower water had no intention of heating, so I stepped briskly in and out of the briskly cold sprinkling. Perked me up a bit for sure, and prompted me to make myself a nice cup of bold, instant Irish coffee, which further perked me up quite nicely!
December 13, 2011
Catch-as, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 50
My friend, also my ride and festival coordinator, was there to greet me at the bus station. Grinning, we threw our arms around each other in a joyful hug, then threw my minimal well-drug, well-travelled rolling luggage into the trunk of a little car already stuffed with posters, blue grass magazines and supplies. After my attempt to get in on the wrong side of the car, we headed off on errands. Stopped at a supply shop for ledgers, then straight to the festival office were I met the two ladies in charge of tickets and information. They have a viable and nearly perfected routine down. I only say “nearly perfected” because everyone ever involved in production knows festival or show, convention or celebration, the unexpected can be expected. They’ve been doing this for ten years, though, and know well enough changes will occur. Over time, they’ve learned to anticipate changes, and are now seasoned enough to roll with them, rather than be run over by them.
Longford town is a charming square of businesses, common area, restaurants and pubs, all very conveniently surrounded by one way streets and walkways. As a new member of the all volunteer staff, I stepped comfortably into task: guillotine cut flyers, trouble shot the computer printer, assembled artist itinerary packets, and even walked down the road a bit to pay the printer for previously ordered printed programs. Another list of errands I hand, and were off again. All in all, I arrived at the Longford Arms Hotel about two hours after I getting off the bus. I could have walked towing my luggage behind me but the sheer fun of hitting the ground running and catching up catch-as-catch-can with my dear friend were perfect.
December 05, 2011
Fun, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 49
The truth of the matter is I’m tired of the struggling, and have been for quite some time now. The challenges are getting old. Yet, here I am in Dublin, moving right along with them. I fool around with my phone trying to figure out what will work. I set a test for the alarm while I wait for my trip to continue. I’m pleased to find the alarm function is operating. I can now add that to the list of small tasks my super-smart, internationally-dumb phone if good for.
The bus trip to Longford runs about 1.5 hours, which will be good for a well needed nap the result of speedwalking my luggage to and fro through Terminals 1 and 2. It’s a very good thing the currency agent talked me into taking 300 Euros. I’ve already spent $50.00 on calling cards and phone cards. So far Dublin looks like New York. I guess I expected more of a old-time Boston feel. I am still at the airport, though. Construction is taking place and new facades are being created.
The sun is shining. It’s still a bit surreal that I am here. I’m just trying to keep busy now. People watching and random note writing – too much thinking time turns to tears. TMTTTTT … TMT5… is this how those texting abbreviations are born? Out of boredom?
I’m still thinking so my avoidance tactics aren’t working. I’ve many times over been given the assignment of “Have fun!” by friends, family and light acquaintances. I will enjoy this diversion, soaking in the experiences and probably soaking a few tissues, too. But first I’ll finish my ½ American ½ Irish breakfast, find a restroom, freshen up a bit, and continue on.
I’ll be fine. I always am.