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Raising the Bar

7 Jan

Where do you write best?, Donna said. 

Up at the bar or in the coffee shop, I said.

She tilted her head to the side. What about at home?

No…not so much there, I sighed. Only when it’s warm, outside in the back room.

I need to be alone, in public.

Her eyes narrowed a bit above a slight smile, which meant I needed to explain. Only I couldn’t. The only thought that came to mind was that wherever I was writing, I needed to have someone take care of my needs while I dove into the images in my head surrounding an experience, either real or remembered. When I swim in words, like a channel glider, I need to be only a writer, only a writer and nothing else.

So reader, I have decided to invite you into my world of traveling for one. This blog, filled with my peculiar style of half review half non-fiction essay was born of two parents. One, a lengthy list of experiences I wanted to accomplish in my life, a “bucket list”. Living with intention, I call it. And second, the absence of anyone to really take with me.  As a single woman at my age, most of my friends are married with children and as much as I might like to find a companion for many of my experiences, there seems to be a singular lack of them.

Because I did not want to wait to live, I decided I should just do whatever I wanted now. My travel to Richmond in July 2012 was really the beginning of this mindset. But after December on the island, where I needed to retreat for healing and soul searching, I discovered I actually enjoy being with myself. Traveling alone or with Clarence in tow, it doesn’t much matter. I am able to see the world with greater clarity, fully immersing myself in whatever I am doing and learn how to balance savoring and saving, being present and yet keeping it for future contemplation.

I don’t prefer my own company to the company of like-minded people, but I do prefer it to settling for a companion whose presence seems needed solely to provide me social permission to be out of the house. I see so many women doing that. They feel they need the security of others to validate somehow pursuing their desires. They need not do that. Men don’t. When I go eat up at the bar, or attend an event alone, I am generally the only woman among a crowd of men who do not think twice about enjoying their own company in a fine place.

When one lives with intention, one adopts the mindset that the only person responsible for one’s own happiness is oneself. A marvelous time  or a miserable time, just as any companion might provide, can result. It’s one in the same. And for me this said, Why wait? Safety? There are ways to ensure that as much as possible. Comfort? Hopefully that’s where recommendations  come in. Some dining places and events seem to be more conducive to solo  enjoyment than others.

My hope is that in following my travels, you might either enjoy these same spots or find new ideas about ones to enjoy on your own, both my feminine readers and masculine alike. The focus of my writing is changing more toward  review now, but with a personal twist. It will take me a few posts to get the right balance, but I aim to share the experience first and then find the lesson in it if I can.

I don’t pretend to be the world’s best writer or photographer. So the writing is imperfect and I am okay with that. Its human. And my camera and eye has its limitations. If  you  comment please do so in kindness. I want to share all this with you, hoping that you will find something to carry along in your own journey.

That’s really what all this is about: a journey. Joe Campbell would say we all walk the same journey; we are just on different points of it at particular times. The joy is already knowing how it will turn out, because we all do. We return home, master of two worlds and then, we share our wisdom with those we love. That is my intention.


The Emerald Cities

1 Aug

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This whole summer of adventure has brought me down a golden road that has been freeing, yet also treacherous. I’ve never traveled alone nor lived with the idea of doing exactly all the things I have longed to do. When I set out for Martha’s Vineyard I knew without a doubt that with a tiny amount of bravery, some good friends to be with, a camera, and a pen I could see what it is to really live. Dorothy’s journey has been with me since last October. I remember a dream, a terrifying dream of a tornado and a house, the whole scene from the film exploded into sepia storm in my early morning imagination. A house, a storm…WHAM. Where did these red sparkle shoes come from?

Traveling like this, though, has taught me valuable lessons but none more important than this: I can go anywhere I want, do anything I desire to do, and enjoy myself. I have always been able to do these things, I think, but its surprising to me.

Going to  Boston with Mom, I had to swing into being the one in charge. The derecho changed everything and navigating both home issues and Boston at the same time really showed me what I can handle. I drove that sportscar into Boston, navigated maps and streets and metro for us without GPS or a smartphone. I had my own room which allowed me to write more and I was able to process events much better. The really nice dinners began then, too. The House of Siam on Tremont where we ate on the street and then Roisin Dubh, the best Irish pub in Boston, I miss those moments. That night proved Mom can still chat up anyone anywhere at any time. My game absolutely dissolves in her presence. She is an enigma when it comes to chatting up men. The story of the Fleet Week Warrior still needs writing.

And then there was our walk into North End where we navigated endless streets of Italian restaurants and bakeries and grocery stores. It was a veritable sea for the senses: flowers baskets, and open windows and crystal glasses filled with wine, bread and olive oil and espresso on the corner. Dinner at Assiaggo, amazing.

But then, something dawned on me. I realized, I’m still sharing this. Mom was with me and I wondered what my life was going to feel like being totally alone at home again. It worried me a bit and I also realized, as my phone buzzed every hour or so in Boston, that I had I begun to give the experience away again to a friend during the last few days of our trip via text. Mom complained about it, too. When are you getting off your phone? she’d say. I’ve only had one for a year, I’d reply. I’m catching up.

When I went off to Richmond, something really unexpected happened. Through a chain of events, I found my phone silent and myself traveling pretty much alone. I had a huge lesson in promises and men being asses. A suitcase full of dresses had accompanied me to Richmond ready for promised dinner dates by someone who suddenly ghosted me. Well, what now? Yes, I had a educational workshops during the day. But at night, why couldn’t I go out to dinner anywhere I liked? Why couldn’t I tour the city the same way I did in Boston, just completely by myself? It seems like an obviously simple thought, but it never truly struck me that indeed, I could intentionally go to certain places alone. When I went, words would come, usually half lines of poetry or imagery, maybe a thought or two. But a cocktail napkin and a pen can be a perfect mediator between me and my experience. I didn’t have to text someone while I ate or watched people. I didn’t need a friend to dance or listen to a band. I could do it all with myself. And that’s what I did. To every place he intended to take me.

I suppose you could say that I’m still giving the experience away by blogging about it, but I don’t really see it like that. My writing is largely a conversation with myself. Somehow, it seems important to me to do that. Its a different kind of sharing, one in which I can still own the experience, but share it at the same time. It doesn’t mean I don’t really enjoy going out with people. Believe me, I love going out with others. But traveling this summer reminded me of the difference between “need” and “want”. And I think that’s a very important lesson when it comes to relationships of any sort. I still love to share my adventures with others, but I don’t need to have them with me to do it. Facebook has truly been a friend of mine.

So, Clar and I began to follow the yellow brick road this summer and for sure we needed a wizard to guide us. Somewhere in the summer’s journey, I realize something is at an end. But I now have a set of very sparkly shoes and they will take me further down a golden road to another glowing green city in the distance. . .and then hopefully back home.


Fire and Ice

24 Jul

Wall of Wine    Rose'

I’ve been thinking a lot on ice these days. Not so much because of how incredibly hot the weather has been, nor how much I seem to live in sweat most of the time, but small glimpses of it in moments. Since May, fire seems to have been a primary internal element. Something in me grew a flame that I didn’t fully understand until recently. And all cliche’s aside, the phoenix rises eventually. Maybe that’s what’s been happening.

The flame is changing now though, slowly and subtly shifting into a steady burn. The heat becoming almost constant, normalized and the leaps and bursts are fewer between. So I find myself thinking more on ice, on welcoming it rather than fearing it. Of wanting that sharp cold edge to hone the flame, keep it in check.

In traveling, especially having dinner up at the bar, I luxuriate in glimpses of ice among flame, and the sparkles of light that light up a night time wonder world.

So, I pull out my fist full of cocktail napkins, notes on moments spent in the experience of a place and a time and I reel backward to a Wednesday night, alone in Richmond at the Can Can Brasserie when the crystals began to take shape. I love that place, out of Paris in the 1920’s. The music floats in soft language around the room and through the summer flowers in epergene and flags in subtle sway from the ceiling fans.

I watched the bartender make a martini. I had never seen one being made…a sharp angled glass heaped with crystal cubes and then opaque white and yellowed liquid, all sliding into a cold silver shaker…

That sound… clickaswish… clickaswish…. clickaswish and then pouring through metal spiral teeth back into the glass, two moss green globes speared…lying in repose along an angled glass edge…

I wondered what it tasted like while the first of many oysters flooded my mouth with cold ocean.

Frost and Flame

Seated in this middle air

away from the warm

and deep evening life on the street,

an old tin ceiling forms and presses,

bends itself into a wall of wine.

Lines of glass bottles lit in tiny pinpoint

like so many buoys along a shoreline,

reflect in rosy pink roast beet cherry edged


in my glass,

and across the silver tin top of the bar,

soft glows over a grey glass sea.

Cool white starched linen lies

supine on my lap,

sliding up my bare knee

as I inch forward to see the garcon’s delivery.

Light catches in ice nestling oyster shells,

bare raw souls ready,

trembling ever so slightly,

to surrender in frost and flame.

The Sassy Ass Sportscar

28 Jun

062712185830     062712202644

“Just hold yourself in your core”, Laura said.

Yesterday, I accomplished another item on my bucket list, riding a motorcycle. I have always been frightened of them. Not because of their sound nor the speed, simply for the fact that I know you have to ride them correctly as a passenger or you will crash, scrape every bit of skin off your natural body, and possibly break every bone and die if you don’t lean correctly. Jesus Christmas, I have to learn to lean.

Anyway, my friend was being so supportive and her husband has ridden and motored forever, so I think, “If I don’t do it now, I never will. It’s my last day in the Vineyard. Stop being a baby and do it.” So, here I go as a passenger on a Repsol. I had no idea how unstable riding a motorcycle was and how much I’d have to use my thighs to balance myself. I told Laura, “I feel unstable. I’m not sure”, as I sat there in my helmet, engine roaring, while her husband waited for the order to go. “You’ll geddit”, she shouted and gave him the order to take off. I scrunched down behind him and held on for dear life, overly attentive to my leaning. My thighs were killing me two minutes in and I am really fit. It’s as hard as TRX hamstring bicycles. Even though the ride was short, not even ten minutes, it was enough to count. Up to 35 mph I went, and then I needed to stop. All the while I just thought, “Breathe…just breathe…you are doing this. Just be here…let go.”

After the exhilaration of the ride, I needed to be ready to go on the Fast Ferry out of the Vineyard. I had pre-planned to pick up the rental car at the ferry office and then follow my Google maps, all neatly folded and prepared, to the South Kingston Amtrak station to pick up Mom. That’s when the first call came. “Cyndi, its Mom. There were some branches on the tracks and we blew an engine, so the train is delayed in Washington DC. We’ll be a bit later to Kingston, maybe 8 to 9pm.”

Okay, I think…that’s cool. I just have extra time. Then, the text came about an hour later; high winds cancelled the Fast Ferry service. I would now have to take the state ferry to Wood’s Hole, then they would bus us to the ferry office in North Kingston, Rhode Island.

Wait.  Crap! That puts me in later than the rental office’s hours. Uh oh.

So I call the rental office and they begin to give me all sorts of grief. Without going into the minor breakdown that almost occurred at my friend’s kitchen table, she says in her fine Massachusett’s accent, “Gimmetha phone”. She calls up the rental office manager.

“Yeah, this is Laura . .I’m caullin’ for Cyndi. We need to werk out sumthin’ about this cah situation because it won’t do foar her to not have transpoartation.

No, I’m not her mutha….I’m her pursonul assistant and she’s a vehry impoartant and busy lady so lets taulk about what YOU are gunna do to to get her a cah!”

At the end of that conversation, ahem rant, all I needed to do was fax them a copy of my driver’s license, and credit card and the car would be waiting for me in the parking lot at the ferry office, keys in the possession of the Fast Ferry clerk inside. I could have kissed her. I actually think I did.

So I board the state ferry and endure the 90 minute bus ride, maneuvering myself at last to the office of the Fast Ferry in North Kingston. That is where the fun really began. I roll off the bus, go into the office and get the keys and back out into the gravel lot I go looking for the mild mannered Honda Civic that Mom had rented for us.

Nothing. The sole car was a gorgeous sporty silver and black souped up Ford something or other. Uh, really? Did Laura make them THAT nervous?

I went back in to check and the clerk replied, “Yes, that’s your car.”

I almost dropped the keys. I actually think I squeaked a tiny bit.

As a driver of an oh so practical soccer mom Matrix that I traded by new VW bug for,  I opened the door of a brand new 2012 silver badass sportscar and sqeeed for at least a minute straight. “Wonder how she’ll handle at 120?….THIS IS FREAKIN’ AWESOME!”.

I have an hour to kill since Mom’s train is delayed, but I have plenty of time. I make a command decision. Get car phone charger. My phone did not charge properly the night before and it was on its last bar, problem number 50. So, I see a Kohls nearby and I roll in and ask. No luck, BUT the Verizon store is right beside it. They hook me up with a charger and a ten dollar discount just because I’m nice. I’m thinking, “Wow, thanks Universe for helping once again!” Then, I see a Dave’s Fresh Market next door and the Verizon folks assure me they have cool deli case takeout, nice salads and such and the bonus is a package store right up the block. I think,”I’ll get dinner and wine for Mom so we won’t have to worry about eating late in Mystic, roll into the Amtrak station on time, and be the best daughter in the Universe. We’ll relax at 9 and it will be a golden evening. Yes!”

So, I’m rollin’ with my Google directions, listening to the pre-set pop/rap station. The car is so technologically advanced, I have no idea how to change the radio station or even find a new channel. I have GPS, but have no idea how to use it. No manual is there.

I am:  on. my. own.

But….it made me feel totally cool to listen to Whiz Kalifa, Rhianna, and Maroon 5 driving in that car. “Call Me Maybe” comes on for the gajillionth time and even though the music isn’t my normal listening pleasure, I start to feel, well, pretty young and sexy. And the car just seems to be the expression of something rising within me. I start to feel like I really never felt in high school: awesome. I begin to drive and wiggle and sing.

Take me by the tongue
And I’ll know you
Kiss me till you’re drunk
And I’ll show you
all them moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the mooooooves, like Jagger

I mean my 2005 Matrix doesn’t exactly put a wiggle in my shaker if you catch my drift. And I start to feel really SAS-SAY. I take my new silver girl up to the limit, and a tiny bit beyond.

Speeding along,  I cross a huge expansion bridge and come to a toll booth. This is when I start to realize something isn’t right. I ask the attendant if I’m going the right way to the South Kingston Amtrak station. She says, no. I’m over 30 minutes in the wrong direction!  I pay a double toll ($4) and get a pass to turn around. Crossing back over the bridge, irritated and anxious I am suddenly witness to one of the most miraculous sunsets over water I have ever seen. Its been years. The sight stunned me out of my teen pop imaginative world and pushed me into a place altogether different. Flying into a sunset of pure freedom in a silver bird,  I had a moment, one of those  “this is my life and its absolutely perfect right this second” moments. Maybe this whole thing will turn out for the best. I’m feeling like it might. I want more of those moments.

Soon, however, that changes. I take the wrong exit off of the bridge and begin a drive through the BF backwoods of Rhode Island for over 90 minutes. I ask six different people at six different places how to get to the train station, including a pizza delivery joint and each gives me some rambling mess of instructions none of which get me anywhere nearer to Mom who is now at the station sitting in the lobby. I’m on the phone with her, practically yelling in frustration. The rap is now turned off and I’m getting low on gas in a high tech vehicle that I have no idea how to even put gas into.

There was one moment where I thought, Do I call the police? Will they even know where they are? Does anyone in Rhode Island know how to get anywhere?

Finally, I get on the right road and magically end up at the station. Bless my saint of a mom. She had real instructions to Old Mystic Inn from the owner. We roll into Mystic at ten, and the sportscar-sassy-ass woman feeling is all gone. I crack open the bottle of Relax Riesling, which I bought mainly for the name, and we finally eat our picnic at the bed and breakfast room coffee table.

It struck me at that moment that being on my own can have its great parts and its not so great parts. But I’m learning.

I’m learning.

Treading Water

26 Jun

On my first night in Kingston, I wondered how long this ride might last. How long it would be until there was no more adventure in this wave. When the swell would flatten, the wind would die, and I would be treading water once again. I love the waves, the wind, the carrying forward that seems so effortless. In each swell there is the hope of being delivered effortlessly into something that feeds my flame floating upon the deep blue.  I remember staring into the marbled velvet blue- purple of an Oak Bluffs hydrangea and wondering how long this small reward part of my journey would last, of being conscious that it would end.

I been trying to do it right
I been living a lonely life
I been sleepin’ here instead
I been sleepin’ in my bed
I been sleepin’ in my bed

So show me family
All the blood that I will bleed
I don’t know where I belong
I don’t know where I went wrong
But I can write a song

So its back to this place of stillness, of waiting for the next swell and I’m paddling in place, just treading water and that’s okay.

That’s okay.

Casting Backward

22 Jun


Into this ocean a long line cast,
reeling backward
like the silver bullet spray
from cutting prow
against this heart blue ocean.
Whizzing behind me,
the line.
Not sure how long
before a click
stops it,
tugs it
into the blood and flesh
of my chest.
The wind holds
a bare moment
of bowed line snap.
But the blue knows
when to cut 
this taut twine
to the deep,
into the home of all things lost.

— Written on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard

Upon Having Arrived

20 Jun

So today, I rode Amtrak all the way to South Kingston Rhode Island from Lynchburg. With intermittant WiFi and a dumb phone, the only way to adequately describe my train riding experience is to share my Facebook stati as the day rolled on, and my wisdoms gained on a train trip:

8a.m. Pardon me boy….is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?……..

12:00 Eating on Amtrak is like eating out of the fast food case at Sheetz, except 3x more expensive….note to self always pack a lunch…..

4:00 Eyeing the monster Fosters this elderly gentleman has beside me…..can’ bored….ack!

10:00  Things I learned on a train:

  1. Amtrak food sucks
  2.  Every woman on the train seems to be reading 50 Shades
  3.  Get a window seat or be prepared to barf
  4. Amtrak wifi does not work and I need a better cell phone
  5. Train and bus bathrooms are practice for a night in a country bar riding the mechanical bull
  6.  It takes just as many hours to get off the vertigo as it does the train…jeez I have ferry tomorrow.
  7. I love traveling solo..but having the phone helps

More adventures tomorrow…I love my life 🙂

The point of real departure to adventure was marked by arriving a bit later at the South Kingston Amtrak Station than I had expected and as I quickly muscled my suitcases to the platform, I began to search for a taxi. The host at the King’s Rose Bed and Breakfast assured me that there would be taxis out in front of the station to bring me to the accommodation, but when I surveyed the front of the station however, nope…not a taxi in sight. As a matter of fact, nothing was in sight. So I sat on my luggage and attempt to dial the host. Before I could finish, though, a taxi drives up and an elderly lady begins to load her luggage into the back.

I shout, “Will there be any more taxis?”

He shouts back, “Uh, heyas a numbuh…cooawl them” and some rambling mess of numbers comes out before I can even get my fingers to begin to dial. But I plug them in and call.

Finally, I get someone on the phone and he tells me, “Eh, I can be theya in a haf an ow-ah.”

Oh, okay Mr. Taxi guy, I’ll just sit here for 30 minutes and wait to go two miles up the road…sure.

Finally, he shows up and takes me to the bed and breakfast where I meet the lovely lady who is host at the King’s Rose. She has put me into one of the most lovely feminine rooms I have ever seen. Pink floral and calico, it’s filled with antiques and pictures from the twenties and thirties. And the bed is one of those high New England jobs. And I had to, I took off from the bathroom and leapt over onto the fluffy feather top and then jumped on the bed at least three times.But the real adventure was securing my first solo vacation dinner.

I ask the kind host where I might go eat.. It is already 8:00, and I ‘m hot, tired, and frankly I need a very cold beer. So, she tells me I’ll have to walk down to the University of Rhode Island campus about a mile away. There will be a food court with some choices and I can get dinner there. As I began the trip, I was tired, but feeling really sort of free, brave to the point of almost being, as Granny calls it, ornery. This is the first trip I have ever taken completely solo.  Sometimes it strikes me that I am a living lesson of sorts, as if others are sort of vicariously living in my adventure. Its a big reason to keep going and to be brave, to do what I’ve always wanted to do.

As I walked,  the heat came rolling off the pavement in waves. It was soooooo sweltering hot today. This has been the worst heat wave ever. The host told me that she had to put my air conditioning unit in the window yesterday.That usually doesn’t happen until July, she said.Upon rounding the corner onto the back part of campus, I see the International Slice Pizza Company. I’m not the world’s biggest pizza fan, especially since I have been training so heavily, but at that point I didn’t really care. Pizza has a companion: BEER and it’s cold and my God, I’m drinking the largest one I can find.

So I waltz into the shop, a perky blonde gal is behind the counter, and I say to her, “Please tell me that you have beer and that its cold and that you will give me the largest one you can muster.” She looks back at me and says “Oh, I’m sorry. This is the UR campus. Its dry” At that moment, a feeling mixed between murderous rage and hopeless despair wells up in me and the inevitable Valkyrie yell of “CRAP!” comes rolling out of my filter free Sagittarius mouth. What I hadn’t noticed was that a guy had come in behind me in line and the minute my whining began he says,

“Ay, I gotta beeyah out in the cah, ya want one?”

I whip around and look him straight in the face and with all the conviction of a freight train I utter my response.”YES……YES…. I …..DO.”

So I follow this guy to his late model Pontiac in front of the pizza place.

He says to me, “Its a Busch, hope ya don’t cayah”

I say, “No, thank you so much. Please let me give you a buck or two for it”

“Nah,  no prahblem…its cold” he says, as he rummages through a cooler in his back seat for a can of beer.

So he hands me this icy can of Busch beer and I slip it into my purse. I walk back into the pizza place and order two slices from perky pizza gal, BBQ chicken and pineapple ham. I request an extra styrofoam cup for the beer and then mosey out to the picnic table for my first solo feast. It strikes me. Of all the times in the past I have eaten out alone, this meal, THIS ONE is the best I can think of.

God Bless the State of Rhode Island.

The Willing of Peace

6 Jun

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One of the most amazing plays I was able to see in NYC was Warhorse and it connected to me in a way that no play really ever has. When the music began, and an Irish soulful voice echoed in the darkened theater, I was suddenly sliced down to my core, into a tender softness that I hope will never leave me. I tried so hard to push away the thought of giving the essence of this experience away in a “wish you could see this” moment. But I couldn’t. I thought of my former husband and I wished he was there to see it with me. The ability to make a gift of a moment has been my blessing and curse, all of my life. I stopped because now there is really no one to give  it to but myself. Do you think that’s what this is supposed to teach me? Giving away too many experiences to others and enjoying life through their pleasure is over. I am no longer a reflective mirror. I have to shine.

And in that almost holy darkness, I was captured by a puppet named Joey, his ears, his subtle movements, so correct, so delicate. I believed in his reality, willingly trusting an exterior illusion, and able to be vulnerable inside this armor of muscle and bone and blood I have built around me. My will to believe intertwined into the creation of this animal spirit. And as this joint road of connection and empathy spread out before me, I felt whatever pain there was, Joey would understand. His sacrifice which played out before me showed a truth, that we will our peace into the chaos of living. Our hearts, our souls, our wishes mean nothing in repose. We do not find peace. We will our peace into this madness of shadow and suffering. In his legs, there was the promise of strength to hold pain if I couldn’t hold myself. In his head, his neck, there was promise of protection if I could not hold on. In his loyalty, there were glimpses of a permanence that we all long for, a shining moment of happiness that won’t ever change.

The lingering lesson from this display of love and brutality, humanity and the Divine? How can one love an animal so much? Because in loving him, we can safely love ourselves through his intercession. We reveal our own vulnerability, raw and unbroken, when we love an animal so fiercely. Even in our blindness, we feel the call of self. And in this illusion of heart and soul, of empathic connection, the voices which rose around me like lost ancestors reminded me of the essence of my purpose, a reason to be open, to keep going, to exchange the pain of an emotional bruise for wisdom because the light never dies.

Up and away like the dew in the morning,
Soaring from the earth to its home in the sun,
Thus we would pass from the earth and its toiling,
Only remembered for what we have done.
Only the truth that in life we have spoken.
Only the seed we have sown,
These shall pass onward when we’re forgotten,
Fruits of the harvest and what we have done.

In my struggle to be fully human and to understand the Divine, I am reminded that the truth within this life is in the be-ing, in the do-ing, in the love-ing, inside.

I turn into self…and shine.


Life is in the Tasting

5 Jun

My time in NYC brings me now into a into conversation with my senses.

Its been quite a long while since I wrote of experiences, travel or otherwise and I haven’t fully become used to the delicate balance in public journal writing. However, since I aim to go places to live, I must start somewhere. And so all I came home with were my playbills from Memphis, Warhorse, and the Amazing Spiderman. I don’t know why, but I started scribbling phrases in my head while sitting there. So I wrote in them, some thing along the line of annotated poesy. Just thoughts, that came rising like a tide on fire.

This is what I wrote:

It’s my first night and I am walking the streets, wading through a flooding richness of culture. 

faces ….smells…. food scent curling the black lamp posts and coloring the twilight sky.

The life in this heavy air is to be tasted.

How can a city be tangible to nose, to mouth, to soul?

My fingers probe for the underlying vein, running through the collective body, a hive of human presence, a brooding of culture.

Sitting at dinner,  white gleaming china circles filled with red and green and mellowed tan vegetables … a slight give in bites. Fresh ginger, five spice, garlic. I can smell it..taste it …fish melting in my mouth.

At the table, I slightly lean toward the gentleman seated next to me, resting my energy

a mutual companion…a partner at this table of experience.

Water in my glass, icy crisp like melting snow,

a sip on top of this deep, complex dive into the ocean of streets upon streets,

sidewalks to sidewalks. Corners to stops.. to wait … wait… walk……. to a small cafe, street unknown.

concrete clutter and worn refuse, layers of waste and living.  The dirty underwear of reality in a city filled with souls zipped up in their private suits of personal boundary

what cracks that shell?

not one face alike, not one tongue.

I linger on a red velvet cookie, upon my palm, slightly warm, red ….rich…darkly sweet 

Around the corner through the door…I climb….higher, higher, higher to the chandlier seats 

looking down upon a tiny stage, a gilded box… curtains wheel apart.

Music…harmonies …one inside one…the voices cutting the breath of a darkened theater.

gold glints in the low lights and I gasp in rapture


…these first moments.

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