Friday, June 25, 2010

Joe Returns to Writing Slow

I'm sitting at the West End Market coffee shop. The traffic on Main Street is endless, smelly, noisy. I'm going to try my best to explain why I've not kept up with writing here. I guess I was confused.

When I started this blog, it felt pretty natural. A place to write down some words to share. Eventually I was asking myself, "Self, is this a journal?" I guess I've been wondering and trying to figure that out. A journal is something I'd rather keep on the bed stand.

You see, way back when blogging was new to me I felt uncertain. Sure it is a quick and easy means of getting your words and possibly your thoughts out. But on what? And why?

Plenty is going on in my life. I did start another blog with a theme. is written for those looking wanting to better understand the connection between Morgellons symptoms and toxicity (a topic I feel well qualified to discuss...and I've plenty to say). So, my seven followers of joewritesslow, I'm open to ideas on what I need to write about ...and please don't rush me! Happy trails- Joe

Friday, October 2, 2009

Zen Destiny

What to write about? Today. What a great day!

Sometimes, I let go from what I think should happen. Sometimes, I follow my day on clues. Divine intervention...I think so. Today is such a day.

I decided to go to the new Sears outside of town (I needed saw horses and they have a 1/2 price sale).

Since the Goodwill is on the way, I stopped to see if there was anything I wanted. I found some bundles of tweed (and five books). I scanned the racks for Hawaiian shirts (I always do). Where's this going? Oh, yeah, the tweed. Admittedly, the bundles were not Harris tweed. I've had a vision of a tweed hoodie. A seamstress in Mansfield told me she could make one for around $20 (if I brought an old hoodie with me to cut up for a pattern). I had an old hoodie on. Somehow the whole matter reeked of destiny.

After stopping at Sears, I continued along hwy 6 to Mansfield. I parked in my usual spot.

Since the seamstresses shop is next to the best coffee shop around, I went in for a mocha. There was a woman editing some writing at an old lounger in the window seat. We talked. Thinking of writing, I went to a table near the book shelf. The book shelf had a book of poems. I looked.

A friend of mine who is a poet has been calling me weekly. She stated last night that she'd like to have my baby. Actually, she said 4. I said I'd like 7. I guess it is up for negotiation.

The book of poems was good. I got it and mailed it off to her.

The librians tell me I am the "First to die". In other words, I need to go. Keep that zen state.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wellsboro Adjustments

Hard to believe it has been so long since I blogged. It's not that I haven't wanted to. Heck, no! If there is anything I'm not at a loss's words.

My last entry was written in Scotland. Travel and adventure seem some distance ago (though it has been only just 6 weeks). Plenty has happened.

I have officially moved into my home in Wellsboro. Much of my time has been occupied redoing floors and walls in the place. The whole green approach to old home updates might make a book itself (no, I don't plan to write it). The article "Can You Green This?" will be in the Natural Homes Magazine Nov/Dec issue. The editor has already talked to me about a follow up, that's cool.

I've had some challenges with contracting out my electric rewire and insulating of the place. Case in point, I've been waiting half of today for an electrician to come and give an estimate. I had an electrician I was going to go with but found out his estimate of the work was for only the second floor (I'm laughing about this. Did he think I'd just get the top half insulated?). Like any place, I'm learning there are some you can trust...and some you can't. Here's hoping it'll all fall together soon!

Job hunting in an economically depressed area isn't much fun. I signed up as a substitute teacher but haven't been called by their computerized system (this is weird as there is only four schools). I've also applied for a position as library assistant. The man who cuts my hair offered to make me his partner yesterday (somehow this involved me giving him twenty thousand dollars to learn how to cut hair. thank you). I did work for two days with a cleaning service; I was having trouble breathing after the second day (considering I'm working on detoxing, it made no sense to continue). Anyhow, here's hoping I find some work.

The greatest quality of the area is its people. I'm amazed at the kindness I've found. I am now a memeber of the local hiking club, the book of the month club and a regular at Quaker meetings in Mansfield. It's a comfortable place.

The trees are starting to change color. Fall is my favorite season. I'm hopeful of truly settling in. For now my writing is stiff...and so is my back.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hike Along the Coast

It is a quiet morning in Stornoway. The sun is shining but I find I need still need my fleece. I'm at the library enjoying the sound of Scottish accents and the light through the windows. A coffee after this post is entirely appropriate.

Yesterday I took a bus up towards the top of the island. There is a hike along the coast and I felt I need the exercise. The driver stopped beyond some pastures. "The Bridge to Nowhere lies up ahead. That's where the trail starts".

Of course it was the kind of adventure I'm always up for. The hike is 10 miles in length and the owner of the hostel had concerns about my shoes and "...did I have a cell phone?"

After crossing the bridge, the trail went up a coastal hill. The beach below and coastline were like some paint scene I once pondered. I bounced on (yes, bounced...that is what it feels like to walk in the bog) until I found myself in complete isolation. I could see across the ocean for many miles and along the north and south coast. There was no sign of people or civilization. My company was the various ferns, mosses and distant bird song.

As I meandered the marked trail, I found myself sometimes above jagged cliff faces looking down on waves breaking far below. Vertigo. The distant bark of seals added to the mystic.

5 1/2 hours later, I found my way out to the main road and caught the bus back to Stornoway. Truly it was a hike to remember.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ediburgh Thoughts

I'm suffering from sensory overload. Several days in Edinburgh can do that to you. Still I haven't eaten haggis. I have had several shop owners try to convince me I need a kilt. And I need to mention I felt fear when I first listened to the radio and couldn't even understand the DJ (though I'm understanding the accent better after several days).

I did manage to get into the National Archives. Friendly folks. I was able to view letters written by Duncan Shaw (the Factor...or Sheriff of Benbecula and other southern islands). The notes had no mention of the mermaid burial, but had interesting information on the island culture of the 1820s.

Tomorrow I'll be back in the archives. I want to look at any church records for the island. Best to find would be a record of the burial (though I think the mermaid wasn't Christian). I'm curious what kinds of information may be found in the island area as well.

I must go and wander the shores. I am starting to get into a proper mindset. I hope to have some decent writing surface soon!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Back in Dublin

So, I wish I could write with the sincereity and wisdom of James Joyce. I saw a film The Dead based on a short story of his from The Dubliner. I thought it was a fantastic reintroduction to the place (though I must admit I nodded a couple of times due to exhaustion and jetlag).

I was treated to the movie by my friend Robert. I joined him and his friends for dinner and a pint afterwards. It was a great evening! I find my best guidance in travel is a friend from the area. Robert kept telling me things like, "This is a good place for coffee", "St Valentine's remains are kept here", and "This is where Handel's Messiah was first performed". Of course by the time I made it to my humble hostel bed, my mind was flipping through thoughts.

I did take some pictures. My camera has not been the same since an encounter with a waterfall in Costa Rica last winter. I have to take out the batteries after each shot or else the power will be drained. It slows things down. I guess it is helping me to be more thoughtful towards what I am shooting.

Today I am off to see the Beautty Museum (a collection of ancient Bibles and Korans and such). I will get around to the parks of Dublin as well. It should be another fine day.

Tomorrow I must get up at 4 am to get to the airport on time for my flight to Edinburgh. It will be the first time I fly Ryanair (and possibly the last if all the stories from Robert's friends are true).

I'm not certain when I'll blog again. I should start getting my head into the writer and research soon.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Writing Retreat and Finding Wabi

Franklinville had started to close in on me. I'd thought about backpacking down into PA. I haven't been backpacking in years, don't have a camp stove, and think I may be too old to sleep on the ground (it's possible ...isn't it!?). I was looking for a quiet time to commune with nature, work on my writing, straighten out some thoughts. I found I could rent a cabin in Letchworth for fairly reasonable. Why not? I figured I could get in plenty of hiking without having to carry all of my junk.

It was a perfect retreat. I hiked at least 10 miles per day. I had the luxury of a fridge and a well as shelter. To condense the week--I hiked, wrote, read, ate, slept (repeat this cycle over and over).

I was somewhat surprised by family visits. My brother Pat came early on Friday and spent the night. Sister Camille, husband Mike and two sons came on Saturday. Mom and sister Doreen came on Friday. Evy and all of her family showed up on Sunday in the late afternoon. It may sound as though I was not alone at all...actually it blended well (just enough time alone and with company).

The big nature sightings included a porcupine, many deer, constant chipmunks and squirrels, and huge swarms of bugs. The weather was wet at times, cold at other times, and occasionally sunny (I guess all of my years in the desert makes me open to the rain). I found myself very appreciative of the shelter. Again, the mix was enjoyable.

I did get some writing done. The final tally is 90 pages drafted on my mermaid/merman/merworld fantasy. The time alone gave me plenty of time to think through some of my ideas, create new directions for the piece, and get plenty down on paper. I feel almost ready for Benbecula Island.

I learned a new word- wabi. It was used in a book on architecture I read. It is more or less taking something you might not appreciate and looking at it in a new way. I applied it to the artistic graffitti filling the walls of my cabin- very wabi.

Well, my friends, I am in complete need of a shower. I know the librarians are asking themselves...who is this guy?Thanks for your continued reading and remember wabi is where you find it.