Friday, January 13, 2017

York to Bristol In Grey Skies (July 2012)

York to Bristol...

We didn't spend enough time in York. What a beautiful town and everywhere I turned in the small winding cobblestone streets lines from Richard III echoed through my head.  I brought with me (on the IPad, I'm not lugging my Riverside Collected Works nor my most prized possession of a First Folio) the Collected Works of Shakespeare and confess to re-reading Richard III and Richard II on the drive out of York.  

One thing that saddens me is to see in these old parts of the city the same stores: Boots, TK Maxx, Banana Republic, The Gap.  Strip mall culture has hit. And it's sad to see TopShop right next to a thousand year old Church. Homogenization of the world is a sad sad thing.  Nothing to fight. It's inevitable. But I prefer the old Parfumaries and the 2 chair barber shops and the tea shops. I don't need to buy anything while I'm here. I'm trying to downsize my life, get rid of the extraneous. I take pictures and write. And buy a sweatshirt because I'm freezing.  Other than that, you can have your tat.

I read and slept on the drive back up to Bristol.  I've discovered a podcast out of Marfa, TX radio by Tift Merrit, called The Spark. I listened to her interview (full of giggling) with Patty Griffin, a serious one with Mary Gauthier, and a really in depth one with Emmylou Harris.  I love this podcast. I'm looking forward to getting to the rest of them.  

Billy White, Alejandro's guitar player, is this interesting guy that once played with Dokken (hope I'm spelling that right, not having much knowledge of hair band music), gave it all up to go live in San Miguel de Allende to raise a child and has come back. He's very deliberate in conversation and spiritual and the conversations are always interesting.  Bobby the bass player is the voice of reason. Been there, done it, and still has a wide-eyed fascination with life and is wise wise wise with a sharp and dry sense of humor. A vegan and a long distance runner, he's inspiring.  Chris is the drummer.  Young spirit. LIke this is his first time on the planet. He's funny, chatty, welcoming and warm, and reminds me a lot of my brother Matt.  The Sprinter is filled with fruit and hummus and soft bread and rice cakes and organic peanut butter and water.  Town to town....

A restless night in a taco that was disguised as a bed in a Bristol Travelodge that seems nice, except for being stuck in the elevator yesterday during a power outage and the car I was in dropped 1/2 a floor. Might not seem like much, but I had an electric moment of thinking this would be a horrible way to go (me=quick to jump to the worst possible conclusion).  Trapped there for probably only 2 minutes, claustrophobia setting in, gripping my throat and I tried to remain calm.  Pressed all the buttons, but there was no Emergency Button nor no way to contact anyone.  When I was released, I spent the next few times up and down to my room on the stairs.  I was ready for a drink. And to get out of this hotel for a moment, so I wandered into the center of Bristol with Mike our tour manager to the canals and we found a lovely old pub named, of course, Shakespeare's Tavern. And had a nice meal. Not that I'm a heavy drinker or someone that eats a ton of meat, but I had a few glasses of wine last night after really not drinking much on this trip and I had steak and ale pie and I did not sleep well. It's quite revealing to give something up and then add it back and see the havoc it can wreck on your body, sleep and psyche. I woke up completely depressed and sluggish.  Didn't feel right. Thought I was coming down with something. But I wasn't. And I wasn't even hung over. Just the effects of adding toxins back in after detoxing.  I love wine, don't get me wrong, and I like to eat meat once in a while, but after 12 days of not really drinking and sticking as much as I can to a clean diet, it really did a number on me.  

Bristol is nice, so far that I can see, but I think, after I get my head back together after a good strong cup of tea and some yogurt and fruit for breakfast, I'm going to take a run and then take a train to Bath. Get out. Explore something new. It is bound to change something in my psyche. Letting go of anything is such an effort and takes way longer than any of us ever would expect. And it creeps up in odd places and in odd ways. Like a ghost bird, limping along beside...I think what this fog in my heart calls for is some solitude in a new town with a new journal. Then to get back to Bristol for dinner and play guitar tonight, finish a song, start a new one. Just stay in the moment, grey as it may be, but full of possibility....

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