Arriving in Ashland Oregon after two delayed flights and one cancelled flight, one lost bag and a 3 hour overnight stay at the Hilton, Seattle, proved not so bad after all. I had two choices: be furious or "flow with the go" as I like to call it. After two days and one night travelling from Mexico to Oregon, I met an eccentric and chatty taxi driver who took me to the door of my 'destination' hotel...such an old worldly hotel with a huge Christmas tree twinking at me from the corner of the lounge.
Oh it's a beautiful town... this town is my dream town, rather its the sort of town one would dream about...quaint streets covered in Christmas lights, full of boutique shops with handmade goods; cafes with tasty organic food, bookshops full to overflowing with the best of the best, a park right in the centre of town with winding tracks along a creek of boulders. Smiling faces and happy dogs. I even saw three deer, walking the neighbourhood feeling at home in everyone's garden. One of them stared at me for a long time. I stood still, feeling like a tourist and at the same time feeling in awe of this creature. As though I understood something that had no name.
A change of place means an opportunity. What will I learn in this new town? I'm here to write, and the writing will be influenced by the experiences I have. I picked up some books in the bookshop, knowing that they would inform my work, one word at a time. Right now I am reading "Walking Each Other Home" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Of course I bought it for the title. Those of you who know me remember my show Home (La Boite 2012 followed by a season at QTC in 2015), the first play of The Belonging Trilogy, all of which focused on walking each other home. Ram Dass's book is about dying and therefore about living. He quotes Thich Nhat Hanh and I will finish with it:
No coming, no going
no after, no before
I hold you close
I release you to be free
because i am in you.
and you are in me.
He quotes this under the title "Being with the Dying". I could just as easily call it "Being with the Living". If we all lived lightly, if we all recognised ourselves in the other, just as I recognised part of myself in the deer; if distance proved no barrier and time didn't get in the way...I think the world would be a sparkling place. With winding streets and smiling faces. Bulging bookshops and streets lit up.