written (mostly) at the time
was waiting to upload photos!
Most of the Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace Festival is over, there were only two events that lingered past my arrival Sunday [15 March] – I chose to add them to my tourist itinerary as prep for the Dialogue Under Occupation conference that I dash to next.
I spent some time Monday afternoon [16 March] sitting under a wood-cut and linocut (2/8, 1996) by Angela Lemaire. No photographs were allowed, but the text underneath a citysprawl intercut by yellow triangles reads:
Triangles: LIGHT IN THE CITY. Triangles is a service activity for men and women who believe in the power of thought. Working in groups of three, they establish right human relationships by creating a world-wide network of light and goodwill.
Earlier, I gazed upon the castle and walked some of The Royal Mile . . .
The cabbie who brought me from the airport had suggested that I get where I can watch the light fade – he was right. I couldn’t absorb all of the running commentary so late last night when I arrived but he did a terrific job extolling the glories of the city; I wish I had more time!
Tuesday evening, I wanted to watch twilight fall on the water . . . anyplace high where I could get a beer with a view? The chap at the storyteller’s place whom I asked for a recommendation mused, “That’s the thing with Scotland, if you want comfort we go to ground.” His statement totally reframed my take on the basement room in the bed and breakfast where I was staying! I was given the lead to King’s Wark . . . it wasn’t as “on” the water as I had in mind, so I wandered around for awhile.
is homey in comparison to the glamour of the Royal Mile. After trying The Granery, and getting turned around looking for The Waterline on another recommendation, I wound up back at King’s Wark, where I had a cask-conditioned Caledonian 80 with clams & mussels for what might have been a third of the in-town price.
Most of my time revolved around preparing the talks. I nearly always operate in the last minute like this. The base idea circulates for a long time, but the final preparations are best kept as near as possible to the moment in real time. Perhaps this is why the gentleman I met at the Scottish Storyteller’s Centre suggested I stay in touch?
The best stories feel spontaneous – the labor of laying down the framework remains unseen.