A Thousand Years of Good Prayers
May 11, 2015, 9:34 pm
Filed under: wondering road | Tags:

“It begins, and ends, with tears,” the world thought as she wept herself into lakes, rivers and streams.

Pitter-pattering down from the textured expanse of clouds came well thought out twinkles, each sinning prism a testament to the regenerative power of life. Slowly, surely, she turned on her slightly tilted axis to cover her expanse with the love only the ravaging of condensed air can bring.

Tip. Tip-tap. Tip. Tip-tap. Tip-tip-tip-tip-tip;tap-tap-tap-tap. Tip. Tip-tap. Tip. Tip-tap.

And on it went, never halting in its two-step in time.  A tip landed on the nose of a woman. Her dance stopped for a moment as she gazed inquisitively at the air-made mountains in the sky. But only for a moment, only the staccato abatement of a leg, and then she was on the rhythm again.

Tip. Tip-tap. Tip. Tip-tap.

All lines, curves and hollows, the turquoise-blue-green that wound about her were not at all dampened by the downpour. In fact, as the prisms fell and broke apart against her, the colors took on a phantasmagorical sheen. Gold, silver, bronze, and all of the colors inside of the earth came out to greet the rain with her. Faster now.

Tip-tip-tap. Tip-tip-tap, tip-tap.

Air, water and the fire in her belly melded to make never before seen hues. Spinning.


Flowing from one element to the next, each adding its own composition to the symphonic creation of light, sound, and being. Roaring.

There are no words to describe a storm before breaking. Only the experience that is recorded in our mind’s eye, the awe of its fury, the amazingness of its expression in life nurturing bullets, the knowing that storms bring destruction and destruction is a function of change.

Of the whirling dervish that dances and laughs feverishly in the storm, the winds cooling her, the waters soothing her brow, the thunder finding companionship in her clatterous laughter, the lightning finding kinship in her shine, none of that is left. Just a single marble, ocean colored with a flickering fire inside it hangs in a newly vacant space, twirling. Ends.



playing catch-up – june 22, 2009
December 1, 2011, 9:02 am
Filed under: wondering road

i’ve been gone for over a month now and although few of them have been recorded here, the adventures have been non stop. after i left the love of my life, holyrood park in edinburgh, i spent the next three days traveling to holland. i did a little research and found that train and ferry were there best way for me to get there. knowing that much i decided to let the rest figure itself out. after one last looong walk in holyrood i went to the train station and in my excitement misread the train boards. i bought a ticket for a train that was actually arriving and not leaving, and by the time i figured out my mistake the train that was actually going where i wanted had left. it was 7pm and the next train to london wasn’t until 11:40 and the woman at the ticket counter didn’t know if there was would be space on it. i was told to ask at the first class counter. there was no one there. so is spent the next hour.5 playing with my hair and watching the door to see if anyone might ever show up. someone eventually did after i had lost all hope and figured i’d just be sleeping on the bench i appeared to be leasing from the station. she was very nice and let me know that yes indeed there would be space, and she even let me snarf the first class passengers tea and cookies athough i wasn’t one. my only real complaint is that though i had a ticket for travel, they never checked! the most expensive ticket i’ve bought so far for nothing! oh well you live and you learn.

the train ride was nice and it was incredibly pleasant to watch the sunrise over the english countryside. i arrived in london bright and early with a strong desire to sleep and nowhere to do it. i needed to be in the port town of harwich by 9 or so to try and buy a ferry ticket, so i spent the day wandering around london. and i made the most wonderful discovery, frobscottle and snoozecumbers! while looking for somewhere to pee i was directed to the children’s museum which happened to be having an exhibit on the illustrations that quentin blake did for the roald dahl books, which means that i promptly pooped myself with joy. i spent the next few hours with a smile plastered to my face as i discovered more than i ever knew existed about the history of children’s amusement and those lively little illustrations that used to make me squirm with delight. i was also fortunate enough to be a fly on the wall during an interview with one of fela kuti’s cronies who was opening an exhibit at a little gallery on my path. i was trying to see a movie, but had missed the time, typical, but instead i was able to listen to him tell his story to a reporter as i got a look at the exhibit being put together. awesome sauce of the tastiest kind.

i caught my train to harwich, after having to run through the train terminal with my overstuffed backpack and getting left by the first one i wanted, and arrived with plenty of time to spare. i was able to get a ticket without issue and returned to the occupation that paid my rent on benches, playing with my hair. finally it was time to board and as i did three guys in front of me on the gangplank could not resist the urge to shout, i never thought i’d be on a boat, it’s a long blue watery road posieeedon look at meeeee!! for those of you who know the lonely island, you know what comes next. the moment was perfect. i found my cabin, which i had to myself, had a nightcap and a cigarette as i watched the lights of england fade behind me and then for the first time in more than 48 hours, laid down and went to sleep. when i was woken up by dutch blaring over the speaker above my head i can tell you it was one of the saddest moments of my life. i was sleeping the kind of sleep that makes you feel that never waking up again wouldn’t be quite so bad. but awake i was, and in holland! one of my favoritest of countries. we landed in hoek van holland, a cute little resort town and i caught the train to rotterdam. i had no hostel reservations and spent my first hour.5 there in the information office trying to find somewhere to sleep. little did i know that if i had just asked the woman at the desk my problem could have been solved in five minutes. sigh. i’m realizing i really do like taking the long way to get places. moving on.

i ended up at hostel room, an awesome art deco hostel located on the river maas near the erasmus bridge. my room wasn’t ready yet, so i found myself once again wandering around a european town delirious from lack of sleep. good times. i went to the museum which happened to be free that day and held out from going to sleep for as long as i could. i made it until about 4 in the afternoon. i woke up the next day quite pleased with myself. and that’s where i will end this now. a tale of two cities comes next.

edinburgh ahhhh – june 10, 2009
December 1, 2011, 8:53 am
Filed under: wondering road

so it’s been a long while since i’ve added anything to the site because the rolling hills of scotland have been distracting me. i only intended to spend a weekend in this capital, and 8 days later i’m still here. what can i say, i fell in love. there’s many reasons i love edinburgh, the unbelievable architecture, the friendliness of the people, the awesomeness of my flatmates, but mostly it’s due to holyrood park. this park spreads over the hilliest areas of the city culminating in the craggy peak of arthur’s seat with unbeatable views of the northern seas. but even that is not what i love about it. over grass, dirt, moss and stone, a vein-like system of trails has been made by people literally beating their own path, i can look at the park from almost any angle and see brightly colored spots scrambling over rocks and boulders. i don’t know what it is about scottish terrain, but it’s just incredibly easy to walk over, even if it happens to going over the side of a cliff. being the awful tourist that i am i spent most of my days sunning, climbing and walking rather than looking at yet another painting by titian, rembrant or van gogh, which is not to diss them, but honestly, i’ve been seeing the same artists in different museums my whole life.

anywho, outside of my nature loving days i also spent glorious nights in edinburgh. both of my flatmates, luke and ed, welcomed me into their world and let me steal some of their friends. ed, an austin texan, had friends visiting from undergrad and at the end of a day of wandering i ran into them on my way back to the hostel. they invited me to come with them to the pub, so i did an about face and from there the rest is history. we ended the night celebrating vegas at the local burlesque showhouse and walking the walk of the tired, drunk and excited through the streets in the semi-dark of scottish summer nights. ahh, the best of times. sadly they were leaving to go trekking in the highlands, which as i later heard was mostly occupied by paper-boat races, annoying a serious middle aged trekker named barb, and sleeping. but when they got back i had the most beautiful welcome. i was in the kitchen making breakfast (or lunch for those of you who think breakfast can’t be eaten at 2 in the afternoon) when ed walks in. that was the first time i´d seen  any of them since they’d been back. we said hi, chatted for a second, and he abruptly leaves. approx 2 minutes later phil and peter burst into the kitchen, literally scaring me into dropping my spoon into breakfast, and enveloped me in a huuuge bro hug. they, like i, thought i would be gone already; i felt the love : – ).

while ed and the boys were the party guys, putting their livers through truly herculean tests of endurance, luke and i were just super chill. an archaeologist from toronto, we delighted in nerding out with each other and complaining about why people suck. his friend rich, his soulmate should he ever decide he’s gay, would join us and it would turn into the best bouts of trash talking and snarky one liners. we got our share of shennanigans in too though. the memory of streetlights playing over slick cobblestone streets as we raced past frisbee flying, the steady click-click of our heels providing the background for my narration of this huge moment in sports history, will always make me smile. there’s more to be said about edinburgh, which i can’t force myself to sit in front of the computer and write now. meh, all things with time.

warning: this post might aggravate those with adhd – may 29, 2009
December 1, 2011, 8:33 am
Filed under: wondering road

now that i’m gone i feel like i can provide an account of my experience in dublin. to tell of it as it’s happening it to limit it. now in the past, it is something whole that i can put a handle on. dublin is a simple city full of friendly people, meandering streets and lanes, a proud gaelic heritage and a sense of levity in life that i highly commend. this applies to the city centre of town, i never made it to the outskirts so i can’t offer any info on those areas but in my experience the suburbs of anywhere are pretty much the same. although i liked it, all the dubliners i met thought the city was crap. filled with georgian architecture i sometimes felt like i was in dc, it’s the only other city i know of where the buildings in a downtown area don’t tend to go above 5 or 6 stories. one of the downsides to dublin is that it’s overflowing with people like me, travelers out to drink in the world. fortunately enough for myself i was able to get away from that. if you’re a young traveler looking to go out in dublin the place you’re likely to be sent is temple bar. while it has a distinctly irish flavor, it’s pretty much like any other touristy night-on-the-town scene to be found in a big city. my advice: check out a concert or a type of event you’d be likely to go to at home, that’s where you’ll find the like spirited people of that place.

as predicted toots and the maytails brought the spirit i needed, and as with most of my stories it starts in the past. the day of the concert, wednsday, was a hectic one. i’d been up late the night before meeting my hostel family. that’s one of the most beautiful things about traveling, if you stay long enough in any place there’s a little family that gets created, and this one was quite something. it consisted of: a, a young woman from ohio who’d been teaching in scotland; r, an older peruvian man living in germany; m, a young german guy recovering from a speed addiction who’d been taken under r’s wing; and t, a german economics student who’d been partially raised in south africa. i’d met a, r and m over dinner; we were all making pasta in the hostels’ kitchen and i just happened to poke my nose into their convo when it turned to news of the next soccer match. it’s barcelona against manchester, i answered without being asked. that progressed to us eating dinner together and making plans to go out that night. we never made it past the stoop. m met some german girls that were going to go out with us. i brought the beer i’d been gifted earlier and shared my bounty while we waited. the german girls never showed, but a group of german guys did. t was one of them; quite drunk already we lighted on the topic of what the hell is wrong with the world and found we both had quite a lot to say about it. they say alcohol and politics don’t mix, but this time it worked. i eventually decided to go inside and sleep, i knew the next day was gonna be a full one. we made plans to reconvene at three for a soccer match and to try and meet up after the concert in, where else, temple bar.

i woke up the next morning, tired, hungover, and having missed breakfast. very slowly i got my life together and went to have brunch with a girl i’d met on a cruise in the carribean about a year.5 ago. we’d exchanged e-mail addresses and had kept in touch through that damnable yet undeniable facebook. it was nice. i ate in a restaurant for the first time since i’d been gone and got to pry into ireland from a different perspective. after lunch, i scoped out the bus station and ran back to the hostel to meet the fam. needn’t have bothered. m was missing, r was doing laundry and t and a had no idea what to do from there. i decided to use the extra time to pack since it would have not only been outrageously audacious planning on my part but rude, to do in the morning. after that i finished a few more errands, getting my phone unlocked and getting a new sim card, getting dressed and re-dressed a million times. i didn’t know where the venue was so i left early to provide ample time to get lost. which i did, but i needn’t have worried about that either, i was there at exactly concert start time and they hadn’t even opened the doors yet. go figure.

tripod stands out like a gargoyle among stuffed animals. surrounded by quaint georgian townhouses, tripod is a dominating dungeon warehouse of a place, one look and you know something interesting is in store. i was one of the first inside so it was pretty empty, i grabbed a guiness, took a tour, wrote a little bit and waited for it to fill in. feeling slightly awkward being at a concert alone, i sat in their loungey area fiddling with my phone and trying to understand how it worked ( i got it in chile 5 years ago making it now a total mystery to me). when i’d finished my guiness and my fiddling i went back into the main room to find it packed. all the white people with dreadlocks in dublin had come out for the show. on stage were three of them crooning with all the irish reggae soul one can imagine. and then, there was toots.

what can one say about toots, the man took us to church. with the soul of james brown, the leather of rick james, and the swagger of a man who knows his business he had the place jumping. total total total total awesomeness. somehow everyone was not inspired to move their dancing feet, which i found absurd, but i was very pleased to have another devotee to the dance beside me. after rocking out and befriending the dancer next to me. i started on my way back to the tourist’s world. luckily for me, a cigarette changed all of that. i had given all of mine away the night before, so i stopped to bum one from a group on the street. it turned out they had been at toots as well and were also feeling the glow of dance and spirit. we chatted it up and they invited me to hang with them for the night. i let them know i was on my way to meet friends, and they were not put out at all, to temple bar to find your friends then, and if we don’t you must come to this reggae spot with us. and off we went. we got to temple bar and didn’t find them, so away we went. andrea, damien, tony, katy and ben, the best companions for a night on the town one could ever ask for. we danced the night away to ska, roots, rock and reggae in an underground pub that couldn’t have been more like home if they’d had the brownie man on telegraph there. after we had worked the band to their limits, holding down the front row and keeping the group pumped to play long after their trumpet player had called it quits, we left and headed to andrea’s place. we spent the rest of the night doing what it is that young bohemians do. and then the sun came up. i went out for a few minutes to greet the dawn, as is my custom when i’m awake to catch it and gave my thanks to the universe. a couple hours later me and katy were in a taxi back to our respective places, she had work and i had a bus to catch. and that is how dublin ended for me.

scotland began with me falling asleep on the train after having been to both of belfast’s airports trying to catch my plane to glasgow. to anyone making the trip anytime soon, note that ryanair flies out of the city airport no matter where it’s going. i eventually made it, and spent the next few hours napping in between train connections. but i finally made it edinburgh, where i am now, staying in a friend’s flat. it’s an absolutely gorgeous city, which i have been lucky enough to catch with the sun. as with dublin i won’t attempt to write it down until i’m finished with it, but so far i’m in love. arthur’s seat is behind me outside the flat’s kitchen window and i am looking forward to doing some hiking, which is desperately needed after a week of living the life dublin. that’s all for now. oh no, just kidding. i’ve also added pictures! keeping in line with my worst tourist ever mo, they are random, few and have little if nothing at all to do with the places i’ve been. but everybody likes pictures right?!

where do we go from here? – may 26, 2009
December 1, 2011, 8:19 am
Filed under: wondering road

right now the road leads to scotland. i was all excited and pumped up to reconnect with a friend doing amazing things in edinburgh when that damn murphy tracked us down and gave him mono. he goes back to oakland tomorrow, once again, alas. but all is well, being the piece of beautiful that he is he offered to let me stay in his flat so although he won’t be there, i have a home in scotland. he also has two other friends coming on the 31st who are from oakland too, so that should be interesting. it’s hard to get a group of people from the bay together and not have somewhat fantastical times ensue. dublin continues to be pretty and i continue to sleep, walk and drink it in. my internal clock has finally gotten used to the time change and is correctly waking me up at 11:45 instead of 6 in the morning. it feels good to be back on track! in between the walking, sleeping and drinking there have been a fair number of stories, but of course they can’t all make it onto here, and some simply aren’t meant to be told to the general public, but here’s one for the road:

after i made it back to the hostel from my night out with the future health care workers of france, which was a story in itself, i was enjoying my last smoke of the night, inhaling with it the damp air of the early morning, the exoticism of being so far from home and the warm fuzzy glow that travel gives me. i was presently joined by a group of six young french people. in halting english they asked me if i could find them alcohol. i sadly told them no. nonplussed, they sat themselves on the stoop and proceeded to ask all persons that went by the same question. they finally landed upon a pair of irish late nighters, and after having watched their futile attempts i resolved to help them in their quest. i stood up, and promptly tripped down the stairs. i straightened myself with as much dignity as i could manage, tossed the hair that doesn’t fall to my shoulders and provided a translation of what they were looking for. in the end, i think i only made it worse. the irelanders understood that they were looking for alcohol, and they asked for how many. i said six, they repeated that to find that much for six would be impossible. the main protagonist of the french group got confused by his accent and thought they were asking for sex, which she vehemently told them they were not going to get. and i found myself stuck in a complicated language triangle. i vainly tried to bring up my year of french, only managing to garble out a non-sensical statement about wanting and six. i’m sure it didn’t help. i eventually gave up and sat right back down on the stoop to finish my night gazing. the irish guys eventually gave up too and as it turned out were other inhabitants of the hostel, so they brushed past us up the stairs and to the interior. when i was through, i went back inside and turned the corner to my stairs only to find those same guys heading back out with a trio of beers. they stopped and chatted me up for a second as we tried to puzzle out exactly what had happened a few minutes before. it turned out they were from belfast and in dublin for the weekend. they asked, and i told them that i was here traveling around, you know, just out exploring the world. they seemed quite touched by this and insisted that i take their spare beer. never one to refuse anything free i said sure. they gave me huge hugs and wished me well on my journey, and that was that. i returned to my room a beer richer and went to sleep with dreams of silly drunk people dancing in my head.

all of that to say that life continues as it ever has for me, experience by experience, almost all of them funny, most of them inspired by the chance encounters of the universe, which i have recently decided is a polyverse. and i have been on the internet for a million years planning my next steps, so now i go to actually take them.

the nose knows – may 24, 2009
December 1, 2011, 8:13 am
Filed under: wondering road

stab. a bright blade of light penetrates the shield of my eyelids and i find myself no longer dreaming. blink and sigh. the rustle of borrowed sheets as i stretch myself back into awareness of this world. eyes now open though not totally adjusted i browse my surroundings to see what the morning brings. green carpets, yellow walls and the bunk beds that line them. ten, but only two others besides my own are occupied. i am grateful to be spared the dense press of the basement dorm twice this size with half the charm. i roll over to my right and look at the patchwork of windows, plaster and wood that create the dublin skyline. ahead are geometrically odd windows tinted yellow, purple and blue with the fresh paint strokes of dawn. heavy textured clouds create a quilt of light and density to the north- on my left- while the southern sky remains clear and opaque to the shifting of heat air and energy. squinting. reaching my neck forward to try and discern the direction of the sea. little luck, the city surrounds me and the presence of a crane provides the only hint to the possible direction of the port. i inhale deeply savoring the slightly musty, damp and blue smell that always carries memories of travel, adventure, discovery, rampant smoking and intoxication. not just with alcohol but with this way of life. every once and again i catch this scent on my own continent; it is rare and happens more often in the east than in the west i make home. though the images and feelings are a complex mosaic of experience, there is only one thought that adequately describes what this scent makes me think, feel and tingle: the lands beyond.

may 24, 2009
December 1, 2011, 8:05 am
Filed under: Uncategorized, wondering road

So originally i was going to make the website all pretty and appealing, but then i figured what the hell i might as well just start posting now and consider it as i do life, a work in progress. besides, this way you guys can give me feed back. it’s sunday now and i’ve spent three nights in dublin, though only one of them has actually been terribly productive. i was planning to do dinner and drinks with the andalucians but couldn’t make it past dinner; honestly after doing a day of touring irish museums speaking nothing but spanish my brain was pretty fried. so i spent a quiet night in the hostel, went for my standard midnight stroll and left it at that. yesterday was a day of traveling at far more my speed, not being much of a tourist the day spent with estella and antonio doing the sightseeing thing was more of an excuse for me to practice being social and speaking spanish somewhat coherently again. it wasn’t until yesterday when i put my wandering shoes on that i really began to feel like i was journeying. the first thing i discovered? cocoa butter! and lots of it. right around the corner from my hostel is a beauty supply store well stocked in all forms of palmer’s cocoa butter; it was then i knew that i could work this city. that discovery inspired me to go shopping, obvious right?! i don’t know what it is, i could be wearing the latest in jazzy fashion, but if i’m not moisturized it just doesn’t feel right; i’ve been saying it since i was seven: moisturization is the key to life. moving on, so i wandered around dublin taking advantage of all their sales (they’re going through a recession right now as well, so as with us, it’s all incentives to buy everywhere, and this time i caved :-). many hours and a full shopping bag later i arrived back at the hostel to find claire and laura, two french medical students with whom i share the corner of our basement dorm, planning their nights activities. in an interesting mix of french and english we decided we’d go out together. all moisturized and freshly decked in european sale fashion, i was ready. we wanted to go to an irish dance show, but that turned out to be a bust so we went to the tourist trap that is the temple bar area.

after perusing the options, we settled on a place called fitzsimmons. there was live music, a cover band playing mostly u.s. favorites from the end of the last millenium, a sardine like press of drunkies shouting along to bon jovi and greenday, and for whatever reason a ton of bachelor and bachelorette parties happening. me being me, it didn’t take long for some random to approach me and entice me to lift my jameson and my voice in cahoots with everyone around me. a jig was done, hugs were shared, he introduced me to his best friend, and then he was gone. it didn’t really bother me, he’d been stepping on my new shoes. laura and claire were clearly unimpressed by the place and it was hard to converse across both a language barrier and the rowdy bar atmosphere. we wandered the pub’s many levels and ended up on the third level where the dj was heavy into his set of dancehall inspired top 40’s tunes, wierd to say the least. we danced a little, though they weren’t much into the music which made it even harder to really enjoy, but whatev’s, give me a rhythm and a drink and i could generally care less what anyone around me is doing. and apparently i was doing a damn good job of it, i was invited to a wedding two weeks from now, but the inviter was not inspiring so i pretended i didn’t understand english (the true grace of being bilingual!) eventually i had to leave claire and laura because i just couldn’t take the whole, we’re out but not really enjoying ourselves deal, so i went to the roof terrace for a smoke break. there i met the manager of a head shop here in dublin, of course, and his friend who was visiting from germany ( i do get around don’t i, she said knowingly), we talked shit for a bit then went back down to the dance floor because the night air was a tad nipply. after getting into my groove again, i left, tired of being trampled on and being reminded of how poorly europeans dance. it may seem harsh, but that is huge to me. even to me it sounds a little arrogrant and ridiculous, but it’s really difficult to be the only person on beat in a room full of people. now that’s not really the point of dance i know, and i have thrown many a personal dance party where rhythm was not invited, but i just can’t do the thrash around stupidly in public dance. ok, enough trash talking. after i left, not being able to find claire and laura on my return to the dance floor, i went to the neighborhood’s namesake and had a little nightcap, chatted with yet another irish person that thinks dublin is the pits, and took myself home. while enjoying my last cigarette of the night i tried to help a group of french people procure alcohol at 3:30 in the morning, succeeding only in tripping down the stairs and making an ass of myself. despite the lack of luck for the frenchies, it did end up with me being gifted a beer so all’s well that ends well! i woke up quite sure that i’d been drinking the night before and was glad for it. and now that i’m through assaulting the nostrils of the people around me i’m off to shower. toots.

p.s. speaking of toots, toots and the maytails will be here next week, i swear to amen ra that they follow me around the world; everytime i opened the paper in the bay, toots and the maytails were coming, everytime i opened the paper in new york, toots and the maytails were coming, and now in dublin! i just might have to go, besides, i’m sure my people will be there ;-P

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