Back home at last

What an amazing summer holiday! Yes, I had work too, wonderful work telling at the international storytelling festival in Wales, and in several places in Newfoundland, but I made holiday too!  Just to BE in Wales, and Cornwall, see friends in other parts of England, have a too brief stay in London, a longer one in St. John’s, see Gros Morne National Park, the puffins off Gull Island – all of this and more was a dancing miracle of a holiday.

I have been back from my travels to beyond British Columbia since August 16th, but I’ve been busy since then, catching up on sleep, and the garden, and friends and family, and, uhhh …, more sleep. I saw a movie for the first time in over two months.  (“Get Low” and it is great.)  Mostly though, I’ve been looking for work. The preparations for almost two months of being away as a working storyteller, plus the work I had booked prior to leaving on June 15th, meant that I had no work booked AFTER the tours!

I did not worry.

On my second day back I called the lovely man I work for doing data entry when storytelling gigs are not in the offing. Surprise!  He didn’t need my services for the moment, or for any other moment in the near future. I hung up the phone, fumes of jetlag curling around my brain, where an eerie stillness prevailed.  I surveyed the possibility of panicking, and just – didn’t. Instead, I grinned, shrugged and began using the blank space created by this news to step back a pace and see what new opportunities might be revealed. Now, my time IS getting filled looking for work of any sort, after all, I have to eat.  But I am also putting foremost some ideas for new ways to do my business, and make room for the “art part” to happen too. It always needs a lot of time around it, the art part does.

But I digress. Point is, the travels made me very happy, and I am managing to continue that happiness, and use it as a lens with which to view my ideas for future work. Not a bad gift to bring home from the lovely people I met, and lovely places I saw. I will try and say more about these people and places as I go along here in the next weeks. I will also try writing here on a more regular basis! I have enjoyed reading some of the comments people have been leaving for me – my thanks! – and I want you to find something new here when you come back.

For now, let me say that Cornwall, the wee bit of it I saw along the northern coast, is breathtaking. Tintagel, the traditional location for the epic Medieval romance of Tristan and Iseult (the story I took to Wales), is still there. It is a wild, windy headland, with caverns below it, grass, bracken, bare rock and ruins covering it, a steep bridge of stairs over to it and a working freshwater well at its centre.  It is hedged round with the trappings of tourism, from the necessary to the opportune, but it – literally and figuratively – rises above them in majesty.  It is so big, so open to the sky and the sea, so ancient, it can absorb all people walking on its pathways on any summer’s day, and you feel quite alone with its here-and-now beauty and its stone traces of the past.  Tintagel is a catch in the breath,  a glory in the heart and a mystery in the mind. The picture below is a feeble attempt on my part to convey that.

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