|Arrived, September 10, 1999, let me call it the
UMPTEENTH time...LOL!!! For the UMPTEENTH + 1
time, I left October 7, 2001. This page will feature a short account of
getting BACK to what has been the "alpha base" of my life, fair
OUT and living to tell the tale.
I got to Bloomington on September 10, 1999, after a relocation trip to the "beta base" of my life Berkeley, California, proved to be untenable...I'd anticipated the possibility , before leaving Indiana in mid-August, and had purchased a return ticket in advance for all of $59. The old-fashioned hand-written coupon tickets of Greyhound are good for travel ninety days after purchase and then expire, so I simply thought of it as insurance - my fail-safe escape hatch...
I had all of 35 cents, a quarter of which I found in the last rest stop before Indianapolis on the way south from Chicago. I'd made arrangements to stay the first few nights with someone I called before I left California...My first call, no one home...I was sitting wondering what to do next - I had some heavy luggage - when a good buddy, who'd actually gave me couch space coming and going before, walked into the depot. He was on his way north to a God-father's wake that week-end. He asked how I was. I replied great in that I'd made it back safely, and poorly in that I had no idea if my encouchment for the night would pan out. Then he said, I'll give you the key to my place for the week-end. All you have to do is be there on Monday when I get back. I'd begun reading Zen Lessons, the Zen Art of Leadership, so I was in a meditative mood, and now I had a hermitage for 3 days...Rest and Recuperation in solitude. Suddenly, the first fellow I called showed up with his van to take me to his place. Quickly, he agreed to drive me to my offer for the week-end. I dropped off the stuff, except for my guitar and hardly go-anyplace-without-it back pack...I chose to go to my favorite coffee house, the Runcible Spoon The owner gave me a sight for sore eyes look, and informed me he had some people in his downstairs breakfast lunch kitchen leave suddenly, did I mind doing dishes and bus-ing tables over the week-end? Mind? Does a leopard have spots? Of course I didn't mind!
crossing paths in such fortuitous ways?
Who knows how the warp and the woof
of our lives are woven by the Weaver?
After about two weeks, I met the daughter of two friends active in Monroe County's Community Theatre group...she was directing George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra. I suggested I'd be getting active again because I had a day hours job and could contemplate trying out...before I could say once I moved into my own dwelling from the shelter, she told me they cast was still looking for a bit player to be a centurion/soldier. It was then I told her about the shelter. Yet there wasn't any real reason why I couldn't take the part....the staff was delighted to give me permission to stay out past the curfew for that reason!
The whole time I was looking for rooming addresses...finally, After I had over 400 saved up, I connected with the manager of a rooming house I'd resided in several times before...arrangments were made! The day I got back to the shelter after signing a lease (It'd be 3 more days before I could move in), I turned the page in the Zen Lessons book and found #92 awaiting me. I will quote it in it's entirety...since that day, I've been "darning the patchwork robe"...
Are people HOME-less? Or, is it more accurate
To say - as Bob Dylan does - "no Direction HOME"?
Not to quibble at all, I know when you're exhausted
from lugging all you still need to call your own with you
that one doesn't have the luxury of thoughtful distinctions like these...
Please visit my HomeLESSness page for some further thoughts.
In which the reader may find the key
to walking happily out of some door, for goodness' sake...
originally a Vaudeville show...
I would be leaving with with no more than 2 luggage rack pieces on the bus, my guitar in a hard shell case, and a back pack for the overhead rack on the bus. The challenge was to stay happy discarding things, being the last to possess something before the dump, basically.
So, I took books to the county library Tuesday sale, some CDs too, A six point buck antler found a welcome home - I found the antler across the street from my house under a tree. Tamborine and a phone went to the same guy. Many documents, song folios cassette tapes, and books I sent to my host in Oregon. I paced myself from week to week, and it paid off...The owner of the rooming house offered me a pro-rated day by day deal for the week in October before my 30 day pass would kick in. All in All the pieces fit together quite fluidly. I was determined to be as Zen about it as I could. I've walked over two miles on a railroad track without stepping off - it's a question of balance is it not?
Where does it all lead? Like the Grateful Dead sang, "Arizona, New York...it's all the same street! Truckin', got my chips cashed in..." In my thousands of miles coming and going I've learned one thing: No matter where I go, there I AM...the road always leads back to YOU...let somebody familiar to you by now show you...The image is 36k