Remember , earlier in this ‘year of ageing dangerously,’ I outlined a series of ‘mostly’ small journeys, each with its own peculiar personal meaning. Well, Trip #2 is about to commence. While the first of this 2019 travel series was the California Black Mountain birthday climb fueled by a promise of borscht and cucumber vodka at the end, this trip is all about Home/Real Home/Me and the Real Home. The old nourish-the-inner-child routine mentally; reboot the dwindling energy supply physically. To accomplish those objectives there are a few challenges: Start sleeping again for example—insomnia having struck for the first time in my life. I am imagining the cure will be breathing the pure green air thick along the birch-crowded Mississippi river banks. Then there’s my difficult relationship with food—what better place to jump-start hunger than the land of white food and, let’s face it, much of my favorite food is white: Mashed potatoes, walleye, marshmallow malts from Dairy Queen. Hard to understand how my children and grandchildren became such dedicated kale and broccoli eaters. If I get sleeping and eating under control it’s time more than well spent; it’s time turned golden.
What about the mental, emotional, spiritual side of life? That seems a bit lackluster as well. What are the chances Minnesota is the fix for that? The question might be whether I can write my way out of the year’s fixation on age (accompanied by mild cases of … fear … despair … confusion)? Two weeks at my undemanding bro’s Minnesota home will surely give me the impetus to begin. To write steadily and smartly, all the while knowing I can write my book…the one over which I’ve been obsessing these last years. It was quite a number of years ago in a small bedroom in my cousin’s house in the far north of Koochiching County, Minnesota that I had my best writing success in terms of concentration and imagination coming together. I was living on California unemployment insurance, sharing the room with a thin bed, books in stacks and piles, drawers of sweatshirts and wool socks, a table-desk and my dog Max. I wrote a third or so of a book called Bitter Sanctuary. But then…life in the form of work and moving on brought those months when I was a ‘real’ writer to a halt. However the finest bits and pages from that book have found their way into my present writing project…nothing writers write is ever in vain…isn’t that the morale of this story.