Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Bruce just sent a few shots from our trip, including these:

On the Amalfi Coast. Where else??
That's me centre-stage at Pompeii - feeling right at home.

And now I'm so immersed in what there is to do here that I can hardly remember being away. I have a cold thanks to my adorable grandson, and am still woozy with jet-lag, but there's so much to do. Spent yesterday with my fantastic helper Grace preparing an email blast to 250 friends and students, inviting them to the book launch; also set up PayPal and the book's Facebook and Event pages, went to see the Local Gest where the event will be held, and got 100 posters printed. Did laundry, sorted papers, went through mail, checked my income tax returns and spoke to my dear friend John who does them, had lunch with Wayson, did a grocery shop in his car, put a frantic call through to my patient bank manager ETC.

"Home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in," said the poet. And I say, Home is where, when you have to go there, you have to do the maintenance and upkeep.

Woke at 4.30 am worrying about various things.

What I learned from this trip: The world is full of treasure. The world is full of tragedy. Every country has its own particular brand of lunacy and light. It's good to rip up your roots and roam. Returning helps you appreciate the familiar.

I know, these are hardly searing insights. Bear with me - my brain is melting into my neck.

Yesterday, I was rushing to RePrint to pick up the posters when a First Nations man stopped me. He was youngish, not badly dressed but in bad shape; he told me his name, that he was looking for an employment centre. I brushed him off. I'm sorry, I don't have any change at all, I said, which was true, and rushed away. And at 4 a.m., I regretted immensely that I had not given him some money. He was not drunk, he was a man in distress, and I didn't take the time to listen or pay attention. What would the loss of $20 from my wallet mean to me, as opposed to him? I'm sorry, my friend. I'll try to be more open as I rush around being home.

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