313.February 22

Nottingham, UK

Our house course was from 0830 to 1030, and then I met again about my English dept course in the university, room A43. I joined Tasha at the Russian tearoom at 1500 before our 1600 rehearsal.


Shrewsbury (pronounced ‘ShrOs Bree’), UK

I’m in Birmingham International Airport after a long but restful night aboard KLM watching “Mrs Brown.” I’m wearing my grey pinstripe suit, what I like to think of as my Irish suit. I thought “why not make it a game?” 

I’m waiting at the train platform #3 to Wolverhampton, but I’m only going to Birmingham New Quay, where I will change to the Shrewsbury train for 7,80 pounds: here it comes. 

Ok. I stood on that train, heard a “goodbye, mommies gon’to hospital” “you’ll have to come with me to Oxford if she’s not out by tonight.” Then after those 15 minutes, I struggled to find my Shrewsbury connection, which is the train to Aberystwth. I sat at a table and was joined by a lovely young lady with glasses for reading. I’m showing my suspenders, with a tie in between. She wears a tweety bird with bubbles. 

I fulfill the wish gravity makes upon me and tumble to bed, into one of many beds in cot ville, a long hall of untucked sheets. Over 30 hours since my last shower, though I did shave in the airport loo. Many muslim women enshrouded around me it seems this night chamber creates that kind of mimicry, mysticism. 

I feel her burning, quivering, like a breath swept candle. Easily snuffed, more perfectly allowed to burn down, unwatched, but lit up by the deep pooling wells of some blackest fire controlled. Within depths of a coal black furnace. Not trembling themselves perhaps, but seeming so with the light of what’s inside. This to terrifying too unknown the outcome. Too well known that no light will ever escape. A cosmic hole, energized, but all goes in and nothing out. And nothing from me neither. The sky, lit bright goes unwatched for the clouds. 

Everyone, so lazy even in their seats read, sleep, and otherwise pay not an ounce of attention to me. My mouse goes un-owled. My curtain, unhung, my window locked. 

I smell of burning, and we are shortly in Telford. We cross under bridges of all kinds every few minutes. I understand that the powerful burning will end. The smell will fade, and the lives of all will go unwarmed by the open brick ovens of the heart. 

New people now are shuffling into old seats. A cell phone went off just minutes ago. But she got off, saying “Arrival.” I feel so beautiful under close inspection of assumption. I dare not let my eyes sleep a seat in the house of dreams. It will be a beautiful night. I think Shrewsbury will command all my attention tonight. If the Shaws have relaxation in mind, I’ll none of them. 

My Wellington Madame has stood and departed. Her fire burned out. In fact, I took my spectacle off and could not focus her fire into a bright enough patch to burn into me. The fate of fate unfulfilled. We have touched the sparkeler’s of travel. How long can they light a flame? 

I arrived in Shrewsbury, called Mari, and she said I could meet her at church at 18:30, St. John’s Hill Methodist. She would finish at 19:30. At this point, I had a different picture of her in mind than she really is, but oh well. Much younger. Well, she was leading the service, but I didn’t know that until now. 

Anyway, I was to eat first, because the gang was gone ‘til midnight, and I would have nothing constructive to do all evening. So I looked at the castle, and for food. Then I looked for the church, which took me across town. 

We don’t seem to have a place to let the thoughts just settle, so there is no real meeting of the minds going to occur. A separation of the minds.


I spent the night re-arranging and cleaning the house all night. Rachel had jewelry class at ArtHaus in Decorah. I rebuilt our shoe rack, which became usefully and wonderful after I turned it around, along with cleaning most of our clothes and the kitchen. It was a highly productive and tiring night.


After a heavy snowstorm last evening, I decided to be cautious and stay home with Rachel, working from home when necessary. We got a call from Jim saying that they were going to sign our offer to buy their house, and we scheduled to go to Caledonia to sign the paperwork and drop off our taxes at 1130. We had lunch at The Farmhouse to celebrate the fact that on May 1st, we will be moving into an enormous and beautiful house built in 1898 in the oldest residential lot in Spring Grove. We'll have a horse barn as our garage, and 8 foot doorways everywhere downstairs. We met Jim and Darla to celebrate at Docs with a pizza, and then went over the "our new house" for desert, wine, and beer. We stayed up talking until 0130 the next morning, and then walked home happy and excited to be moving in so soon.


At lunch, I went to Dave Judisch's house to pick up 20 posters for delivery in Winona by Rachel's father tomorrow. I was treated to two bowls of chili, a few muffins, apple slices and caramel. I got a tour of his drywall work in the garage and was otherwise treated very well for an hour.

Tonight is our pick-up rehearsal for "The American Dream" at YOOH. I'm excited to have a lovely weekend watching my fantastic cast perform. They are:  Kay C., Bill F., Jen S., Rachel Storlie, and Carl H.