217.May 29

Edinburgh, Scotland

We caught a bus from the B&B to the station, stored our luggage and booked accommodation in Inverness for the next night. Then we walked to the Ruins, which are fake Greek temples We stopped at David Hume's cemetery. The view from the Ruins was incredible. Jill took many panoramic photos. Yellow is flashing me in the forms of flowers. We got on the train and bounded towards Inverness. We saw Dulwhinnie distillery from the train.


Some people pile gray

stones in the field

top of the ridges

some try to fill bogs

marshes, even them out

the piles are small, grave-like.

Those rocks with reeds

and cattails out the cracks.

The stones are just right for a pile.

they support the great blue sky,

dark as an ocean with waves,

strong stone-colored clouds piling

the grave of a bigger like me in the sky.

Another bigger likeness of me

is underneath that rocky sky rapids

in the wind lonely sky blue,

with reeds and rushes of light

growing out of the cracks

out underneath the rock pile in the sky

where the great big like me is buried.

We are now in our B&B, having just had tea and Scotland's Rich Highland biscuits. We will go on a walk about Inverness. We stopped at a Gunman's pub. We had a few pints and some whiskeys. Then we went to Pizza Land and I had a waitress fall head over heels in love with me. The wait staff were all talking about me. The host told me about it as I left. We stopped at another pub across the street, and had a few more pints.


Flight to Ireland & England: May 29th and June, 1997


The flights from Minneapolis to London and a smaller plane to Dublin were exciting. Sam and I felt the strong presence of time and freedom opening up in front of us, but I knew the trip would be long and taxing. Our departure was a bit unreal.

Sam and I had not been spending much time together in preparation, so it seemed a bit of a surprise when he and his parents came to my doorway in St. Louis Park to pick me up. Throwing into the back of their white hatchback what I thought to be a minimal amount of baggage was like uprooting myself from all that I had accepted as my normal duplex life. I had just finished a play called "Grunts' in which my hopes were a bit dashed at the box office.

Freedom came to me as both a blessing and a curse. Of course I was reminded of my last trip to Ireland with its ups and downs. I still have the scar to show off and remind me of all those sheep. Getting back on a bike and defeating the Irish curse would be my goal. I knew I would not be·overloaded by luggage and the limitations of time. I had nearly a month planned.

The best part of the plan was that now I got to share the country with a friend. Sam and I had, since we had been room-mates in college my senior year, grown together and apart many times, but we'd always had the same connections. The major one was good beer. We knew this would be something we could and had always hoped to share there.

I grew to be Sam's friend e-mailing with him from overseas with my ramblings around England and Europe. He was someone with whom sharing first hand this enchanted land would be both comfortable and challenging. Plus we had literature, notably Ulysses, by James Joyce. This journal is as much based upon my experience with Mr. Bloom as it is on my independent views of Ireland. I hadn't finished that novel by the time I arrived (and still have not), however, it was to be a guiding force for both Sam and me through-out Ireland. He even carried the bugger in his bag, starting on page one just the day we started our trip.

I started on page one with the summary of this journal the minute I started my flight home, which comprises most of the linking bits. The rest is from my own daily journals and the post-cards I could track down from willing donors. I have yet to see any of Sam's detailed journals. I stayed in London for a week, with stops in Nottingham, Chester, Warrington, and Leicester before writing some of this, so I am quite surprised that the moments seem as clear here as they are in memory.Every moment, every sun-ray from Ireland's summer skies is burned in. Even now, and I'm so happy to say this, I can close my eyes and be there.