After a week of exploring Northern Ireland with The Paperboys, I am on my own once again. This time in Dublin. I like Dublin. I have a nice little room with my own bath in a B & B run by one Mary and Joseph...seriously...glad there was room in this inn...and I am tracking down tickets for the Abbey or Gate, got a tour of Celtic ruins lined up, and in three days I get to see my friend Jane in Wales for hiking and pub-crawls.
I am, though, to tell truth, a wee bit down. I feel a bit homesick and sad after hanging out with Tom, Geoff, Brad, Matt and Kenny. It was fun living tour life for a week, traveling with a "real band" as Geoff said, listening to my favorite music everyday, being a small part of the trials and tribulations of life on the road: sound checks, bad hotels, the effects of no Internet service. It was such a joy to get to know the musicians better. It is always chancy when you love an artist/artists and then you really get the opportunity to know them as people...will that love carry through? In this case it did. Without speaking out of school, let me say that each of the people I got know on this trip are extraordinary human beings, making their way in this world with humor and creativity, compassion and integrity. I feel blessed that as I journey here in Europe I was invited to share a bit of their journey as well.
But it was the second parting of my ten week sojourn that simply undid me. Leaving my mom and sister and Vernazza itself in Italy was equally wrenching. It is interesting that leaving home to start my trip I was filled with so much joy and enthusiasm, I felt not that I was leaving something behind, but that I was going toward something great and undiscovered. So it has surprised me to feel such deep sorrow in these partings from people and places that I will surely see again. I am experiencing the kind of childlike sadness that I used to have when my big brothers and sister would leave home for long stretches of time. I even chose last night to leave the band before they played their last gig, a gig I had really been looking forward to, on the excuse that I needed to find my way from the country into the city sooner rather than later. It was just like when I was young and my brother Pete, who lived far away, would come home and on his last night in town I always made plans for a sleep over, and then cried for days afterwards, because I hadn't had the chance to say good-bye.
I know there is something rich and deep for me to discover in this sorrow, something about connection and open heartedness. In fact, I am certain that my decision not to cross my arms over my heart, to keep myself open-hearted on this trip is at the crux of my heart-break. So, I suspect that my ability to connect with the people around me is blossoming in a way it might not have since I was a child....so this can only be good.
But, for now, I feel a bit lost.
I always say, though, you can't really learn about a place unless you get lost there.