Tuesday, May 23, 2017
2nd storytelling 2
So after an incredibly long, blessedly uneventful day of flying, I got off the airplane and zoomed to baggage claim courtesy of a wheelchair service provided by Aer Lingus Airlines. I picked up my official Rick Steves' travel bag, strapped it on my walker, tipped the wheelchair pusher and headed outside to an overcast sky and an unfamiliar setting.
And I thought: Oh my God, I'm in Ireland. How did I get here and now what do I do?
Let me explain. All my life I've believed that people like me don't travel. Traveling is for other people. It's one of those things, like excitement and true love, that other people experience and I get to hear the stories and look at photographs. I don't know where I got that idea.
a. cost me experiences
I learned to travel later in my 20s, but that was cut short by getting in my first accident.
2. fear of travel
Years passed. I began working in special education, moved to Texas, moved to Oregon, never traveling abroad but always planning it.
A year ago this past February, I was in an accident that left me unable to walk. I'll spare you the gory details. I'll spare myself the gory details too,
1. I ended up having surgery and spent the next four months with my legs in braces, unable to move. First the hospital, then two physical rehab centers. From there I lived with my brother and his family. Then I went back home to my apartment, where, apart from home health and the occasional visitor, I stayed in isolation for another four months. It was the summer of the open door. I fantasized being outside, like I fantasized about open spaces and fast food cheeseburgers in the rehabs.
2. By December, I was able to get around a lot more and realized that I could go to Ireland. But would I?
a. I announced it to my family on Christmas Day.
b. I emailed my friend Matt and told him. He emailed me back immediately with "For reals?"
c. I informed my physical therapist and physical trainer and psychologist and they started training me for the trip,
1. Trip almost gets cancelled when ticket, disability, and job are all threatened.
2. Determination; to hell with expense; I am going.
3. For the next week I went through the motions and packed, took care of details like getting to the airport, getting home from the airport, little things like that. Before I knew it, my sister-in-law was at my door, ready to drop me of at Portland International.
4. I was on a airplane. I was going to Ireland. There was nothing I could do about it now.
1. I take a bus to Donegal county and look out the window and thinking "This is what I dreamed about in rehab." It was all different shades of green. There were sheep everywhere.
2. Songwriting retreat: meeting people, writing songs, going to pubs
3. I get emotional at last morning meeting. "I won."
4. First half of "Sailor Lost at Sea."