Thursday, August 10, 2006

Safely in NYC 

Hi folks,

Just a note here to say that I'm safe and sound and in NY staying with my friends Andrew and Carrie.
Luckily I wasn't caught up in the terrorist plot at London's Heathrow Airport. I can't say that I wasn't thinking about just such a threat as I made my way through that aiport yesterday. A London to New York flight seems a likely target for folks unhappy with with the policies of our government and our nearest ally. What a difference a day makes.

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Circus Cirucs 

Though we saw several great shows as part of the Edinbugh Fringe Festival, the highlight of the lot for me has to have been NoFit State's gothic circus, ImMortal. The show, dominated by dark, otherworldly tone set by live musicians, thickly accented hosts and black costuming, featured expert acrobatics and rope work. Most striking was the intermingling of audience and performers with nearly complete dissolution of a proscenium. Costumed ushers, fully integrated into the show, maintained necessary zones of safety that shifted with each act, but that allowed maximum interaction between audience and performance. If you're in Wales, or their in your home town, check these folks out.

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Vortextual Reunion 

The good times in Edinburgh with Fergus and Claire and their gang of friends were extended and augmented by the arrival of two more friends from the states. Wolf Ridge buddy, Dave Mackey and his wife Ellen were in Scotland for vacation before Dave heads off to Sweden to partake in the Adventure Race World Championships and Ellen heads back to teaching in Boulder.

If I'm putting things together correctly, it was the first time that Ferg, Dave and I had been in the same place since northern Minnesota days. Catching up with the adventures of Dave and Ellen (there are plenty), hiking around town and up Arthur's Seat, checking out more of the festival and eating some good food rounded out the days in Edinburugh.

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

So the story goes 

The highlight of the Scottish leg of this trip hasn't been the beautiful countryside, the historic castles, the festival or even being in a place where I speak the language again, though those are all perks.

The really good stuff has been hanging with my old friend Fergus from long-ago Wolf Ridge days, and getting to know his wife Claire and their community of friends. The evening out at Ruth and Ronnie's home outside of Edinburgh eating good food and swapping tales and tunes gave a glimpse of the talents and friendships of these storytellers. Really good stuff.

Great stuff, really.

Gotta jump the pond more often to hang out.

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Festive Time in Scotland 

The festival is on.

The duo that comprises Gamarjobat gets my nod as favorite so far. Their technical skills in mime and magic are mindboggling. Amazing how much can be communicated without language.

Other highlights: Chanbara as much for the drumming as for the swordsmanship.

Jump, much more for the martial arts than the comedy, for me.

We've seen a couple free shows as well. Comedians. One British, the other Australian. Let their names fade into the ether.

More to come.

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Was there. Flying through. Four days.
What a place to walk.
From colony to colonial power. Mindtwisting trip.

At least when they were doing it the French got the architecture right.
Monument to a powerhouse faded. Disney world of world domination.
Damned good museums. Former palace grounds turned everyman parks - that's what they got. And good cheese.

Our little shrub of a Napolean keeps the good stuff behind corporate walls.
When, I wonder, will we see the parks and treasures of the new empire? Will Haliburton cough up any sculpture to gawk at?

And where is today's Picasso, today's Guernica?
There's no lack of material.

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Mea culpa 

So that experiment just didn't work.

What, really, were the chances that I'd post frequent meaningful ditties to this blog while travelling in Africa?

Slim, folks, slim. But not none, I suppose.

Not that there's not a bit that I've been thinking about to write. The kindness of the people of Senegal, issues of transportation and sanitation, community and the line between self and other, music music music, arts and artists, third places, parrallels twixt there and here (which?), language and not having it: These all seem like topics I'll get back to at some point.

But it didn't happen while wandering. Maybe from the comfort of home. With pics and sound and movies sorted. After wrestling the transition back to USA and all its trappings.

Sorry to have lead you on.

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