Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lost in the Heart of Lubbock

I have begun another adventure.
After we arrived in Lubbock I stopped depending on the Global-Positioning-System, turned off the cruise-control and headed for the tall buildings.
The skyscrapers of Lubbock were the first I had seen since I passed through downtown Hots Springs, Arkansas.
Once off the expressway, I randomly turned onto a side-street in the heart of Lubbock where the streets are still paved with the bricks of its original glory days.
I was looking for an art gallery, or at least an old novelties store. If there were such a thing in Lubbock it would surely be found there.
I had not finished the repair of the world and rather than repainted the blankets of patches in the Walmart parking lot at the edge of town, I was going to find the heart of artistic Lubbock to ask for help.

After a tour of what seemed all the the brick roads of downtown I found the novelty store. The woman inside, led me to the art gallery next door. The woman at the art gallery directed me to the metal art gallery on the corner.
It was the same corner where I originally turned onto the red paved road.
When I pulled in the lot across the street the man and wife team were standing at the door. I thought the woman at the gallery had told them I was coming. As I walked up they where all smiles.
I explained my need for a space to finalize my reconstruction of the world. They offered their gated courtyard. I was able to finish a few patches and spend the day painting the world.
Locked in the courtyard the world had all night to dry in the warm Texas night. With overcast skies there was no dew, perfect for the world's coat to harden.
In the morning I left as the downtown was waking up.
I used my phone GPS to map my way out of town.
It led me by the courthouse and police station so I stopped to let them know What I was doing and to get a business card as a momento'.
That is where I got turned around. After and hour of walking left and right through deserted brick streets in the direction I thought was correct I, again, found myself back at the Tornado Gallery.
I had left before the proprietor had arrived. I took it as a a sign to say goodbye and use a human being for my direction. The man at the corner gallery made it simple.
I walked out the main "drag", made one turn, and then one more to lead me out if town.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Something to think about

A year ago I set out from West Memphis, Arkansas headed for the crystal rich hills of Arkansas in the Hot Springs area. My brother-in-law had just passed away from diabetes. I had known the man since I was seven years old. He had seemed to give up and (to put it mildly) didn't help his condition in the end. To clear my mind of my frustration and heartache from his negative choices I walked across Arkansas until I came to a realization...he made the choice.
The day I had this epiphany I also decided I would stop walking, at the end of the day, after getting into Hot Springs, because of a lingering injury.
The first person I met that morning, before I had begun the trek from my support van, was a woman who later brought me some crystals. ( I was joking with people I met about heading for the crystal vortex) We have kept in communication through the year. After meeting me she began to eat healthy food and walk. She has lost over fifty pounds and is keeping it off.
The man who gave me the last ride of the trip at the end of that day, after I had rolled the world thru downtown Hot Springs, was so heavy he had trouble getting into his truck. He contacted me months later to tell me that he had begun dieting after we met and had lost much weight.
From the first person I met that day to the last (even a newspaper reporter), I had told them all that my stubborn brother-in-law had made the choice to not control his condition. That as much as it hurt, he made the choice. I channelled my brother-in-law's caustic, unapologetic attitude to all I met that day concluding with, "...some people you just can't reach."
Today I passed thru Hot Springs and was able to see both of them. Coincidentally. I reunited with them at the same time.
The following picture is of the woman who has lost fifty pounds in weight and the man who has lost the woman, he is standing next to, in weight.
I believe I should count that as a positive outcome born from my brother-in-law's death.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A World Apart

I awakened from a dream.
The World, in my dream, had large pieces of fabric torn away.
What struck me was my attitude, in the dream, to calmly repair the giant holes.
Early this week I saw a hole through all the patchwork I have blanketed over the world. I decided I would peal away a spot to reveal the seam that had separated underneath.
I calmly spent the rest of the week reliving the dream.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Out and about

I have been back from Pittsburg a week and a half. I participated today, in the rain, at the annual ADA Step Out Walk. Last Sunday I enjoyed Walklouvia and rolled my way in the Halloween Parade the first Friday after my return.
Nothing compares to the good feeling of being out and about.

No champion

This journey I have been on... Measured with miles, joined with years. Falling short of goals, reaching farther than destinations.
From all that I have seen, mountains climbed, ditches walked, rivers crossed, continental divides stepped over; there are places and situations I can't get off my mind.
What sticks isn't the grand vistas I have reached but a diabetic grandmother in a wheelchair. Morbidly obese, with oxygen tubes and tank, being pushed around by her family at a festival.
For an hour I watched as her loving family brought her a constant supply of food from the carnival. Her eyes glazed over as she shoveled the treats down, gasping for breath between bites like a baby suckling a milk bottle.
She got up twice. Once to fix the tire on her chair. The rubber had rolled off the rim from her extreme weight, it was quite the effort to twist it back in place. The second time she arose from the chair was to give me a hug for what I am doing for diabetes and that it was a terrible disease.
What's bothering me is that I did not speak up when she said she hoped I can help with a cure.
I just thanked her and walked away.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A spot to write.

I have been struggling to write for awhile. Not that I don't have things to say or share. too many. I have started many postings, save to complete later, never finding the place where I am comfortable.
Sometimes the subject I want to address is too deeply personal, revealing, honest with myself. (As if some of the thoughts I write weren't showing flaws or strengths that I am certainly blind of.) Other times something comes up that throws my line of thinking off.
This post is no different
I just received a phone call, a day with family is on the menu. My day is not going to be spent walking in circles around the park typing with one hand; my pace dictated by Nice (the dog). I have another excuse to hold those bricks which I carry.. The blocks that hold me.
Someday I will find the space to lay them down.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Don't forget to Duck

Before I start parading the world down the middle of the road in Louisville ( I am crashing the annual Halloween Parade) I aught to let everyone know I made it to Pittsburg. I ended the tenth walk of more than four hundred miles from Kentucky to Pennsylvania at The Point. It is the state park where three rivers come together in Pittsburg.
There is giant rubber duck on display there. Whatever the artist thought it meant to him, I don't know.
For me it was the pot-o-gold at the end of the rainbow. With all my references to lucky ducks this year to find a gargantuan yellow inflatable duck at the Point...
Has me speechless.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Everyone I meet

I was rolling in Mt. Lebanon before sunrise. A man who was out for his morning run asked to hear my story.
He asked me to share his with everyone I meet on my travels. I will stumble through a first-telling now.
A "type one" diabetic. He runs fifteen to twenty one miles everyday. He told me the dates but let me go with... Earlier this year he woke up blind. For thirty two days he was unable to see. Received no help from any of his family or friends during that entire time. "Not one of them lifted a finger to help." On the thirty third day
"For no reason whatsoever..." he could see again.
He wanted me to share that good things can happen without any explanation or reason. Wonderful and glorious things...
Two other thoughts he had to share...
Always leave your family with, "Love you." and your friends with "Good luck."
We exchanged both.
Those are a lot of things to tell everyone I meet for the rest of my life...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Crossing lines

When my sister and I were rolling the world in Arlington, Virginia a woman of the Muslim faith walked by. I respectfully moved the world to one side so she could pass. To my surprise (and delight) she addressed me in very broken-English with smiles and true joy at the sight of the world before her. The message I received, with only three words I could understand , she was filled with happiness to be in America where we can all be free to express ourselves . With expressive arm gestures, a hand to her heart, she parted with three more words I could understand, "Happy nice day!"

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Bloomin' Joke

When I was walking into Wheeling a radio personality called to talk with me on his morning country radio show. Before we went on-air he asked me to call him Bloom-Daddy, to have fun with it. We talked past the time allotted without any levity regarding his radio-nickname. As he was thanking me for the interview I parted with, "Thank you. I hope this 'walking everyday' idea will bloom...Bloom daddy."
He replied with, "Smart man." and signed off.
That play on words caused me to think about the idea I have been sharing as seeds. Then I thought about a few of the many people I have met on my journeys who have began again to walk. People who have cultivated the seed they had all along and are now "blooming".

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Let it out.

All day I repaired and repainted the world in the parking lot of a closed buffet restaurant nestled between a grocery store and an elderly-housing complex.
As night fell the rain clouds rolled in. Lightening is striking and moving closer.
To allow the paint to set I have had to let out the air and fold the world into the van.
Just in time too. Rain is sprinkling and Nice (the dog) has gotten in the van for the first time since this morning.
As I post this it is pouring...

Dog Eared'

Today I am repairing the world.
The fabric is getting a little tattered.
Too many threads are wearing bare.
Time again to glue the curled patch and pamper the world with a coat of paint.

Love yourself, walk.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

To the Line.

A woman whose house I had passed in Ohio came to walk with me. We shuttled her vehicle miles ahead close to the West Virginia / Pennsylvania state line. We shared our stories with each other as we rolled along the white line at the roads' edge. Nice (the dog) was happy for the company. He frolicked with the leash most of the morning. Though we stopped often to talk to people, take pictures or wait for traffic, the miles flew by. We both agreed walking was easier with someone beside you for support and inspiration.
She said that God had brought her and I together. After we had talked at her house she then read about me on the Internet and chose to come walk with me. Whether it was God or her own will, I am glad to have shared the road with her. Very few people have walked with me over the years. I was grateful .

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blurred lines

I met a man from Napal
Not particularly tall
We talked of Karma