This may take a while. I've thought about this blog entry for a week, and decided that I would just start writing it, and give you control over what you read and when.
I've been minding gaps lately, and found that my life is full of them. Not all bad, not all large, but full of gaps. My writing is a big one, as you might have noticed. But life happens in the gap, and whether or not the tales are told, stories happen in the gap. I urge you, Reader, to mind the gaps in the story ahead. I hope that you will see my learning in the gaps you find (and they are many, and perhaps more obvious to you than to me, alas).
Earlier this week I came home from my vacation. But as the Reader (if any such creature still exists for this blog) may remember, this was no common dream vacation. No sun-swept beaches for MY dream vacation. No grass huts over still waters (funny, I dreamed of sharks last night...).
You see, I've dreamed of castles since I was little. I used to draw them endlessly: turrets and battlements, drawbridges, high lonely towers with windows facing the stars. In high school, as I began to fear what my future had in store, I perched those castles in clouds on those ivory sheets of paper. Castles in clouds became my symbol, and I even made gifts of them--fantastic fortresses drawn from a blank page and sent gliding over to my friends and family, to anyone who saw that they were dreams, and who wanted one for their own.
So the decision to visit Dalhousie, ancestral home to my Scottish family, was no ordinary vacation for me. It was heavy with meaning--connection to family (with which I am sometimes clumsy and often awkward); the fulfillment of a lifetime goal (I don't have that many, really); a romantic getaway that I was embarking on alone (one of my greatest fears which, dear Reader, I embark on every morning when I get out of bed). But it was most of all the realization of a dream. Literally, I would--at 31--put a foundation under those castles I drew when I was little (and then not-so-little). I'd bring life to those visions in stone, and turret, and battlement, and crenelation, and rolling fields and forest. Only it wouldn't be a fantasy any more. It would become a memory.
No one understands this gap between dream and reality better than Diabolina who, along with Lawyer X, helped me pack. But more than help me pack, Diabolina grounded me that evening when I was afraid (though my fear presents itself in more subtle ways now: as distractedness, and irritability, and control). With great patience and a pretty overt metaphor, she patted this crow on the head, tossed things around a little in my nest, and helped me prepare me to take wing.
Fortunately, since I was travelling alone, I resolved to do it MY way, and if Sable Crow flies solo on a dream vacation, then he does so from the front of the plane.
With enough room for a foot stool.
And with champagne.
My journey took me through London, a city I've always liked but never loved. London is like L.A. in some ways--much bigger than I imagine or remember, and it can be difficult to navigate if you don't have a guide.
On arrival in London, I marvelled at the LA weather: low 70s, not a cloud in the sky, GORGEOUS.
I settled in for a weekend with good friends: a model, a tailor, a rockstar.
(Up next: London and then the castle!!)