Travels with MaryE

Most things I love best are about good light and good timing. That's where the adventures start. Don't be in no hurry here. Here you'll find a little bit about bluegrass music, fox hunting, life on the road, time on the mountain, and a whole lot about other things, too.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Watering Down and Gearing Up

So what is it about society today that seems to water everything down? Am I imagining this - or what? Take music, for example. I tend to like what people might call folk music - or the music of folk, you know, good old regional Music of the People, wherever the people might live. Now most folks I've met have televisions, radios, VCRs, DVDs, and a bunch of other stuff, not to mention newspapers, magazines, ezines and so forth, so it's pretty difficult to be unaffected by all the words and sounds and thoughts that fly out of all these contraptions and publications. Every now and then there's someone who seems kind of "pure" and unaffected (or untouched) by most of these conveniences many of us have come to think of as necessary to life these days.

Guess there's no way that music can stay "pure" but a whole lot of me wishes it could. I love regionalisms, not only in music but, for example, regional dialects. You've already realized I ain't no scholar and have no such aspirations, either, but I love a good country (or hillbilly) accent, for example. You can't beat a Radnorshire (Wales) retiree for an accent! But it's really more about the way country folk express themselves; many don't have a whole lot of education but they get their ideas across in ways anyone can understand (more than I can say for a lot of academics I know!) and many are very clever in vastly underrated ways as well. But really I'm talking about music and the way it used to be played in living rooms with the rugs (if the folks even could afford rugs) rolled up and pushed back so folks could flatfoot and buckdance to the sounds of fiddles and guitars and maybe an open-backed banjo. I'm talking about hoedowns and fai-do-dos (I bet I butchered that, but you know what I mean). I'm talking about ballads passed down on front porches and firesides, from old to young, a way of carrying on traditions, telling the past, and illustrating important lessons in life. Call me romantic. I wasn't raised in the country and my folks never buck-danced (or danced any other way that I know of) so just what am I all misty-eyed about? I feel a sense of loss for what must have been a much harder life but one that offered occasional moments of light and a sense of connection from past through present and carrying on to the future. You know?

Me? Well, I use them to my advantage to be sure, but I do try to stay away from television, radio, and the news media as much as possible and it's no secret that I despise and abhor cell phones - and even regular old phones. But then I do love my WiFi laptop internet connection; sometimes it seems like my lifeline to the people and places of the past and present as I move from location to location on new adventures.

Speaking of which, my time in Illinois is winding down and I'm fixin' to load up the old Toyota and head for the Catskills where I'll drop off my stuff and pack a couple of big fat suitcases and head off for (I hope) six more glorious months in Wales...following the horses and hounds. I've got to admit it: the "back to the past" kind of lifestyle in Wales is my kind of life; I've always dreamed of moving back in time and I think I've found the secret (not that I'm sharing). Only thing is the government doesn't seem to want me, so I remain a frequent (and appreciative) visitor to the land of my every dream. Call me romantic (unquestionably); when I'm photo-capable I'll post more of my photos of the place I love. I know how to use a camera, but the photos I get, I'll admit, are more a function of my openness to the sights around me at every turn...sights that refresh and soothe my old soul.

My blogging has dropped to nearly nil as I spend long days working on a big house, coordinating construction projects (for some friends) and just generally paving the way for new things to come. I hope I've helped them along their path in a new (and hopefully better) direction. That's the thing with clutter-cleaning - you open a path and clear spaces for new things that relate to your current (and possibly future) life to have room to come your way. You try to create a place that feels warm and open to guests and probably more importantly, to your own soul. I love this thing I'm doing and I hope if I keep at it long enough I may eventually achieve some small amount of success.

But meanwhile, my thoughts turn to the moors and dingles (and occasional forests) of beautiful, wild Wales. I'm looking forward to hugs from friendly horses, a good pint at the pub, the camaraderie of friends whom I've missed these many months, the thrill of a fox sauntering quietly past, the comments of flat-capped, keen retirees, and much, much more.

I might as well get on over to Wales for most of me is already there.

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