Abandoning Paradise

Chapter Three     Crossing Italy

The Art of Living Dangerously

Many years ago during one of the camping expeditions my brother used to stage at Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee, there was quite a tribe gathered and the question of parasailing arose.  It was a large group of people but no-one had ever done it and flying a parachute behind a boat seemed like a very cool thing.  But the wimpiest girl in the crowd said it was too scary and she didn't want to try it.  That was fine for her as no-one should be intimidated into risk taking ... but no-one else did it either.

That no-one else did it was not her fault.  She set her limits and did not exceed them and this is how risk taking works without winding up with dead people.  However, for anyone else to use her limits to define their own is not appropriate at all.  If you let other people set your risk limits for you then you will likely never do anything more than sitting at home sorting buttons.

This expedition isn't simply for the sake of the risk as I would just as soon do without it but risk is inherent in what I am doing.  You may wonder what this has to do with music but it has everything to do with it.  One can have all the passionate drive to play one likes but what is your story to tell if you don't live one.

Right now I'm in Ribiera which is a bit north of Modena and it appears I can manage about one hundred and fifty kilometers per day.  Don't read that as Autobahn or Interstate driving in which one comes up to speed and stays there as it isn't like that at all.  I do miss my Sprinter as I could set the cruise control for 110 kph and stay there for a night and a day but right now I don't often hit 70 kph and that's fine.  I won't even stay at that speed for very long as something Italians love is the traffic circle.  And why not.  They're better than traffic lights as you never have to change a light bulb and the batteries never run down.

From here I will head more north to Piacenza and then break west for the coast.  Cat tells me the west coast is much more attractive than the east as the latter is heavily-developed for mile after mile and really one beach town in the world is the same as any other.  So far I haven't been taking pictures as I haven't seen anything that looked all that Italian.  I do expect that will change as I head west.

There are multiple reasons for going to Scotland.  The first is obvious in the need for medical care after having none for over four years.  I understand the requirement that one intends to live there more than six months but it would be quite difficult to prove anything else for one simple reason:  I don't live anywhere else.

Another reason is that it is home.  My actual home is near Nashville in Tennessee but Edinburgh is my birth home and I have never seen it because I was so young when we left.  Scotland has been the home of both sides of my family for centuries.  It's not so much a matter of finding roots as it will be awkward meeting my relatives.  What does one to say to someone one hasn't met in sixty years.  But it's the nature of families that one does find something to say and that will be most interesting.

As with Greece, there is a spirituality to it as this really is the place that made Frasers.  I can't even begin to imagine the strangeness of seeing Frasers and Sopers all over the place but Scotland is where that happens.  It's not so much a search for the birthplace of the Celts as that goes much, much farther back in time.  Celts are all over the place: Germany, France, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland.  I don't really know where this tribe originated and perhaps that will be yet another search but Scotland is it just now.

While it's somewhat disingenuous to say I will stay in Scotland, I don't see a huge deception as it really is home.  I can't call anywhere a physical home as I don't stay anywhere very long.  For some reason, I can't.  I really need to wander.

Music will come and poetry will come but, for the moment, total exhaustion comes first.

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Ribiera, Italy

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