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Thoughts from Places: The Glen Revisited

It is that time of year again. I am of course talking about Shakespeare in the Park time! I hadn’t realized how often we opted to go to St. Louis on Mondays, but looking back at last year’s foray into the cultural arts, and the most recent trend in the last few months, it seems like Monday is the way to go. And with our busy schedules lately, I’m surprised it is even then.

These things, these thoughts that I have, in various places (thoughts from places if you will), often have a theme. Ranging from a long adventure away from home to how different friendship is online vs. up close and personal. This isn’t on purpose. This is simply me sharing what I do on my off days and trying to dissect my own thoughts. It is more for me than you, but you are welcome to come along for the ride!

The drive from Hannibal to St. Louis isn’t a hard one, and quite frankly I love making it, even in the dead of night when my body is sore and aching for the comfort of home, I like it. It is a familiar friend to me now and I instinctively know where I am on it at all times. Some might say like a riverboat pilot of old. Some might. I wouldn’t.

Meg and I got up early and were on the road by 7 am, for no reason other than we desired tea and baked English goods, and that somehow translated to getting to The London Tea Room in St. Louis as close to opening as possible. The drive got us talking about religion, politics, our own personal growth and of course the ever important debate on whether fictional characters were as deep as real life people. The answer to the last one is always yes. Then it was time for a breakfast of tea, pastries, quiche, and scones, and we reveled in it. The entire time my mind was on my Bullet Journal, a source of balance on my usually hectic life and a constant companion in coffee shops and tea rooms. I had asked if I should bring it in, to which Meg said no and I simply complied.

This may not seem like much, but understand that if I could, I would have that book surgically attached for easy convenience. I organize my day, my thoughts and my decisions in there, and while I wasn’t sure about leaving it behind, I did, because as usual, Meg was right: this was time for a relaxing fun breakfast. While waiting for our tea I thought about going back for it, but then a thought occurred to me: it is my day off, and the world will not fall from my shoulders if I shrug and instead sip my tea.

Afterward, we went to the St. Louis Science Center to see an exhibit on King Tutankhamun which was guided via audio and I found extremely fascinating. Not only was he not very important to the Ancient Egyptians, he as so young when he died that a lot of the splendor that would have been his at an older age was lessened due to the hastiness of his burial and the lack of planning (thus suggesting his death was not due to illness or frailty, but rather sudden). We saw gold this, and gold that, and amazing illuminated papyrus pages and listened to so many fantastic facts that it altered what I thought I knew about the Ancient Egyptian burial process. It was exciting, and really the only thing we had to stop for before the show was a quick trip to my barber because it had been far too long since I had my hair cut.

During my haircut, I recalled to Misty, my barber, the updates since she saw me sometime last year: the Guest House, the Bed & Breakfast, the Theater’s Summer Season and the opening of the new Gift Shop and Gallery. In addition, I was attempting to put more into writing for this blog and fiction as well as working on more paying freelance work. Many hats, few hours in a day really. But it was at this moment I realized there was something wrong: I had this bizarre sense of self-worth and pride that just made me feel uncomfortable all over.

Hair now cut, Meg and I decided to gather some tasty food for the picnic ahead, and I remembered feeling guilty because we’d normally take such care with packing very specific foods and making it special and this time, due to the time we would spend wandering around in the morning, we chose instead to grab some things before we headed for the park. That was when that same thought occurred to me again: it is my day off, and the world will not fall from my shoulders if I don’t cook a bunch of food and instead buy something I think people will enjoy.

We grabbed some chicken and chips and veggies and tallied some ho and off to the park with us! Friends came, the weather agreed with us and the show began. And as I enjoyed the vicious monologs of Paulina putting Leontes in his place, I considered my Bullet Journal, sitting in the bag I was using as a pillow, and I considered how I was organizing my life. I’ve recently had to turn down projects, or set aside great ideas simply because I do not have the hours in a day to devote to them. This is a first for me mainly because I’ve never been involved in anything important enough to warrant prioritizing it over my own whims. I arranged and organized everything I would have to do the rest of the week. Where to spend my time and efforts best. And finally, into the second Act, I realized I was here to enjoy friends and the play. This time I reminded myself: it is my day off, and the world will not fall from my shoulders if I just enjoy it, and work tomorrow.

Upon the desk of Sabrael D. Carroll sits a half empty cup of tea, the leaves waiting patiently nearby for their second or maybe third brewing. This inevitable future creeps nearer as yet another sip is taken. The teapot, proudly swathed in the English flag, is empty but for the lone drop perched precariously at the end of the spout. The cup is placed back down again, amid a haphazard pile of character sheets, open rule books, and dungeon maps. All the stats and buffs and modifiers mix together in his mind, the numbers forming the framework of the story he’s dying to tell. He will surely get back to those in just a moment but for now, his attention is stolen by pixelated firefights and a meter running dangerously low. Don’t worry, he’ll write that next article… eventually.

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