Going North to find South

What in the world does that mean you may be thinking…. I’m not even sure myself. Currently, I am amid towering red pines and lairs of woodticks near Cloquet, Minnesota. When I saw the ad for a Travel Writing class taught by Catherine Watson, former travel editor of the Star Tribune, I couldn’t resist. True, my vacation days for 2008 number almost as many as my work days. However, that just seemed to increase my urge even more. Catherine is a writer I have admired for many years, partly due to the fact she was a lead female in a typically male profession, and partly due to the lyrical quality of her writing and the place it puts me in when I read it.

This very blog is what stirred the deep desire to spend a week away from home writing. I know a number of people have read this online journal since my return, probably as many as read it while I was away. I look back now at my writing and am sad by the flatness and lack of detail. I am sure I will now spend the next week or so obsessively going back and adding for my March and April entries, hotel and place names, anecdotes I had been to rushed to mention and spell-checking for goodness sake, a feature I really wish google would fix on this website.

Through a week of constructive feedback and an amazing support group of writers, I have learned how to better capture the emotions of our journey. Maybe I was too fearful before to put them on the page because I felt like putting them in black and white would make them harder to get through. Now I know I have a larger story to tell. Not just of a couple driving through Mexico, but our trip through the immigration process. The decisions we had to make before and after we were married, the risks that were involved, the actual laws that stood in our way. I look forward to expanding on these topics and hope the momentum I feel from this week of class will carry me through the future weeks and help me to flesh out the feelings and bring our reality to others. I’m not sure if this will happen on the blog or not. Maybe snippets here and there. Only time will tell.

PS. Mex was offered a job this week (3 actually). After 10 weeks of looking, his old job at a Deli in downtown Mpls actually created a position for him, offering him a 9% raise. He took the job for now because it will provide him with enough time to continue his pursuit of a US high school diploma. Something he hopes to have by next June. It has been strange to be away from each other for four nights after the daily contact we’ve had since the month of February. I guess I should have left home earlier to write! Time apart can be a little bit of a blessing I guess.


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