Third Time’s A Charm

Was the subject line when the travel agent emailed me back with my preferred itinerary and hotel somehow still within my price range 5 days and 5 hours before international my departure.

It was the third time I had contacted this travel agency, we were booking my third trip to the UK in 18 months (divisible by 3!); per usual there were three countries involved…but this actually isn’t a post about symmetry. As I have had more time than is typical for me to reflect on this trip I am finding what lingered this time really is the charm. Whether or not it was brought about by all those threes remains to be seen.

I summarized my first UKROI trip with multiple, long, gaspingly exhilarated posts about the number of airports and theaters I saw the inside of. The second started a brief run of Simon Stephens idol worship masquerading as lit-crit lite play synopses. I did things a bit differently this time (and one of my flights got canceled) so the litany is less rhythmic this time, still: 11 days, 4 flights, 4 train stations, 3 airports, 2 8-hour train rides, 2 plays, 1 movie, and 1 writing workshop.

It’s that last one that is the ringer.

To be brief and specific about it, I attended a 5-day residential writing workshop at Moniack Mhor with two excellent living playwrights, and 13 other humans I would not have met in any other circumstances, so thank heavens I got onto this course! It was educational in every sense of the word, and inspiring, invigorating, challenging, emotional, urgent and expanding to boot. If I am lucky (and conscious about it) the time spent there will stay imprinted on me for a long time.

How does that add up to charm? Honestly, I’m not sure what the alchemy is, but all I can say is that this trip left a residue on me, got in my pores a little deeper, filmed my lungs some, and refuses to be breathed out. It was painfully obvious this time how that land will never allow me to claim it, even if I picked up sticks and made it a home. But away from it, I feel that perhaps it has claimed me, just a little, and that’s a magic I have been hungry for.

I don’t like to talk about luck, lest one chase it away, but there was a lot of lovely fortune that ran through those weeks which should not go unacknowledged. And I am hoping that vein of twinkling ore is not yet tapped out. For any of us. For all the reasons.

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