On the Road with Maggie Scratch, Arcata, California

arcata forest

“We pursued our destination one night with our thumbs jabbing at the headlights of a ’62 Chevy.

The driver slowed down and told us to get in. I started to hop in the front seat. Horace opened the back door for me.

“I’ll sit in front,” he said.

“Suit yourself,” the driver grinned, looking at me in his rear view mirror. “Where ya headed?” He released his foot from the brake and carefully moved it over to the accelerator pedal.

“We’re on our way to Arcata,” I said from the back. “Ever hear of it?”

The driver offered me a cigarette and I took one. Horace said he didn’t smoke. The car moved along the dark highway for a minute before the driver spoke again.

Maggie Scratch

This is Helen! By Maggie Scratch

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Helen Gosch

A Poet? A Potter? A Candlestick Maker?

She’s busy everywhere!

She’ll be there if you need her,

that’s what a friend is for.

Helen, today you are the

“coy mistress.”

I quote from a poem you wrote,

Pulled into the World.

“I can imagine the awe felt

In the hands of all that is warm and beautiful.”

I can imagine it too.

 

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The written word for you is not enough.

You love to get your hands in all kinds of stuff.

You pulled this woman into the world—

you created her on a tray!

Helen of Tray!

The coy mistress…

This must be you!

 

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Maggie Scratch on the Camino

El Camino de Santiago

Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole

Mr. ED

It’s a long story about a horse. His name was Quel Ami, What a Friend! I called him Mr. Ed. He didn’t talk, not like humans do, but he spoke to me and I spoke to him. I’m not a usual animal-bonder, I have my preferred pets, my only ones, the ones I love forever. I didn’t know Mr. Ed would become one too. I was on the way down the Camino to see him like I did every day, only this time I had an apple in my pocket and that’s when I met Marie. I was headed to the spot where I took his picture only the day before, and I’m lucky to have it, because Marie told me, “Quel Ami est mort!” It’s a long story about a horse, but in the end, Marie and I have bonded, thanks to Mr. Ed. She loved him too! We miss him, el caballo solitario del camino, the Camino where magical moments happen, El Camino de Santiago.

 

Feeling at Home by Maggie Scratch

 

 

 

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Merci beaucoup a Rocio, grandmother, Nais, daughter and Kiliana granddaughter

It isn’t every day that people take me into their home, but when they take me into their hearts, that’s feeling at home.

Feeling wanted, feeling loved, feeling like I belong.

I’ve been a foreigner half my life, I’ve learned to live outside the klan, to find my own tribe’s drum.

But what—here I am!

Here I go?

Again? 

Yep!

Couldn’t deny the opportunity to live in a new country.

France!

People are people all over the world.

It’s the heart that counts.

Like Keb Mo says,

“It’s becoming clear I can feel it down in my soul.

I know that I am you and you are me.”

I like this way to live.

It’s a good way to be.

 

 

It’s Not That I’m Saying Goodbye by Maggie Scratch

Kasia and Me.jpgI’m leaving Barcelona, but I’ll be back.

There’s always so much work to do.

Spread the word!

The soul is love!

Have fun, be a friend, be a buddy, pass on the good stuff.

Here’s Kasia from Warsaw with a world of words in her head.

 Polish!  German! English! Spanish! And Catalan too!

A culture-bug-bookworm with Master’s Degrees!

Linguistics! Communication! Philology!

What does all this mean?

Find your path and hit the road.

Dig in.

There’s gold in our roots.

I’m getting my boots on.

I’m ready, let’s go!

Every step we take, here we are!

On the Road in Oslo by Maggie Scratch

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It was after showing dozens and dozens of baby pictures to Gabriela as we ooooed and ahhhhhed our way through my new granddaughter’s amazing features, that she spotted this pic and insisted I post it. So, okay. I love good graffiti, I love Bansky, I’m obsessed with documenting the moment. Sadie and I were walking to Wayne’s Coffee and when I saw that wall I asked her to stop a minute under the hot sunny Norwegian sky. Capture the moment, I thought. I really am here! I’m in Oslo! I’m walking down the road with my daughter and my granddaughter as if it were the most natural thing to do. Everything comes back to me! The heat, my daughter’s shining face, beautiful little Milla tucked into the Angel Pack, the warm love, the motherhood, the daughterhood, grandmotherhood, babyhood, childhood, writerhood, backpackinghood…it’s all there, in this picture. Oslo. I flew there, I lived there, I loved there, I worked there, I slept there, I ate there, I walked there,  I walked in the Norwegian woods with my family, there I was, I was there!