America Day 57 – Winona Lake

A few hours drive today. That’s all. Just a few hours drive. North and East. Much closer to our starting point in South Bend. Winona Lake. Grace College.

“There are a two virgins in the cast,” says Claire. “Oh God, I mean vegetarians!”

“It’s a Christian campus. There are plenty of both here,” our escort responds with a grin.

We are surrounded by cornfields. The crop still stands, drying in the field, to be harvested when dry enough as time is cheaper than money when it comes to the drying of corn on this scale. It’s strange to drive through all these fields with dead looking husks of corn. I wrote this on the way before I did any research:

“Indiana. A small town. One of many like it, and the highways run like scars through open country. And beside these highways, even at this time of year just look. Do you see it? Just there. Everywhere. The corn. Brown armies of the stuff. All brittle and bowing in the same direction. Look at it closer. This state is full of it, but how can this be profitable, these drying dying husks in serried ranks? Food for the nation? Or just employment for farmers? Will this go to starch, to bind together the Halloween candies? Or landfill? Well, this is down to the American appetite for waste. Meanwhile, look at it. Sad. Bedraggled. Row upon row of it. Lost brown plants, once useful, now neglected. Will they be used? Or are they just filling the quota? This is what we do with the natural world.”

It’s not really the right start for a blog, but it was my head. Amidst the drying dying corn, a little pool of loving living light. Grace College, and the delightful young men and women on the campus. They all have faith. They also have a tiny theatre that is filled every night but Halloween with audience for us. We will be going in and helping them with their Addams Family musical rehearsals. With their self written religious plays. It’s an amazing job, this. It’s so varied. But we don’t take into account the stress of it.

I’ve got wind. I’ve actually got anxiety but as a result now I’ve got wind. The wind is because I’m not breathing properly. The bad breathing is the anxiety. Another strange place, another group of strangers, another different idiom, once again so very far from what is familiar. I love the unusual. But it mounts up after a while. I’ve been tense today all day and then I put food and beer on top of it.

I’m teaching these kids and prisoners and old folks about breathing. I should be able to breathe for myself. It does actually work, all that body and breath stuff, otherwise I wouldn’t spend my days on it. I walked into my first day at Guildhall a “floating head”. They dropped me into my body and my voice. Now I can help other people walk that journey. Safe use is the only way to sustain a career. With my habitual attack and without the craft I was taught those three years, I would have permanently damaged my body and my voice by now. But right now I’ve got wind, and a full belly. The only thing I can think of is fingers down the throat.

Yep. Worked a treat. Maybe I shouldn’t have had those prawns and scallops. Certainly not the hot sauce. Hopefully the offending article is no longer inside me. I think I might get some rest. Thankfully the working day is long over and I’ve got a king sized bed. And Blade Runner soundtrack just showed up on Spotify. Rutger Hauer, may he rest in peace, telling us what he’s seen.

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. I simultaneously belched and threw up scallops in a Holiday Inn in small town Indiana. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”


If I’m going to be sick, this warm comfortable room is a true upgrade on what happened more or less a year ago today…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

2 thoughts on “America Day 57 – Winona Lake”

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