Monday, March 2, 2015

Heartbreak Wall

The last month has been taken up with blogs on bicycling. Sorry.

It's just that with all the cold weather and snow falling down the collar of my coat and fill the tops of my shoes that I've needed an escape. My bike trip to Florida was just that. Now that I'm back, reading and writing about bicycling has also been a form of escape. It helps me recall sunnier, warmer days.

The recent issue of PMS=Poem, Memoir, Story=contains heartbreak. Actually my story, Heartbreak Wall. I got the idea for this story while cycling in Wisconsin. I used to take vanloads of women up to Door County for a retreat. We'd camp at Newport State Park where the campsites are all primitive, meaning you have to get yourself and all your gear out to them. We'd strap stuff to our bikes and ride through the forest to our own private beach and set up camp. One day we'd ride to the ferry and go over to Washington Island with our bikes. It was maybe 10 miles around the island. I had scheduled stops such as Schoolhouse Beach and a Farm Museum where I took advantage of the small staff by touching everything.

I loved riding past bucolic fields where butterflies flitted from wildflower to wildflower. There were bee hives at the corner of many of these fields. I always had the sense that nature was in perfect balance. Every once in awhile these fields might be separated by rock walls. Indeed, even the fields were pocked with small boulders. I imagined it was hard ground to plow with so many rocks. And, what of the people who farmed this land? They had to clear the fields and stack all those rocks, build the stone walls, walls now crumbling from invasive moss and lichen.

Riding around I could imagine the immigrants to this island trying to carve out a living--before it became a haven for tourists and those wanting to build a second home on waterfront property. I felt that those walls could tell a story.

That story became Heartbreak Wall--but not before tons of revision.

Here is a link for those wishing to order a copy of this terrific magazine=PMS.

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