Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..

Ocracoke Visit – Stepping off the Speeding Train

October 29, 2006

Things have been very hectic for me these past few months between teaching, running the art program and my distance learning duties at CCC. I also conducted some DL workshops, attended (and presented at) the SPE regional conference and was honored (and got to speak) at the ECU Alumni Symposium last month.

Ocracoke Ferry view of Village of Ocracoke

So I packed a bag, grabbed my camera, laptop and journal and have been enjoying the peace and tranquility of Ocracoke and the hospitality of Ann Ehringhaus and Oscar’s B&B. It doesn’t take long for me to relax and unwind on this quant coastal Island. I’m able to put things in better perspective when I’m not back at home in Morehead City or working at the college.

Even the 2 + hour ferry ride is soothing. I read and napped on the way over then when I arrived it was only a matter of minutes before I opened my journal and starting writing. This place is so conducive for the creative process.

The following is my first journal entry from Friday evening. I have been writing all weekend and taking some photographs as well. I’ll post those in the next day or so.

Oct. 27, 2006 5:30pm

I’m sitting in the upstairs bedroom of Oscar’s House here on Ocracoke. It’s good to have 2 days of down time. I have this intense need to be alone right now. This is the room my x wife Stacy and my daughter Andei and I stayed for a long Fourth of July weekend when Andei was 1 month old. I remember it was extremely hot so we stayed inside in the air conditioning and sketched pictures of each other and the baby. It seems like yesterday BUT it was over 14 years ago. Crazy! It’s funny because one of my Ireland photographs is framed (see below) and hanging over the writing desk. How appropriate and I must admit a bit humbling. It is a close-up of my hand holding a pen at the kitchen table when attended the writer’s retreat in southwestern Ireland in 2002. The morning sun is lighting up my journal and the coffee cup in front of my hand. I gave the print to Ann about 2 years ago after I had my Ireland show and reception at the Secret Garden Gallery. Now that seems like yesterday as well. I miss Ireland and I miss my daughter Andei who is now living in Sicily, Italy. That’s story for another time.

Morning Journal and Coffee, Ireland 2002

Our lives can get so complicated, yet when you step back for a few days and really LOOK at things from the outside in you realize the complexity is all my (our) doing. I don’t have to let life get crazy, weird, anxiety ridden and complicated – it just seems to happen again and again in the midst of work, relationships and daily life.

Just when I think I’m on a better, stress free, healthy track I find myself getting caught up in things that detract from that “inner peace” and well being. Ocracoke has always been a special place to me. A place to regroup, let it ALL go and just connect with my spiritual self and dwell on the things that really matter.

This little room on the 2nd floor of Oscar’s B&B is all I need for the weekend. I can already feel myself winding down and the stress pouring out of my body. So many people including me get caught up in worrying about things and issues that we have NO control over. God seems to always sort it all out in the end so I wonder WHY I still let myself get caught up in that endless cycle of worry and anxiety.

more to come….


3 comments on “Ocracoke Visit – Stepping off the Speeding Train

  1. photomom
    November 2, 2006

    Oh, how jealous you have made me. I wasn’t able to make my annual trip to Ocracoke this year and I so missed it. Although my trips are only for a day, they are also theraputic. I think back on the writer/photographer workshops at Oscar’s House and long for those good times again. Memories are making me melancholy so I must get on with my day.
    Thank you, Patrick, for your thoughts and your photos.

  2. terry keough
    November 2, 2006

    man u keep amazin me wit all the cool stuff u do….”you da man”…..your lil’ brother…. terry

  3. cathy crowell
    November 9, 2006

    I need to do an Oscar’s weekend with Anne. There is always something to photograph.

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This entry was posted on October 29, 2006 by in Keough Journal.