Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sat Down To Write

I sat down to write today.

May 30, 2012.
8:10 AM

All filled up on potato, carrot, giner, garlic, onion soup that Andrew made yesterday.

All drugged up because I want to be productive.

But also, I think the meds make me feel anxious... like right now. So that’s not good. I’ve got them running my body for the next 8 hours or so.

I’ve even got a list written up of things my brain wants to expand and get thoughts out about.

Guess some mornings just aren’t for writing... yet. I’ll give it some time.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Petit Village Encore

I seem to keep ending up in these small villages whenever I leave Seattle.

Sachseln. Giswil. Arzier. Bowen Island.

Sachseln - Population 4,850
Giswil - Population 3,613
Arzier - Population 2,283
Bowen Island - Population 3,402

And now I’m in Haines.
Population 2,508

Today, upon walking down one rather short stretch of road, not the main road, I managed to come ‘cross Bryce, Popeye, Ashley, Ashley (yes, two Ashley’s), Victoria, Jo, and Ben.

Later I went to the library for just a moment and ran into Janine, Jenty, Jedidiah,Tiffany, Ashley, Ally, Brooke, and Lucy. Eight people when going to the library - and eight lovely folks I actually am excited to see.

So, in just a few hours time, most of which was spent at the park, I managed to run into fourteen lovelies.

And that’s when you know you live in a small town.
You know you’re there when you can’t go anywhere without running into someone you know AND, I want to add this one, care about.

Yeah, this town is good for me.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Can Swim

Before Haines, I couldn’t swim.

Before Haines, I don’t think I’d ever free floated in the water without a flotation device for more than a minute maybe two.

The other day, I hopped in the community pool, and swam around, happy as a clam, for 27 minutes without touching the side on my first try.

I’ve been in the pool a few times a week, lately, with my work. A lot of my clients are sensory seekers, like me, so being in the pool provides good periospective input for them. I’ve been training in the pool and, while one client was swimming laps, the wonderful woman I was training with taught me some things about swimming and, back and forth I went.

Because I’ve never been able to swim, I’ve missed out on the joys of just “being” in the water. I’ve missed out on playing in the deep end and listening to my hands make waves by my ears.

For an hour, I floated on my back, I treaded water, and I moved around how I wanted to move in the water. Time went by quickly and I was gleefully happy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Joined the Band Wagon

That red head is me, Mägi.

A year after meeting them at a contra dance, I drove up to Haines with Andrew and Tyler. Then they learned I played the cello. Then we got a cello. Now, apparently I'm a member of Bonfire at Home.

I like to add those lower melodic tones, harmonies, and rhythms that you might not even notice 'cept it sounds emptier when I stop. I like blending in with the vocals, but then sustaining my note gently with slight vibrato, even after they start, and using that to tie a verse into a chorus.

I love dynamics, cute hooks, playing a C natural on the A string, and when I get to try and sing loudly on the circle song that isn't really called the circle song but that's the way I remember it.

I get random lines from the songs stuck in my head all day like the phrase, "break it down" or their kazoo duet.

I don't like the fourth fret.

I forget to listen to the words sometimes, but then I'll key in and realize what the song is about. The other day I checked in at the line, "I want to watch you burn." I still am not sure about how I feel about that.

From the Bonfire at Home page.

May Work Update

I decided not to take the baking position at the Mountain Market.

I talked around to a lot of past employees to get a feel for what the environment can be like. I thought about the hours and what it would mean to get up at 4 AM. I thought about how much flexibility would be taken out of my life.

I also realized it would drain me -- completely. I am currently working just thirty hours a week with my main job, which I’m realizing is a perfect amount for me.

The job I hold and am putting my energy is working with individuals living with developmental disabilities.

It’s by no means an easy job. There’s a lot to learn about each of my four clients. Some of them require total care while others are a bit more independent. Some are chill and go with the flow and others require a lot of energy to motivate them to do anything.

I’m phasing out of the training phase, now, and starting to work with them on my own. Both the clients and I are adjusting and learning what to expect of each other.

I’m still not entirely sure how it’s going to work out, with some clients, yet, but I’m excited to give it a try and put in the effort.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

First "This Isn't My Home" Moment

It becomes easy for me to forget to write down the negatives, as that’s a bit of a policy of mine to not get negative, especially on a blog. I try and write down the good and lesson-worthy, letting the groany-mundane slip by unnoticed.

This might not be the healthiest documentation approach as, sometimes it’s the bad times that make the good times so good. It’s also the bad times that help us grow.

So, here we have it - My first moment of discontentment in Haines as I thought, “I’m going to buy a boat ticket home now.”


The number one lesson that I like to hold onto is that all things that seem sour get sweeter after a night’s sleep.

If we went back to my notes on heading to Alaska, I remember writing down one thing I would really miss about Seattle. I said that I was going to miss the dance scene most.

And do I?
Oh my goodness! Yes!
Holy cow, I miss it’s guts!

I miss dancing with incredible lovely dancers where I shut off my brain and they lead me through the music and it becomes more than just a display of moves.

Last night, at the Pioneer Bar (P-Bar), music was put on to get people dancing. I got this strong, strong longing to be dancing with some of my favourite dancers.

As the songs played, I new the places where I would be dipped and twirled and where my delight would overtake me.

But there was no one, no one around that could take me there.

Andrew walked in a bit later but he wasn’t up for dancing. I left right away, frustrated to not have my dance cravings satisfied.

It’s around a 1.2 mile walk home and I tromped down the middle of the highway, my thoughts brewing.

I thought about Folklife weekend coming up. Folklife is a HUGE huge multicultural gathering of awesome on Memorial Day weekend at the Seattle center. It’s hours of contra dancing and music from around the world and laying in the grass and beautiful mates. Anyways, I’m missing that and bummed about it. I almost didn’t come to Haines because of Folklife.

I played through the rhythm of the dances. I let my mind wander into the emotions and sensations I would get on a good night of fusion.

And in this, I got bitter.

How could I ever call a place home if I couldn’t dance there?

On top of this, there was an entire other thing I was thinking about and processing through that was getting me down.

When I got home, Andrew noticed that I was “off,” in his words.

Even though I had left before him, on the bike he had gotten home first, which wasn’t what I had wanted. I had wanted to slip into bed unnoticed and I would see him in the morning.

I knew I would be better in the morning and over everything. But, in that moment, I wanted to hop the next ferry home into complete submersion into my Seattle dance scene.

Yep. He was there and, for once, I didn’t have anything to say.

“Mägi, you ok?”

I wasn’t sure how to articulate my thoughts. They seemed raw, unimportant, and not worth mentioning. I knew it'd pass over by the next day.

I’m not a terrific night cope-er - especially that night.

But, of course, in the morning, felt a whole lot better.

Monday, May 21, 2012

It's Been a Year Since I Met 'em

May 14, 2011 - Honfest West at Gasworks Park, Seattle, Washington
It was a year ago that I met Andrew and Tyler and they said I should come to Haines with them.
Met them May 12th.

And then, a year later, we're all in Haines.

Put Some Fun Between Your Legs & Tie-Dye

Haines sure does keep me occupied. And what’s rad is, when something happens, everyone seems to show up. If I want to do something, any night, I need only go for a walk and someone is almost always guaranteed to walk, ride, or drive by.

The other night, the local screenprinting shop, Shtümpa, held a community tie-dye night. Shtümpa is located in Dalton City - the old set of the movie White Fang.

Shirt, dye, bands, and everything was provided from five until nine.
Everyone got a chance to pick out a shirt, a design, and then dye it.
All for free.

The result?
Our town is now full of happy tie-dye clad folks.

One of the logos was, well, let me show you. Our town is now full of a lot of kids running around with the phrase, "Put some fun between your legs," on their shirts.

The next day, they were dried out and ready to go at the Bike Rodeo at the parade grounds.

Thank you Shtümpa!

The Man Night Alternative & Dick's New Heart

Andrew and Tyler declared the need for upcoming Man Night.

I decided to get out of the trailer and Lady/Girl's Night was put together.

A small taste of Man Night was had as I waited for Jenty to pick me up.

Man Night
They watched the Disney channel, Shopping channel, Jesus channel, and the Fishing channel.
They drank whiskey from bowls filled with ice and shouted like vikings.
Tyler was recovering from hypothermia and was sipping tea in a sleeping bag.

Then I went to Lady's Night.

Wine, bread, cheese, and salami made me feel like I was back in Switzerland.

Lucy brought some morels --- oh oh oh oh oh.
So good.

And here were our topics of discussion:
Living Wills
Gas attacks in Japan
Dick Cheeney’s New Heart
Protecting Guys from Morel Disappointment
Mushroom Identification
Alaska Empowers Women
Lynn Canal Conservatory
Dumpster Diving
Do Not Hesitate
Mud Bay Elite
Girls’ Night
Repressed Sexuality of Men
Boats vs Ships

Yeah. Pretty rad night.
Fantastic company.

I returned home at midnight to survey the damage of Man Night (not really much at all) and made attempts at falling asleep as they educated each other on important subjects that I don’t need to elaborate on.

Isolation When You're Not Alone

Sometimes, in group settings, I feel more isolated than I do when I’m alone.

I guess, by isolated, I mean to say that I feel more disconnected from the world.

Frequently, when I’m amongst many, I forget to engage in a conversation or I can't figure out how to. It sometimes seems as if everyone is engaged in full, connected with each other, and I don’t know how to get in. I hear them going and listen for a chance to join.

The feelings of disconnection aren’t ones I necessarily treasure.

And in this, my discomfort can come from two places.

Sometimes being isolated and disconnected is like being in a river when you can’t seem to swim in it. All you want is a place to stand, something to hold onto, or a way to get the shore, maybe a rope. And you see them but you can’t manage to get where you need to be to feel safe. A conversation is like an anchor in a setting. It roots you to where you are and it acts as a reassurance that someone, someone in the group wants you to be there. That would be me wanting connection because I want it.

But then there is the peculiar situation of feeling discomforted not because you’re not dissatisfied, but because society has told you that it is proper to be engaged when in social settings and I get this strange feeling that the people surrounding me are casting judgments on my solidarity. That’s right - I feel obliged to find a way to connect with the others around in in instances just because I think that people will notice and care if I don’t. Sometimes I think that they are thinking, "What an awkward loner."

I am relieved that at least I acknowledge what is happening and understand how warped it is - another cognative distortion causing disatisfaction.

And so, last night, in seeing that, I left my setting, the camp fire, and went inside to process these thoughts. I found myself under a table, amidst the recycling-sorting-boxes, in the kitchen. I was even surprisingly glad when Popeye, Bryce, Ashley, and Ben all ended up where I. We talked. And then they pulled me back to the bonfire.

It’s definitely ok to be alone. I’ve gotten good at it.
I've learned to enjoy it.
I do enjoy it.
But being alone when I'm with others, that's altogether another situation I'm still processing.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cinnamon Waffle-Gone-Pancakes

Yesterday I wandered home to find Tyler, Andrew, and Ashley.
They made music.
I made whole wheat pumpkin cinnamon waffles.

I was grateful that they were willing to eat so many of them.

Oi. The batter started off at waffles, but, the problem is, you see, that I’m a wee bit of an impatient waffle maker. I wanted to check on them and the waffles always split apart - every single attempt.

Tyler and I spent way too much time picking mostly-cooked delectable waffle bits off of the waffle iron. He passed the time by with songs of his title of Pumpkin King and how, when he found a wife, she would be his Pumpkin Queen. It was a jaunty enough song to keep our waffle-pickin’ spirits bright.

After four or so attempts I decided to use the batter towards making pumpkin pancakes which was abundantly more successful. The thick batter cooked up thick and puffy and so, instead of watering it down, I split them down in half and cooked the doughy centers up so each of us got a half. I don’t think anyone ever got to eat an entire pancake at a time. Sharing was a consistent occurrence.

In the trailer.
Music and waffles.
Whole wheat and oats.
Pumpkins and cinnamon.
Tyler, Andrew, Ashley, and Mägi.
Can’t complain.

Well... actually, I could complain long and hard but I'd have to work quite a bit to come up with things to complain about.

The Mountain Goats

When Erik told me they (referring to he and Janine) had been eating wild (do they even farm mountain goats?) mountain goat all winter, I chimed in interest and found myself invited to their house on Sunday for a mountain goat crockpot feast.

Tyler and I headed over to what had expanded from a small event to a full-on party, yo! We had Janine, Erik, Jenty, Tyler, Ella, Ashleigh, Ashley, and I and it was wonderful. But first, we stopped by a gallery open-housy thing where, of course, we ran into friends and made some new mates including a wonderful man who is going to teach me about doing glass art.

At the gallery - pre-goat time.

This was, perhaps, the finest Haines night of my existence - community and food in a cozy setting (a wee bit Kinfolk-esque).

Chess games were played.
We were given a tour of the cabin.
Tyler and I jammed on the guitar and cello.

The meal was mountain goat and carrots that had been in the crockpot for a while. Absolutely tender and delicious, I was thrilled with the meal. To go with were a side of roasted potatoes with herbs and sourdough bread. Dessert was dark chocolate with ginger. For a beverage, I had a porter and a stout. They took good, good care of us.

The mountain goat had been hunted down by Erik in the company of Ashleigh and Lucy last autumn. The hide or fur was conditioned to soft loveliness on the chair. The horn was a pipe. The meat supplied them with food for the winter. Now I saw why folks might want to hunt. A fuzzy blanket, pipe, and meat for the winter? Not bad, eh?

Haines is where I like to be.

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