Sappy & good.
Of course I’m not as disciplined about this whole blog thing as I had initially hoped. Summer has me preoccupied. At this time of year in Alaska we find ourselves keeping a frantic pace. It’s our opportunity to take in the bounty this land can lay at your feet. There has been no shortage of friends, hikes, fish, crab, and of course bugs. As I type, I smell of Deet. Quite often I smell of Deet and sunscreen. The latter is a welcome smell, for any time there’s enough sun in play here to be concerned – it can only be a good thing.
School is out for the kids. The mountains have turned to green. We have found ourselves nearing the brink of exhaustion from running, running, running. In the moments of quiet and summary, you can really take stock of the rich life we lead here. It’s going to be a nice welcome home sort of summer.
Rarely is there opportunity in this modern world to take part in ancient tradition. Better yet, to be part of something that will last for generations to come. Most moments in the space of our time are defined by the speed of our connection or gadgetry at hand. When an event presents itself to take part in something larger than the faint narcissism of well… something such as this very blog, there’s due cause to blog about it.
On a stellar spring day this April, my family watched a totem pole rise upward from the Southeast Alaska landscape. It was carried by proud native men, beautiful native women, and small native children just learning the richness of their heritage. We were only so lucky to help hoist and carry the weight of this 400 year old cedar, which was crafted into something beyond measure. It was a moment to pause and stand in a state of humility and grace. Under a clear sky, you could readily feel the cycle of this land we’ve come to love. The dancers, singers, and drums held sway over the senses. The senses connected with something primitive.
I’m invigorated by the notion that such a culture is vibrant and alive in our community. I feel much more alive today because of this celebration of elders and the natural world. A new eagle totem stands watch over our community and offers us the ever-present reminder to connect to our ancient past. In time, my children may one day bring their children to see this site, tell their story, and share respect for this land and its elders.
For amazing photos and a different perspective on the event, check out rainsoaked.com. She’s talented I say!
I’m a proponent of the fact not all remakes do songs justice… though I’ve found a few. Anyone familiar with José González and his version of ‘Heartbeats’ needs to check out the original by The Knife:
Or here’s a great example of a remake done well (cringe when I say that about a New Order original):
I’ve been thinking of ways to have recurring themes here at Shipless Ocean. The first thing that got stuck in my funky mind is all of fancy footwork the world has to offer. Who can say no to soul? A recurring Fancy Footwork feature may be in order. Here’s a primer:
I consider myself to be in a full-blown love affair with Alaska. It’s not the easy sort, more frenetic than anything else. After five years apart, we’ve reconvened and it’s overwhelming. I’m having moments of absolution and then there are the major WTF days. The thing that I’m sure of – this is where I’ll be for the duration. In the moments of major WTF, we look up for a moment and catch something like this:
Albeit a small spring avalanche, it broke loose and produced some sound and fury. The land here seems to have a built-in sanity check system. When you’re at the cusp of giving in to the jilt and repeating the mantra, “I should have moved to the Virgin Islands”, a sequence of events kicks off and you’re once again a sappy, lost lover.
Next on my movie list – Control. I’ve been wanting to watch this film about Ian Curtis, the singer of Joy Division for quite some time. Here’s some classic Ian Curtis:
Is there anything better than spring? I awoke to the noise of a jet overhead making its descent into town. Life near an airport in any other town is not as lovely. In Alaska, the sound of aircraft remind you there are places to visit and return from.
On most every weekend we find ourselves outdoors. Today, I sought out an old picnic hideout. It’s not much more than a nook where the Tongass meets the ocean. It’s strapped by prevailing winds and requires a trip down a longer-than-usual staircase, but it was showered in sun. I loaded the little ones in my Juneau-bodied truck and headed out for a picnic next to the sea.
Showered in sun… as the day has been. It’s been a day to watch boats launched into the ocean for their seasonal wetting down. Men and women in oversized trucks ferrying boats to the ocean to warm in a glow not so present throughout this gray winter. An annual ritual of the Alaskan type. I count the days until I’m among those both burdened and loved by a boat.
This evening, the smoke of a hot grill being readied for a new pizza stone and the evening light convinced me to pull out my camera. I use it less and less these days. I’ve always been a photographer that requires inspiration to strike at the shutter. I took the opportunity to wash several frames in the fading light.
Dinner was a success, at least for the grown folks that appreciate crisp wood fired pizza and strong margaritas.
Off to wrap the day.
*Today I received my first Auroral Activity Alert in quite a while. I’ve stayed on the mailing list through the years, even while away from the Aurora belt. Maybe a late night awakening is on tap. If not just to check the skies.