Monday, October 22, 2012


So, I'm sitting in a coffee shop in Homer, drinking a frothing latte
from a perfect turquoise speckled tie die cup. The view of the water
and the mountains is extraordinary. I have been here a week now. It
seems longer, so long, while at the same time seeming to be a frosty blink.

The snow came to Diamond Ridge with my arrival and hasn't left. I
probably won't see ground or green until June. Winter is long here, and
on the ridge it is even longer.

I have already seen a moose and her baby frolicking in the sloping field
in front of the front porch. I have hauled wood and split kindling. I
have shoveled snow and learned how to keep the wod stove at the delicate
and desired temperature. I have successfully driven on snow and ice
(twice!) and am slowly learning how to navigate the town. Its simple
really, most of the businesses etc are clustered on a few long streets.
I have driven out onto the spit - seen the boat harbor and where the big
oil rigs dock when they come to town to refuel. I am learning to cook
salmon and may have to just abandon my vegetarian status for awhile, or
join the ranks of those who mistakenly insist that fish isn't meat.

The atmosphere is different here. More relaxed, friendly. Yet it is
still a small town, skeptical of tourists, the demographic seems to be
split between the hardy long-termers, the ones that came up 20 or 30
years ago and never left, and the more transient gypsies, passing
through, spending a season or two taking in the beauty and outdoor
opportunities this place offers. There is an abundance of cute cafes
and coffee shops.

I am just trying to take it slow, gradually explore, but I am still in
limbo. I thought that feeling would stop once I got here, but
everything is just so up in the air. I always considered myself to be
easy going, not much a planner, but now I'm not so sure. I need to get
back to my live-in-the-moment-not-worry-about-what-tomorrow-brings kind
of attitude that I had in high school before nursing school sucked my
soul away with its responsibilities and deadlines - turning me into a
person that got A's and showed up to work on time.

The unknown is hard. Everything is up in the air. The neighbor in the
guest house next door is leaving and anything could happen. I don't
know if I'll stay in the log house or guest house will be. I don't know
who my neighbor will be or if I'll have one. I don't know if I will
take care of the dogs or not - Betsy is trying to decide whether or not
to take them to Portland. I'm trying to be responsible and helpful and
learn as much as I can and just roll with things, one day at a time. I
think it is good for me. The solitude is a mental game - and I am
gradually remembering that there is such a thing as controlling your
thoughts, as intentionally creating stillness within your mind and heart.

The solitude is going to be hard to grapple with. But it is necessary.
Learning to be good company for yourself. Motivating yourself to push
through loneliness and be productive. Its harder than I thought but I
will have all winter to work on it. I still wonder what on earth I am
doing here. That part never was clear to me. I just knew I wanted to
go. I felt like maybe I was supposed to be here. and so I staked it
all on that, threw all my eggs in one basket, some of them cracking, and
put everything I had into making it work in this place.

And I love it here. The beauty is stunning. A new place is just always
hard. When you are in the old place, comfortable and zen with your
current experience, the unknown is alluring. the journey. But then
when you arrive, it isn't quite as glorious. When you arrive at a new
place, you realize all the things you knew you would. You realize you
are at the bottom again. You realize that you will have to fight your
way up. You realize that even though its an essential part of the human
experience to arrive an unknown in the place you know no one - still it
is lonely.

I haven't found a job, and that is disconcerting. I have also only been
here a week. The search is far from over, but one did not fall out of
the sky into my lap as I had somehow expected. But I have far from
exhausted all my options, and I am currently deciding just how picky I
can afford to be. The answer, really, is not picky. not picky at all.

But the sun is shining, and the water is glistening, and the mountains
are silent and wild and ageless and I am grateful to be here.

que serah serah

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