Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Sunrise is seeping through the mountains, long impish brushes of purpled blue and pink are streaking across the sky, and loneliness has been replaced by wonder and gratitude - real, breathtaking, i-can't-believe-how-nice-people-are gratitude.

A voracious, dancing, crashing, potent epiphany of gratitude has finally burst its way through sodden sludgy neuronal pathways, clearing my headspace with laughing rainbow popcorn and leaving behind a bright cleanswept path of thought and light, smelling faintly of nag champa and lemon pledge.  

I was so caught up in feeling like an isolated mental case on the top of a mountain that I wasn't even registering the blessings coming my way and the people that were bringing them.

I feel humility, sheepishness, awe, and belief as I begin to put this list together in my mind - as awareness came crashing into me like a smile and I begin to see a pattern forming on the intricate tapestry of human kindness and connection.  

People are AMAZING!!

There's Betsy - graciously giving me, a stranger, the ideal winter situation - a cozy log house, plenty of firewood, a car to drive, utilities paid - all in exchange for house sitting, keeping the pipes from freezing, and sorting through mountains of beautiful books - which is pretty much the way I want to spend my time anyway.  I came with nothing and even though what I have now is not mine - every need I possibly have is met. Thank-you Betsy.

There's Carol - someone I don't know and never met, who, after reading about my great longing not to be separated from my books, took it upon herself to graciously insist on paying to send them to me....all 9 boxes..... my soul is so touched by the kindness of a complete stranger who somehow knew that my having them would make such a difference.  Thank-you Carol.

There's Eli - my precious cousin and friend who happened to be in location of said books and spent hours re-boxing and shipping them media mail, and then decided to just go ahead and send me everything else as well - so now I don't have to feel split - I can feel like I made a clean move - I have nothing in storage. I can't describe how good that feels. Thank-you Elise.

There's Aunt Susan - assuming responsibility of my car for me, fixing it up, and taking all those pesky tag and titling expenses out of the future proceeds of the sale.  Also paying my first hefty month of student loans for me, without me asking, without me telling her how hard it would have been to come up with that amount the month I came back.  Thank-you Aunt Susan.

There's my mom - sending me a kind little package stuffed with Vitamin D, foaming cleansing face wash, and all those other little things that mothers tuck in here and there and send your way.  Also came a shocking, unexpected, undeserved, and uncharacteristic cash donation that brought tears to my eyes and bought me another month of unemployment.  Thank-you Mom.

There's my brother, Daniel - knowing I'd be up here and preparing a special "back pack full of awesome" for me when I arrived, trying to make connections for me, promising me his 12 string guitar that's living in Anchorage, and being the voice of reason and insanity calling me up here in the first place.  Thank-you Daniel. 

There's Christy, new friend extraordinaire without whom I don't even want to imagine what moving up here would have been like.  We connected almost immediately - she was living next door in the guest house my first three weeks of being here, and even though she has moved down to town, I now have a person to laugh and screech and be a girl with, a person to talk to, and someone who is a little bit of a kindred spirit.  She has inspired me with her strength, courage, kindness, and insight and I am truly grateful to have made such a friend.  Thank-you Christy.

There's Lars, my official second friend in Homer, a fellow Monopoly enthusiast, someone who went out of his way to be a friend, to make sure I was doing okay and had someone to hang out with.  Thank-you Lars.

There's Cory, who took the time to befriend me and talk to me about his experience applying for MSF, someone who shares my passion for travel and social justice, who went hiking and exploring with me and just restored my faith in human goodness and kindness.  Thank-you Cory. 

There's Hannah, who interviewed me for the interview I'm still too scared to listen to on KBBI, the local radio station (I'm don't want to hear what my voice actually sounds like), a strong fabulous Xtra Tuff wearing real Alaskan fisher-woman chick that I want to be like when I grow up.  She went out of her way to hang out with a stranger and may even be crazier about books and writing than I am - which is really saying something.  She inspired me to consider the possibilities of continuing to write my book about the Tchadian women that I interviewed and has an absolutely hilarious blog that I feel is a must-read for anyone interested in the day to day madness and wonder of Alaskan life.  Thank-you Hannah.

There's Gordon and Denise, Betsy's family, who invited me over for dinner so I could meet another couple that they had just met who spent time traveling in Africa.  They were so gracious and hospitable and have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome here.  Thank-you Gordon and Denise. 

There's Doug - who emailed me because he was in the Peace Corps in Tchad too, and David, who never fails to send me encouraging and inspirational emails, and so many others who have taken the time to call me on the phone (or actually pick up when I call them like....everyday) or email me, or let me know that they are thinking of me and rooting for me. Thank-you friends and strangers. 

I basically feel punched in the gut by human kindness and I am so, so, so, so grateful. 

Thank-you new friends.

Thank-you old friends.

Thank you strangers.

Thank-you family.

Thank-you Homer.

Thank-you Universe. 



  1. I'm so glad that joy is sneaking into your life through all the newness and cold. I think anyone on that list would happily say they're grateful to have met such a talented, kind and fascinating woman. Can't wait to laugh some more with you over the winter. And scheme about writing projects. :)

  2. JOY, Gozo, alegria! xo

  3. Glad to hear JOY has returned to your life! Praying it will continue! PTL for FRIENDS who will buck you up. Sounds like you have LOTS of people rooting for you! Blessings!

  4. Awww! You are so very welcome, Jonah. What a beautiful blog. :-) Elise