Friday, December 7, 2007
It has come to my attention through conversations, observations and intuitions that Alaska is a very special place. I have spent the last three days "diggin' on people" I got to spend time with all these teacher cats that have come to Alaska for many reasons. I can definitively say after all this diggin' that we are truly a bunch of weirdos. The best part about Alaskan castaways like us are that everyone, fairly new to old salty vets, have come here for a real reason. Not to say everyone else isn't doing that also but up here it really allows people to come out of the woodwork. People are starting over, escaping, running away, searching, experimenting, realizing, dreaming, adventuring and longing for some sort of quality of life. Everyone I meet is in their own part of this process. Us rookies just got here. The cool people who have been here for a while you can tell a mile a way. You can tell by their faded and roughed up black carhart overalls (so jealous of you E by the way) or their finely tuned winter outfits or their crazy beards (shut up) or their emerging accents (also shut up), or their sweet spotted seal Russian style hats and mittens (gotta get me one of those), or their innocently charming complete lack of social awareness (that one guy), or their awesome and beautiful manifested quirkyness on full display for everyone to soak up and enjoy. Maybe its because most of us still can't believe that this whole place is real, or maybe its because we are really spaced out cats who strayed far from home and have gotten a little loose in the screws, but either way I feel like that I may have found a place where you can be your own whacky self and you're probably not as odd and out there as a lot of other cats 'round these parts. There is always some radical dude or hardcore chick that will reassure you that you could be weirder (and maybe will be someday if you stay here long enough). With so much personal questing and soul searching going on, I often think its a miracle that people can fall in love here. Yet here they are, marching along to the crazy beat of romance itself. When life is so focused on day to day mental and physical survival all other things can be, how they say, "Lost in the Sauce." I'm convinced that this is unlike anything you could ever imagine unless you've been here. No matter how I try I can't find words to describe this feeling in my belly and heart that I have. I am smiling and laughing in my heart today and that is good.
This trip into the big city has almost, and trust me the proper word is "almost," restored me to a level of homeostasis with Bush Alaska. I'm not going to lie, I've been here before, not Alaska so much, but this mental stage of moving away from home and all that you know. I am finally overcoming the initial shock, 4 months later, it just took a while and I didn't realize what was happening. I think that Bethel is a beautifully sad, possibly tragic place to live, I think that many of the social things taking place in the entire delta are on a path to epic disappointment, I think the people here (me too) are freaking nuts, and unbelievably, I think I just fell in love with Alaska. Oops.