Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blog Nightmare

In an attempt to get my 4 writing class students to understand the joys of writing for personal growth and satisfaction, I had them each create their own blogs. Unfortunately, when I asked them to comment on each other's blogs they commented about things that mostly have nothing to do with writing. I want them to take this thing seriously but I have a feeling its going to turn into one long butt and fart joke. A long joke that will get me into trouble in the end.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Killin' Trouts

So trouts are pretty cool fish. I know technically most people refer to the plural of trout as simply that, trout. But, I prefer trouts. It just feels better to say off your breath. I kind of feel bad after I caught so many trouts in the last four days or so. It is a really bizarre feeling to smash their heads against rocks or with the end of a utility knife so that they won't squirm and get away. I don't know why but I always feel bad killing fish, especially trouts. I love fishing, I love catching them, and unless their is a buttload of them in the water like here on my island I usually throw them back. Not lately though, I'm a trout killer. I've done slain like 7 of those suckers in the past week.
Yesterday I hiked for hours across a four wheeler trail to kill trouts. I hiked through the muddy squishy tundra to get to a trout pond upriver from my town. The most enjoyable part of the day was eating the ham and cheese sandwich, red delicious apple, reeses peanut butter cup and coca-cola lunch I packed for myself upon my arrival at the pond. Somehow the coke was still ice cold. I took my shoes and socks off and fished barefoot in the sun for 4 hours.
I lost a monster trout right away to a thrown hook, then I caught and released two baby trouts. The mosquito repellent I applied worked like a charm and I didn't get bit once. After letting the two baby trouts go I didn't catch anything for 3 hours. I had timed my walk there, it took two hours, and knew I needed to leave around 8 to safely arrive home before dark. At 7:45 a dense fog and rain clouds rolled into the valley. It got cold immediately and I still had no trouts.
I was getting pissed off not only because the witty trouts were avoiding my attempts, but also because every other cast would return a three pronged hook full of river grass and algae. The weather was about to get bad. I had hiked my butt off and caught no trouts and I needed to go home. I contemplated walking home in the dark so I could stay trout fishing longer. I started to see some trouts jump at the top of the pond. I went to the top and flicked a couple of casts into the hole. Nothing.
I said, "Skrew it, I'm outta here after this cast." Just like a charm I pulled out a big ol' trout. It fought good and I waited all day for that little bugger. I was happy I caught at least one. Then I got greedy and cast again after I splattered blood all over my cheek when I wacked the trout to death with a stick. Two more identical casts and I had landed an even bigger trout. I knocked it out with a shoe and then chopped both the trouts heads off. I gutted em' put them in a plastic grocery bag, put my dried socks and shoes on and walked home.
I was happy. Until, my butt started aching from all the tundra walking. Luckily a cool guy named Jim in a beat up old toyota truck gave me a ride from the dump into town cutting my return walk by at least a half an hour. I got home and cleaned the trouts. I fried em' up in pancake batter and ate em. As I picked the bones out of my teeth I thought "Trouts always get the last laugh, freakin' bones are so damn annoying."

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunset

Man, I don't know if I've seen a sunset this beautiful since I was in Byron Bay Australia. I wrote this as the colors exploded in the sky.

Burn globe slow
And simmer,
In the dusk mellow.
A giant closing eye
Hangs low
At the crossing.
The horizon firm unmoving,
But the one moving is me.
The fireball stays the same.
But, I turn endlessly.
I am the rotator.
I am on the spinning top.
It is the beam that lasts.
It is the one that won't stop.
Beyond what we can imagine,
Beyond what we will know,
It glows.

Hope that warms you up a little.

Friday, August 17, 2007

How I Rocked today

Today I went on a walk along the rocky shores of a tidal river next to my village. I wrote this poem.

Rock Poem # 1

A very large boulder once said to me,
"I'll never be sand."
"I'll never get shaved down to that."
But the boulder broke in half one day.
And, it lost a corner too.
Over and over for ever it seemed to keep happening.
Until one day the boulder woke up
And it was only a rock.
It said, "Well I'm no boulder, but a rock
Is good enough."
The boulder continued with conviction
"I can be a rock, but I still will never be Sand."
But, the life of a rock is hard.
A boy picked up and skipped the rock one day.
Lying in the river bed the boulder thought,
"Well a wet rock is still a rock, I am a rock."
But, the river current took the rock.
It bounced it down to the sea eventually.
The rock reminisced,
"I've come a long way since being a boulder,
but a sea rock is a rock none the less."
Oh, but the tide had its way with the rock.
It rolled it up and down the beach twice a day
Until it was only a pebble.
Smaller and smaller the pebble became.
It panicked for what seemed like centuries
Until one definitive day it woke up a grain of sand.
"Gosh Darned it! I am just a lousy piece of sand now!"
The sand cried out.
"I am nothing anymore, there are a billion other
Sands just like me all over this beach."
It said sadly to itself.
At that exact moment the sand realized that
No other grain of sand had gotten there exactly
The same way it had. It was a special Sand.
The Sand sighed a tiny sand sigh and thought
About all the many parts of it that it had lost
Since being a boulder.
"They will be sand someday too, everything will be sand."
The Sand proclaimed proudly.
The Sand was proud of its journey and then it thought,
"I may be a simple grain of sand but I will never
Disintegrate into nothing."
But the Sand got smaller still,
Until it was Nothing.
"Whatever," the Nothing said.
"I'm Nothing, so what?"
The Nothing flew around the universe.
Finally free from the bonds of trying to be,
The Nothing could do whatever its non existence wanted.
It went around not doing things and not being.
"This is nice, no more pressure to be."
The Nothing thought, which was rare,
Because the Nothing thought nothing mostly.
One day the Nothing saw something
Up in the distant reaches of space.
It was very bright and light blasted out of it.
The Nothing, not being anything,
Went right up to light and said,
"Who the hell are you? I am Nothing, what
Are you doing here?"
The light replied warmly,
"Hello dear Nothing, I am Everything."
"Oh am I supposed to worship you or something?"
The Nothing scoffed.
"You can worship something if you want,
But I am only Everything."
The Everything replied softly.
"I am a even you."
The Nothing stopped in its tracks,
Which did not exist.
The Nothing rubbed its eyes in disbelief.
The Nothing was looking at Everything
and it realized that they were Something together.
"We are truly something aren't we?!"
They said in unison.
"If we are Something, we could be Anything."
They said together.
"Lets be Mountain, yeah, a Mountain."
"A Mountain is something."
"A Mountain definitely is not nothing."
"A Mountain is a really big boulder."
And the Mountain was okay with that.

I think this would be a good children's book with out the cussing and with pictures.
Anyone want to illustrate?

Kale

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thank God for KEXP

swirl above
all is never enough
feel the love
even if its rough
trap the joy
harness the warm
destroy
the storm
dive deep below
run fast today
simmer the mellow
know the way
rip the lonely
embrace the void
the one and only
infinite paranoid
energy eternal
vibrant alive
discard infernal
useless diatribe
join the union
quit the team
fall within
the sunbeam
meet the maker
ditch the rest
trip the takers
be what is best
back up the front
come out the back
give up the hunt
step on the crack
intention well
hide nothing
cast a spell
on something
deliver daily
receive often
dance gaily
in soft wind
swing wildly
in the dark
comment mildly
make your mark

So I wrote this poem because the clouds swirl above. I feel like all is never enough unless you feel the love. Sometimes its easy even if its rough. I am just trying to trap the joy so that I can harness the warm life around me. Its impossible to destroy the storm inside me sometimes. But if I think hard I can dive deep below into the sea of my memories and run fast today to a better place. Its hard to remember to simmer the mellow doubts because internally I know the way even if I can't take it always. If I could rip the lonely right out of me and embrace the void I might be the the one and only to release myself from this infinite paranoid state. I want to feel the energy eternal. I want to be a vibrant alive thing. But, I feel like I always have to discard infernal racket and useless diatribe. I had to join the union so I guess I quit the team of anti-establishment. Does that mean I can't fall within the realm of the sunbeam? I don't think I'll ever get to meet the maker. If I do I hope they are one of those makers that would want to ditch the rest of the other makers. This summer I tried to trip the takers but learned I can't always be what is best. I came back up the front of life when I all I really wanted was to come out the back side of my mind. I guess I did give up the hunt. I guess I did step on the crack. But I had an intention well beyond what I could attain. I try to hide nothing but end up veiling everything. Why does life cast a spell on nothing. I don't even have a right to comment on somethings because I will never know. But still I deliver daily what I can and I will never receive often enough what I need. Why is it so hard to dance gaily? When was the last time I felt happy in soft wind? I mean, thats what we all want right? Then why do we swing wildly all the time. Do we always have to be in the dark of things? Maybe if I didn't comment mildly about everything you would truly be able to make your mark on me.

This is what your thoughts look like if you are listening to deep house music on KEXP online stream while sitting in your apartment in a village in the Bering Sea on an island by yourself.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Yes I know

Yes I know the times are long
and clouds among us creep through
Yes I know my sighs are wrong
and the doubts inside us new
Yes I know the hill is high
and the steps plodding slow
Yes I know the trip is why
we always get back up and go

Today was annoying and long. I hate computers and especially these infernal creatures called mac's. I don't have any inspirational words for the evening other than to say that I am totally pooped and I'm going to pop a movie in and go to bed. I did record a bad ass cover of Elton John's "Rocket Man" on my mac book through Garageband so I guess technology has its better points as well.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday Mekoryuk Style

Today I got up and went to the Mekoryuk Covenant Church for morning service. It was simple and heartfelt. I realized that it is a good thing for some people but I don't think "God" will ever be a reality in my life. Regardless I went over to the pastors house for lunch. His name is Nathan and he has a really cool eskimo wife and two kids. The lunch consisted of fresh halibut, homemade chicken soup, rice, eskimo ice cream with local tundra berries and peanut butter cookies. It was delicious and Nathan's family is really accepting and generous. After walking back to our unit with my neighbor Annie and a local teen named Bjorn Kristian I decided to go on an adventure by myself. I walked the same walk I went on with Josh's family but in reverse. The tide was way out which exposed some rocks and tidal pools. I started investigating to see if it would be worthwhile to take my class next week. I found a starfish missing an arm, a stranded jellyfish, and a lot of really amazing algae. I will definitely bring my class down if possible. I took a lot of pictures and wrote a poem in the sand:

As the wind blows through the sands of my mind
And the sand blows into the corners of time
The time clock is ticking and I don't mind
If you've read this just walk along
And see what you will find

I walked all the way down the beach and came back through the tundra and dunes along 4 wheeler trails. There were a lot of really interesting flowers and I took a lot of close up photos. I worked up a sweat on the walk home and I made a sundial to mark the time.

When I got home I played ukulele for a while, watched a really lame movie on tv and did some computer work. I have to say, for someone who absolutely hates sundays this one has been really nice.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Settling in

After flying over the Kuskokwim Delta and out into the Bering Sea. The airplane ride was completely surreal because the plane sort of sways back and forth like a fishing lure. We had a hardcore chick bush pilot with an Alaskan Amber shirt and a twitch. She was constantly turning levers and you could watch our progress on the GPS monitor. I couldn't stop giggling and smiling as we started our decent onto Nunivak Island. The landing was really smooth and I guess we were really lucky because clear sunny weather landings are rare on Nunivak. After we landed my principal, and amazing new friend, took us to town in his truck. He has a wife, Melissa, son Elliot, and niece name Michelle. They are a wonderful family and after I got settled in they had me over for sit down dinner. It was good to know that good normal people live one door down. I met a few locals right away and they are mysterious and smiling. That night we took a very long walk out on the tundra and down to the beach. There are stink weed, chamomile, salmon berry, blue berry and many other edible and medicinal plants growing around the island. There was a large whale bone near the beach and as we walked along the sand I realized that if it weren't for the cold weather, it would be a skimboarding paradise. We scared some kids on a four wheeler smoking cigarettes behind a rusted tractor dinosaur skeloton on the beach. They sped away and we wished we would have brought a plastic bag to pick up cigarette butts and other garbage. As we walked back into town past the cemetery and fish factory I was amazed at how it seemed like another country. It reminded me a lot of a cold version of the neighborhoods on the outskirts of Santiago. Other odd things like the proponderance of people riding four wheelers and the quite plodding pace that the locals walk in. The little kids are incredibly endearing and one named Robert William got my name on the first try. He had a huge snotty coming out of his right nostril and I didn't want to tell him because it was so cute. My next door Annie is a spunky red head who is dating the maintanence man. I saw my class room briefly then went to lay on the couch in my apartment . I borrowed two chick flicks and stayed up till 4 in the morning watching them on my laptop before I got to sleep. The next day I slept in, got my 4 boxes from the post office, set up my sweet pad, and helped Josh and his family fillet, bag and seal 200 lbs. of halibut. The made spaghetti for dinner and let me stay again. Tomorrow I will be going to church for the first time in over 18 years. I am not scared. It is a good way to meet everyone. I promise I won't become a christian. Till next time love you all and things here are pleasant. I am content.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Let the real adventure begin

So i met my site administrator today, Josh. He's a rad dude. He totally blew my mind with all the crazy stuff he was telling me about my new home. I guess the school is really good, i'm going to work my ass off, and i got a sweet house. I'm such a tornado right now i can't even figure out what is up and what is down. anywho, not much time to blog it up tonight because i'm about to pass out for the night. Love you all miss you already.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Holy Isht Batman I'm in Alaska

So, I'm in Alaska. Today I ate whale blubber. It was gross. Everything here is muddy and the skeeters are bitin' something fierce. I'm in good spirits and I already miss everyone. I just set up this blog so keep checking in or subscribe or whatever so you can see my spiral towards bearded hermit freakout.
to view my other blog OUT OF THE CLOSET ATHEIST click HERE