Sunday, January 28, 2007

sun break

"Coming soon- tales from Mexico."

"Ya me voy por otras tierras..."
I'm off to Mexico for some sun!
I will try to blog from there.
Meanwhile,here's wishing you all magical journey of your own....

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


"Let that which is awake in me speak to that which is awake in you,
rather than that which is asleep in me be annoyed by that which is asleep in you."

Still inside the frosty pearl of Winter, I am slowly unfolding from a dream, surrendering to a new awakening, different than anything I have ever known. What does it mean to stop waiting and to arrive, finally, to what has always been awake, waiting for you? Waxing poetic here at the Langley library, coziest spot on the island, gazing out the window at the melting snow, the sleepy sky like a silver skin as far as the eye can see.

* * *

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Monday, January 15, 2007


Shorn Alpaca at Greenbank

I am looking out across Lone lake through a pair of binoculars, trying to spot a friend’s house on the other side. When I put them down there is a man standing next to me. “Did you see that? He asks.
Uh, what?
“That bald eagle! It just swooped down and caught that fish right out of the lake!”
This proves that it is possible that I am sometimes in the right place at the right time. I’m just looking in the wrong direction.
So I’m going to turn my focus away from the direction of the weather (and from the view of frozen snow on the ground that everyone says never happens here) and talk about something else for a change.
Like the fascinating world of animals, for instance.

Here are some interesting stories that I have read and heard about animals of the northwest:

Here on south Whidbey island and northwest Washington in general, there are many stories of people discovering the bones of ancient woolly mammoths in their back yards. In 1977 a man was digging a pond outside of Sequim and discovered two enormous 12,000 year old mastadon tusks, 9 feet long. Several other bones were found, including the bone spear point of the prehistoric weapon that was used to kill the animal, lodged firmly into one of it’s ribs.

One pair of northern spotted owls require 2,200 acres of old growth forest for their food supply.
Because old growth forests are in short supply these days, they make do with what they can
It has been reported that a local woman discovered an owl’s nest with no less than twelve cat collars scattered about inside it.

If attacked by a grizzly bear it is recommended that you curl up in a fetal position with your face down. Talk to it so that it knows that you are only a mere human.
On the other hand, if a black bear attacks you, fight back with any weapon you can find.
It is a recommended that you learn to distinguish between these two bears.
(Actually, there are no longer bears on Whidbey island, thanks to the enthusiastic shotguns of earlier settlers here.)

Geoducks (pronounced gooey ducks) are phallic shaped clams weighing from four to fifteen pounds found by digging deeply into the sand on beaches at low tide. Aside from their unappetizing description, they are an essential ingredient in many clam chowders as well as a few colorful local jokes.

Puget Sound is home to the largest species of octopus in the world. It grows up to 12 feet across and can weigh up to 30 pounds or more. They can make themselves incredibly flat to get where they want to go, and legend has it that one of them once slid out of it’s tank and under the door into it’s owner’s bedroom. The book doesn’t say what happened next, and I am not about to speculate…

The fact that Orcas do not intentionally attack humans is one of the great mysteries of nature.

Transplanted Californians, a common type of homo sapiens found in abundance on South Whidbey, are often known to make annoying whining sounds, especially during the winter months. Otherwise they can be quite agreeable and even charming. Really.

Monday, January 8, 2007

License to Rant

I am standing inside the grey walled building of the Washington DOL (department of licensing) looking out the window at the slightly darker grey skies of Everett, and a tight lipped man in a white turtleneck is taking my picture. “Okay, Californie girl, smile! He says, as he leers at me “Or not.”
He hands me a grey card as a temporary Washington drivers license, All right then, so this is it. I am now an official resident of the great state of Washington. I feel strange, as if I am betraying something, though I’m not sure what. As if I am renouncing my own familiar and loyal state in favor of this one, which I hardly know at all.
My California license is handed back to me with a large hole punched through it that renders it null and void. It is like my heart, I think. The something that is missing. The part of me that hasn’t quite arrived yet, that is stretched out in a hammock somewhere on a beach in Mexico, sipping margaritas. The rest of me is here, of course, bundled up and barely recognizable as a human form, watching the street signs bend with the force of the biting wind outside as it prepares itself for yet another storm. It seems that while the rest of the country is luxuriating in the romantic warmth of El Nino, we are experiencing what is fondly known by the local weather persons by the far less exotic term of “Arctic Push.” Everyone tells me that the weather has never been so extreme, that this is a fluke, and I have to believe them, because I so want it to be true.

We take the ferry back to the island and it rocks and heaves over the white capped Sound. All night long the wind moans and howls, breaking off 100 foot trees at their trunks, sending branches flying through the air. In the middle of the night one of them falls onto a nearby power line, and our cozy electric heater abruptly stops humming. As I feel the temperature begin to drop one degree at a time, I lay awake fretting over our freshly stocked freezer. It had taken a ferry ride and several missed freeway exits and wrong turns to finally locate the oasis of Trader Joe’s, and now it seems that all of our precious and hard earned booty is poised for spoilage.
By morning the roads are littered with the leafy carnage of branches and fallen trees, like some arboreal war zone. The grind and whine of chain saws and generators fills the eerily still air as we wander out into the day, shivering and and yearning for the simple pleasures of hot showers and coffee.

Winter continues to chip away at my comfort zone. My bucolic fantasies have now perished in the face of unexpected inconveniences. Sometimes I want to shake my clenched fist at those intimidating mountains and rant. Don’t you arctic push me, you goddamned white capped turtlenecked rainsoaked sonsofbitches. Hey! Don’t you know who I am???
But of course they do. I am merely a small and very temporary resident of this wild and ancient earth.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Happy New Year

It is now possible for anyone to post comments on this blog. Please do! Feel free to add your own ideas concerning the subjects, let me know what you think, or just say hello.
Thanks, and enjoy!