19 May 2009

Whoooahh, yaaaaaaaiii, hhhheeeeeaaaaa....

{{{Those are supposed to be Kung Fu chopping noises, as I have to be a warrior these days. See photo and imagine me standing atop a drumlin contemplating my next attack, spear in hand readied to scythe my enemy, secretly hoping the action is superfluous.}}}

You all have no idea how many times this year I have thought about posting a blog entry and then gotten waylaid. As another year rolls off the calendar, I begin to feel the shift. Most of the time I think that my life would seem mundane to many. Nothing really extravagant has happened. Though some of you may have been wondering how I bide my time (mostly those not in the pseudo-commune I like to call the “Tundra Triangle.”). At any rate, here are tidbits, in my usual winded diction.

Weather: It’s 9:27pm and I’m finally feeling sun on my face for the first time today. I awoke to wet snow falling fervently and sticking to boot. Who-WHAAA!? It’s melted off the boardwalks now, but it snowed most of the day and momentarily seemed like the beginning of winter again. Then, I remembered it’s May. Yesterday, it was rather gale along with cold rain. Some friends attempted to paddle over here on kayaks from neighboring villages. They tried, but turned around in vain. As Sara said, it was “several degrees of nasty” out there. CHA-dang! Saturday was quintessential: sunny, 54 degrees, a faint cool wind, birds fluttering about, kids playing... That’s how Alaska likes to share the elements… (I’m an ellipsis floozy. Can you tell? It’s all about the implication assuming what you know already or how lofty your imagination is to fill in the blank and, lets be honest, my laziness to wrap up a sentence.)

As the daylight hours wax the sun doesn’t rise and fall insomuch as roll around in the sky.
When it’s not rolling around, there’s still twilight. Extra sunlight also fosters this innate energy, where I constantly think, “Sleep… sleep is for the weak. I can keep going.” I guess the sun looking like it's rolling around the horizon is indicative of how I feel this time of year. I know I'm not alone on this one. It’s still neat to think about being on top of the world. Each summer’s approach I also recall when I first moved to Alaska, squatting/camping and working in Seward for six weeks with no clue that I would end up being here for six years so far. I wonder if those feelings will ever fade.

The whole school year:
* I’ve been blessed with an abundance of wonderful folks in the “Tundra Triangle” this year (Joolee & Bill, Kyle, Jim, Deanna, Sonya, Vicki, Pete & Tammy, Shaun & Sara, Maria, Shannon, Garry, b-ball ladies…). Our Thursday dinners, Sunday basketball, sporadic poker and game nights, sports traveling, and Bethel encounters have all kept me entertained and sane this year. A couple of times I’ve been able to see old cronies who now live in Napaskiak and Oscarville (Sara, Christina, Erin...), outlying Bethel. I love you all… thanks.
* The class that has finally congealed this year has been interesting. That’s all I have to say on that right now. I’ve been exceeding my capacity with schoolwork with end of the year testing, grading, and finalizing things. In other words, I’m inundated with school tasks throughout the day, so talking about it afterward can be a bit draining at times. I have to say in short though that I love my little friends at school and what we experience together drives me and makes up part of who I am.

January-February: No recollection refreshed. Coincidence? Blah-PLOW!

March: * Mt. Redoubt erupted and it looks like there is some activity going on now to. Foom-PASH!
* I served on a jury for the first time. It was a sexual offence trial that lasted a week, plus another half of a week it took to choose the jury. I could tell that the defense, state prosecutor, and judge were ascertaining whether or not to pick me. I had the premise that I would be selected and I was actually wishing for it. I chronicled the first three days and I never did finish the last two! It had gotten really intense and there was a lot to weigh to measure evidence, by those last days I needed to let things settle rather than rehash, enough of that was done in deliberation. We ended up deliberating for six and a half hours coming to the verdict of guilty. I do feel like we had a fair and impartial jury panel. I now know why people debate; it’s exhilarating.
* I’m participating on the Reading Curriculum Review Committee and our first meeting was in March.
* Camai-i: This weekend is beginning to make its mark as executing the monotony that begins to seep in that time of year. This year some of us stayed at Maria’s Pops’ vacant apartment and practiced what is prohibited in the village: drinking. This was also my first introduction to Apples to Apples, taking one win with “messy” for providing the card the “U.S. Constitution.” It’s trifle, but nice to win a game every now and then. Kee-YOW! I was
unimpressed with and somewhat frustrated by the actual dance festival that was taking place and so I won’t elaborate on my experiences with that.

* Akula hosted a Yurraq dance festival, which was much better than Camai-i. It was more intimate, the people dancing seemed genuine and the crowd was definitely there because they liked the dancing. The same week they hosted the district NYO meet, which meant 21 schools, 172 athletes, as well as coaches and chaperones came together to facilitate the 10 events over a two-day period. We made record time for a record high # of athletes. Erin wrote a nice entry on this.
* I remember that on the 11th it was -8 F. That following week was the most extraordinary out of the whole year in weather terms as far as I’m concerned. I took full advantage of skiing
opportunities on the sunny cool days, average temp. just at freezing. I went to Akula (3 miles one way) a couple times in addition to trying different trails on other days.
* Alisha wrote up a lovely retelling of a HS play that I too went to see,
Pippin. I went in for another Reading Committee meeting, driving my snow-go down for the last time. I planned on driving back too, but it became increasingly slushy outside and there was a couple missing from Kwig (safe now), so I was talked into leaving it there for the summer in a friend’s garage. It was a happy happenstance really, because that meant I could enjoy another night in Bethel with friends.

May: * This has been a hard month because most of it has been the process of the river breaking up. That means that my freedom is infringed. I have to say that the introspective side of me takes over at this time and it seems like the river impeding my travel for so long was a good thing. Sometimes forced reflection is good for perspective. Krow-KRAK!
* I’m moving to a different house next year, about 50’ away, as you were privy to b/c of the bathroom painting photos. I’ve been packing, giving things away, purging, and cleaning. It’s tiring, especially with end of the year madness at school. But it’s also renewing and I’m glad to lift the feeling of stagnation because of it.
* We had two graduates. The school year with students ends on Thursday. Ja-BLACKK!

It feels good to write... Here’s a photo I took when I started this. The sun is down now, but there’s still a blue-gray glow in the sky. I've taken to leaving my bedroom window open at night. There is a symphony of bird calls outside: duck, swallow, geese, seagull, crane, swan, sandpiper, raven. If my body didn't need sleep I'd be content to stay awake and listen to them all night.

Daily practice: Enjoy the rapture of the ordinary.

{{{No one was harmed during the making of this post. The attack noises are strictly for my entertainment, and yours if you so choose. Shh-PING!}}}

These are some photos from April.

Those girls are standing in a hole they made to collect ice, which is melted to use for water in their houses. They made it into the shape of a skull with a bone on one side. The teeth were a step down so that they could chip more ice.

That's Jim, my nomadic roomy of 3 months.

It's also him to the right of the mostly snow picture. The tiny black dot on the horizon to the left is those girls collecting ice.

1 comment:

Deanna said...

It's nice to read about your year. I wish I had used these last couple weeks for reflection, instead I used my exhaustion as an excuse to do nothing. =)

I hope you have a wonderful summer. I look forward to reading your blogged adventures.