Here I am again, at one of my favorite spots, sitting at my tall, round table and equally high stool, with a view of Mt. Edgecumbe and part of Sitka Sound. A pleasure to be back in Sitka and to be journaling again after too long an absence. I’m not all together clear what the hang-up has been but I haven’t gotten much writing done of any kind lately except for a few poems inspired by my continued relationship with Sherry Chavers which I’ve mentioned previously. Admittedly, my increased time hanging-out with “Charlie” (my new nickname for Sherry) is a beautiful distraction but I’ve still had time to write and haven’t. I suspect it may have something to do with the changes going on within me. In part, I’ve addressed a lot of issues in my poetry already and am not now interested in looking at them again. At the same time, my interest is shifting, less drawn to external experience and more to internal experience and I’m not sure how or what to write about it. Now I’ve noticed I’ve begun to worry that maybe I’m not able to write any longer which has produced a kind of paralysis.This morning I identified the fear and am in the process of replacing it with love for myself and for the creative process. Returning to the practice of journaling (as I’m doing at this moment) is part of my effort to keep writing. It is certainly not the case that there’s nothing to write about. Far from it. But to write poetically, ah, that’s the issue for me. So maybe I just have to keep writing prose until I get back to poetry or even better, practice at making my prose more poetic, more lyrical, a thought that really appeals to me at this point.
The trip to Sitka was uneventful except for two things. My housemate and friend dropped me off at the station in Burlington to catch the bus to SeaTac in good time but halfway to Seattle, I realized I had not brought my cell phone which caused me a lot of anguish initially because that meant I had no way to keep in touch with “Charlie” who was by now in Amman, Jordan to travel and teach. As I thought more about it, I realized I might be able to keep in touch using my computer which in fact is what happened since for the moment anyway ‘Charlie” has wi-fi service. I noted in passing however, how dependent I’ve become on my cell phone. I find it difficult to remember what it was like not to have immediate access to the world. Why do I feel I need that device with me at all times? Do I feel I’m going to miss something? Is there fear here in the mix somewhere? The second event I took note of was the change in security procedures at the airport. I was surprised to see the TSA has done away with the plastic containers. Now you keep you computer in your bag along with all your personal items (wallet, change, wrist watch, belt) which speeds up the ungainly process considerably. They stopped me, however, as they had on my last trip, for an extensive pat down, including testing my palms for any evidence of gun powder. Fortunately I had the time to deal with the delay. The TSA officer was more upset with the delay in getting me processed than I was since he could not find a superior nearby to observe the pat down, a requirement apparently. I, on the other hand, was the model of patience, telling the officer to calm down, that all was well, smiling reassuringly all the while. I even went over to a superior afterwards and told them about the good job Malachi had done carrying out his duties.
My son, John, was right there waiting for me, as I entered the lobby of the small airport. Within a few minutes I was in my place of choice. John had even purchase some groceries to get me started. I’ll take them to dinner to repay the kindness. A couple of hours later, I was enjoying myself in the midst of the Sitka contingent of the Skeele family, all of us, John, Beth, Marsh and Nora gathered around the dinner table, eating fresh grilled salmon with a wonderful array of rice and vegetables. Since the oven was not working (John had sent for the parts), the box of brownie mix Nora had brought to go with the gelato ice cream was put on hold until John recommended we simply convert the brownie mix to chocolate pancakes which he proceeded to do. For the first time ever, we had mint gelato on brownie pancakes which show the extent the Skeele family will go to produce a sweet dessert. I wonder where they picked up that habit?
I’m happy to report that Kornelia had quickly discovered that I had forgotten my cell phone and mailed it off to me. I should get it today or Monday. She also reminded me that I’d forgotten my computer on my last trip to Sitka so I like to think I’m improving, down-sizing as I go. The other happy note was to get that initial email from “Charlie” that she had arrived in Amman, Jordan safely. I have a second email waiting for me as I complete today’s journal. It is so satisfying to be writing again, to be in Sitka again with family, and to be the beneficiary of so much love.