Surprisingly, I don’t think I have any photos of Seattle! After climbing Mt. Rainier, I was pretty vegetative. So, I’ll just put another mountain photo on this post.
My few days in Seattle post-climbing, pre-Alaska were pretty spectacular, despite the pain in my feet. The weather was off-the-charts beautiful, and I can’t imagine what it’s like in Winter. People keep telling me it’s awful, but it’s not registering. However, by the time I pass through there again, it’ll likely be Winter then, and I’ll report my findings. Stay tuned.
Many people I met there expressed how difficult it was to meet new people. (I had this experience in SF, also. Maybe it’s an Urban West Coast Thing?) This I also couldn’t understand, as I had no problem with that. In fact, ask me about the “blue toenails at the pie shop” story sometime.
It boils down to state of mind. My last few years in the Bay Area were miserable; I felt it impossible to make new friends, and my life wasn’t what I wanted it to be. Once I lost my job, however, life became grand again! Finally, I had the _time_ to go to the parks, museums, trails, etc. that I loved. My job had sucked away so much of my daily life that I couldn’t enjoy the beauty all around me.
Now that I’m on the road, in the moment, blowing like a leaf in the wind, it’s easy to meet people. There is no history before or after, having let go of attachment as I meet folks. Also, I’m not living in any one place for a length of time. So, there’s no attachment to re-seeing people. If it doesn’t work out, that’s ok.
That being said, having a core group of friends in the Bay, and around the world, cheering me on and holding my hand when I need it, really helps a lot. Even so – what would it take to live like this every day, when NOT traveling? Can I hold the same detachment, the acceptance whether someone is in my life or not? What would daily life, stationary daily life, look like, if I did? Probably there would be the same freedom, joy, and happiness I feel now.
I was lucky enough to be invited to a great party with a group I didn’t know. Everyone there had known each other from junior high school onward. It was a loving & compassionate group, and I was welcomed in. Lots of kids running & playing, lots of funny stories, and sweet people. So far, in the 4 days I spent in Seattle, I had no problem making friends & meeting people. It’s hard to know reality when you’re constantly moving though. Still, it teaches me for the future, when I will settle down for a spell again.
I made a new friend with a silly name, who sang silly songs on a guitar, and who was beautiful. He is an expert at spending time, and making you feel it was spent usefully, when really there was a lot of loafing involved.
Our glorious loafing on the pebble beach of Lake Washington, swimming, munching on power bars, playing with doggies, and napping, set my schedule back a lot. I didn’t get any Alaska prep done at all.
The next day, I rushed around town, trying to get errands done, then had to wait til rush hour traffic passed, before heading North to where my pickup would rest while gone in Alaska. Although I literally stayed up all night til the taxi came packing & searching for my passport (found it, thankfully) & generally being frazzled, my pal in Mt. Vernon suggested that it was better to do that, than think about Alaska & fret & worry for two days.
Being the “planner” that I am, though, it would have been nice to be a little less rushed. But, as my dear pal & former roommate will attest, last minute procrastinated packing is not unfamiliar to me.
Still, those days with the silly man were like I was in a dream. It was like someone poured a knockout drug on a hankie, and put it over my face, like in the old film noir movies. It felt like an altered state, somehow. It wasn’t til my empty pack was staring at me in the face in Mt. Vernon, that I began to wake up.
I have no idea why this happened, or what it was about. But, that’s what it was. Maybe I was afraid to go to Alaska (which I was), and so tried to put it off, somehow. Or maybe the fear was too great to even deal with, so I distracted myself with loafing.
Or maybe it just was what it was.
Anyhow, I’m in Alaska now, and I made it. I slept on the plane a lot. I did wake up from the Land of Loafing, and I’m heading to Kotzebue tomorrow, after being in Point Hope for 10 days.
And now that I’m finally caught up, I’ll begin blogging about Alaska next. Thanks for reading!