I woke up twice in the middle of the night completely disoriented, not knowing where I was and both times it took a few minutes to figure out where I was. It was weird, b/c I had something a little similar about halfway through the trip, when we had been moving around so much and slept in so many different places that as I drifted off to sleep, in that semi-lucid in between state I’d find myself momentarily thinking I was still in Calcutta or something. It happened for a few days in a row, but what happened last night was a lot stronger and felt so much more disorienting, like it really took awhile for it to register where I was and get my mind around it. Guess that could be expected for the first night sleeping at home in over three months.
I’ve been home for less than twelve hours, and let me tell you, it feels fuckin’ weird. Let me back up first though, because there was a lot in the last few days of the trip that I’d love to recount.
So, Ladakh was the shit, totally one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever been, in so many ways. And it was kind of cool being in a smaller group (though I definitely missed the others) b/c we got to meet up and travel with other people traveling from other countries, like Erez from Israel who was hilarious and loud and talked a bit like Borat and wore these lime green pants all the time and was always making dirty jokes. The pronunciation lesson I couldn’t share on the group blog (see link in previous post) was the difference between “fact” and “fucked.” It was awesome.
Another oldie, from Christmas Eve 2008.
Slowly, but surely.
It’s been snowing like crazy for the last week and a half. When it started I was in Seattle at a Christmas party with friends, and the next morning we couldn’t get through the road. The next day I came back to Orcas and had a semi (but not terribly exciting)-adventure returning. And then it snowed and snowed and snowed some more. It’s the most snow I’ve seen in the northwest, and it’s my sixth winter here. It’s wild, and awesome.
I’m loving it. It makes me want to go make snow angels and snowmen and build forts and have wild snowball fights. The roads are a mess, I mean solid ice covered in inches of snow. Walking anywhere that’s not a trodden path or shoveled walkway is deliriously fun, I sink in halfway up to my knees.
A post from September 2008.
The first annual Orcas Island Writers Festival ended a few days ago. It was awesome. I’m already looking forward to the next one.
I’m so glad I went, too. I almost didn’t. I haven’t really written much in awhile, and have felt like work takes over my life. But I had put in for the time off back in April or something, so I said what the hell and signed up. I thought if nothing else, at least I’d have a few days away. The festival was held at Moran State Park which is a good drive from my place, so I stayed overnight in one of the cabins during the festival.
The festival blew my expectations out of the water! The instructors were EXCELLENT! A lot of them teach at Vermont College of Fine Arts which has a low-residency MFA writing program. In the mornings, we had small workshop groups. I chose the non-fiction track, and so each morning, our small group gathered to very thoroughly discuss our work. Each of us had to submit a ten-page sample of our writing before the festival, so we spent considerable time each morning, working with a few people’s work each day. It was great. I forgot how great it is, not only to get feedback on your own work, but to work as a group on others’ stories. You learn so much. I felt so engaged, like my inner artist was engaged in a way it hasn’t been in so long. I was exercising my writing muscles. It was great even to go over some of the basics of story arc and point of view. I didn’t realize I was so hungry for this sort of thing. But oh was I ever! It fed my soul, and my soul has been a bit starving as of late.
I’ve been sick for the last week or so. It’s been no fun at all. On the good side though, it’s given me a lot of time to think. It’s funny how when an illusion shifts, there’s really no going back. Once you see something, it’s hard to pretend you never did.
So, while sick in bed, watching old episodes of The Office and (of course) House and coughing up a lung, it kinda became clear to me that my current life isn’t really working for me the way I wish it was. I’m not really happy with where I’m at. It’s a sobering realization.
I actually meant to write this post before my trip to Hawaii, but didn’t have enough time, and this post definitely would have been more timely if I had.
So, maybe because I’m a writer, I believe in the power of written words, but not necessarily in the typical way, like that people can read something and be affected by it. Yeah, that’s a huge thing, but I also think there’s a much more invisible power, something ethereal and unseen, subtle.
So here is my totally unconventional Hawaiian vacation. I’m calling it that b/c when I think of Hawaiian vacations I think of big resorts or scenes from MTV’s Maui Fever, and thankfully, this was nothing like that.
Tallie and I left the island super early last Wednesday morning and talked the whole ferry ride and the whole drive down to the Seattle airport. We’d both had kind of shitty/crazy weeks, so we got it all out of our systems as much as possible. We flew to Oakland first, which surprisingly wasn’t that warm. Then we flew to Lihue. An eclipse took place when we were on the plane and so I didn’t see it at all.