Sunday, August 12, 2012

Again With the Making Me Cry

The "Grey Thatch"
I awoke to an e-mail from a dear friend (who is probably the only subscriber to this pitifully neglected blog) whose title is also the title of this posting. This was followed by a giddy Skype session, and now my ego is puffed, as it sometimes is, from that rare occasion that these shameless ramblings may touch someone. Inspired enough to write another posting just one day later! I know at least one person is reading now, and many others who google "under the sea floats" And I'm re-using photos from previous postings...

The ecstasy of having no estrogen left in my body! My soul is singing at never having to use birth control again (why are we fertile for 30 freakin' years!). I always knew I would love the crone. I was yearning for the crone when I was a 21 year old punk. I was a "get offa my lawn" kind of gal when I was ripe with ova. I don't hate kids. I just never wanted any. And I really like it when I don't have to be around them very much. Those shortys behind me in the photo are emperor penguins, by the way.

Summer in Portland is only slightly less hellish than summer in Austin. At least in Austin I expect the weather to suck 10 months out of the year. But for 4 months without break here is is white hot sun and boiling temps. I can say it cools off at night here, which is a relief. But I am not doing another summer here-I've already decided that.

required Antarctic paragraph:

The thing about Home is it not always bliss. But people who've been through hell together report the same sorts of feelings I've felt on the Ice. A lot of id comes out on down there...I always tell people: whatever it is in you that you are hiding from, or think you can control and not act upon, or are not even aware of, that Thing will roar up and take over in that remote station bubble. I always am surprised which character defect will get activated, which ancient cathects will emerge, which uber inappropriate man I'll be attracted to. It's shocking, but I go with it.

For G, the only other person I know who grocs this dirty south thing the way I do: I love you!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Ugh - I'm finally letting myself look at photos from my last season on Ice two years ago. I chose the shots that hurt my heart the most because I just had to let myself go there. I like the stormy, dark days of winfly and the overcast days in general, and the top photo is sentimental in too many ways to have to explain. I have an alternate contract, as I did last year, but I didn't get called up last year and may not this year. I still have the doggie to take care of, but I'd give anything for everything to line up in place and have a dog sitter so I could go back. This is the time of year that feels particularly sharp, as this in when the first batch of folks are about to deploy. There was talk of a winfly only deployment, which would have been perfect: I had a dog sitter for the six weeks and wouldn't have to move out of my apt - but I wasn't far enough along in my PQ process to be a contender. There is a chance I will get all the medical appts. done before last winfly flight, and the job that was being talked about would have been  (like everything having to do with the past 8 years and the Ice), like wow, like really, I get to do THAT.

Missing one season is hard. I've done it before and I feel like I'm missing out on so much. I am emotionally crippled stateside as I cannot recreate the social and tribe like intensity that exists there. I was just on one of the more fun trips I have every been on: tweaky busy travel to a different gorgeous Scandinavian port every day, and in the midst of this heady and uberfun time, I would lay in my private cozy stateroom watching the craggy coastline go by, thinking it doesn't get any better than this, but also aware of a deeper, more honest feeling hiding under the lid I have so tightly placed over it: it does get better than this. And not just better but edgier and weirder and so much more badass and wonderful and just more fun than I could have ever dreamed life could be. Somehow, a permission to be this realized, solid me just happens after my first day of station life. I have tried every way I know how to feel that me that is there, here, and I cannot do it. When those wheels of that cargo plane touch down on the Ice, the self that I'd been waiting all my life to meet blasts onto me with icy air. I am home. The Ice, and especially McMurdo, have given me everything. The only way I can pay her back is to just keep going and doing my best to do what is asked of me. I have and will continue to feel like an orphan until I can go back.

Looking at these photos has a profound impact on me...things had gotten better and better over the seasons and and sitting here next to me is the only reason I can't go back: a 15 year old dog who wants all of me all of the time. It is an odd situation to be in, and I guess my only option is to wait.

I have surrendered to the fact that I have to go back to be happy. I've tried everything to try and make myself feel otherwise. The pearl at any price has been found, and I won't ever let it go.