Thursday, June 11, 2015


 "forlornness" or "the blogger's perfect sky" or "outside Bar Harbor"

Two back to back trips inducing increasingly mucho joy could only mean one thing when I got back to my cabin on the mountain: crash into the black hole of nothing going on. The annual painting workshop in Taos (this was my 15th year) was heady and amazing as usual - and I had my pod of nurturing friends to ease me through the grief of letting go of the new dog. I decided with the help of some very wise friends that now is not the time for me to be taking on a 15 year commitment to an animal - and with the stroke of a pen I converted my ownership status back into foster parent and quickly he was happily embedded in a more stimulating home than I had: a big sprawling house, giant yard, cats and dogs to play with and love from two humans. I felt like I cut my heart out and handed it over when we did the doggie hand off in a grocery store parking lot in the pouring rain. I watched him settle into his new mom's arms and her look of pure joy and knew it was the right thing, and now that I'm back after a whirlwind month of Taos, Boston, Canada I see that the choice to be a free spirit came at a high price, and that I've skated pretty free from this for most of my life, having had the feeling that I was "having it all." I changed my mind, and that was extraordinarily difficult to come to terms with: when I fell in love with the dog I was like most people who fall in love, gaga & blind to reality - and the reality is I didn't have this perfect second loving home for him like I did with Fergus. I would have had to kennel him every time I went somewhere and the Ice would have been given up forever. I just couldn't do it. It was the best decision for both of us, as his new family sends me updates and photos that show how happy he is.

Confederation Bridge, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Hopefully my six months of dog obsession has abated and I can focus on what to do with the rest of my life. I would spend it all on a cruise ship if I could. People make fun of me for traveling this way, but it can be as luscious and introspective and bizarre as any other mode - one brushes up against oneself to see the entitled pettiness, as well as the graciousness of humans in general; if one is hardwired like myself to crave being in places one has never been in before, it can be an expensive habit, and even though I seem to travel a bit more than most unretired people, I seem to have also formed a nest in my cabin. A nest but not a rut; always a hand on the back doorknob (which a therapist once commented was the way I handled most things in my life). My favorite parts of travel are hanging out in airports, the travel to and from the airports, the finding of the hotel or stateroom, and all the stuff that leads up to getting there. And once I've gotten there it's time to go again - like a whole little birth/death/rebirth cycle everytime. This time I got to add in a train ride, use my French from high school, and talk more baudy than I thought humanly possible with knitters. I made so many friends. Everything gets dropped - being on the beam for me means being gone from everything familiar.

call first, to see how big the bandwidth is

So, as adventurous as I like to come off seeming I have turned into quite a sedentary person while I'm consumed with a knitting project (which is most of the time). So after 10 days of raucous living from Boston to Quebec I was ready for some super fast and free wifi. I hauled my gigantic suitcase up 4 flights of Victorian stairs (I always request top floor for fear of hearing footsteps overhead), settled into the moldy bed, and got out my laptop for some serious internets time. When it only loaded one e-mail per minute, no pictures and definitely no streaming of shows I went into the four stages of grief, surrendered, and wandered around Montreal for a night and a day. When it was time to fly home I went to the airport six hours early so I could bask in super cold a/c (Montreal was sweltering!). Fun stuff happened on this trip: I spent hours in a coal mine in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and went to a mill where I watched yarn being spun from dog hair. I tried to get in some hiking but it was more like walking. I do miss having someone pushing me to be more physical on trips. There is no greater luxury than getting to travel on one's own terms, but sometimes the world has terms of its own and like my old guru used to say, "nature always wins." My big example of that is I try to travel only to cold places, and they are always in a freakish heatwave, as was the case on this trip too.

I have undogged myself, and with that my last tether is gone to this mountain, this gorgeous yet dull as dirt state, this unabomber-esque cabin in the woods lifestyle. I am ready to move, but not quite sure where I am moving to...hopefully will come together soon.