Wednesday, October 10, 2012

looking back as a way of beginning

the apprehension of the blank page.

unencountered since art school, many many years ago.

today, i supposedly help people surmount this predicament.

today, i start something new with something (reassuringly old). my first post on this my blog will be a looking-back at something in the not-too-distant past that may be said to be a bread crumb to today's typed letters you're reading here.

my first missive from far-flung alaska, to loved ones back home. "posted," in a different format then, on friday, january 23, 2010.


friday, january 22, 10am, alaska. rambling impressions. in small 9-seat plane, on way to homer from anchorage. 30degF in homer, with a 45-min flight. besides nicholas, me and the cat, one more passenger, a woman who moved to homer from michigan 8 years ago, and the pilot (young, maybe mid-20s, wears glasses) with his lime green backpack. plane dashboard with 30+ gauges, buttons plainly visible to an itchy nicholas.

mountains on either side. frozen ocean.

"mami, can this plane fly on the water?" "no, not this one either, nicholas." since we landed in anchorage thursday night, nicholas' interest in the ocean has increased manifold since he made the connection that whales and seals live in the water. so, to achieve his end of getting closer to these creatures, it seems to me he wished we were on sea planes. some day.

stretches of dark brown land, forested. thick thick forest. pockets of lakes here and there. sun rising slowly between mountain peaks on left. on the right, the reflection of the sun covering the mountain peaks in a pale rose, accentuating craters and ridges. plane flying low. cannot believe mountains all around. magnificent and solid and beautiful. mountains mountains mountains covered in snow. the rosy glow on the mountains. nicholas finally stopped fidgeting, his nose pressed to the window. looking at the singular peak rising among the mountain chain (mt. mckinley?  have to look at map). amazing and beautiful and ....

flying over a long stretch of land where there is just snow covering the hills, the evergreens - smaller, larger - visible as dots on the snow - smaller, larger.

clouds are low. the sun is rising metallic yellow and cold.

i can see snowmobile tracks below.

plane leaning into landing, thin strip of homer spit visible, here and there small wooden houses scattered on the hills, among the snow and spruce. on the anchorage-homer route, no houses. just wilderness.

in homer, driving to final destination, we make a few errand stops. we see a pheasant slowly crossing the road, tail feathers sticking up a mile long, a young eagle flying low over our car toward the library and, as we climb the hill toward the house, we surprise / are surprised by a young moose feeding on spruce. it stops chewing, looks at us looking at it, turns sround slowly and circles to the other side of the large tree.

by the time we both get dressed to go outside, the sun has gone down almost all the way. lots of snow. lots and lots of snow. beautiful, all of it, so far.

sun rises at about 9am and starts descent at about 4pm. the colors are unbelievable. all i can do is just look with my mouth open. on one side pronounced violet leaning toward purple, while on the other side, where the sun's light still hasn't reached fully, the sky is still a pale, clear, turquoise. the sun sets even more and the colors change again to milky velvety bleu marin, a streak of a demented shade of yellow, fingerlets of saturated rose, and the moon is oh-so-bright. and the snow sparkles.

"if you think the snow sparkles now, wait till the full moon," i'm told.

so much beauty. a friend from here, magnus frangipani, says, "so what do you think of our not-so-subtle beauty?"

end of first day.

wish i could send pictures, but the camera cables are packed in the car, with the important stuff, which will arrive first week in february.

carmen, nicholas, and the cat

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