Friday, June 24, 2011

god music

in seattle, on sundays, the techno station/dance music station changes into the gospel station. i'd drive a little slower going to school to study, letting my heart fill with the divine music, recentering. it didn't matter to me it was "jesus-music" all that mattered was that i connected with the track and felt myself get higher.

music is a ladder to the soul, or an escape hatch, whichever image you prefer. some songs just make you feel like your soul is bouncing around your chest, trying to escape and fly. last night at Feast, part of the devotions was this song:
i've been listening to it on repeat all day. it is part of a Baha'i prayer. the compulsive relistening is because i'm using it like i used the gospel station on sundays....recenter, rebalance,...i have committed.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

the Alcan.

This past weekend we drove up from Seattle to Anchorage in 3 days, camping for free (arriving close to midnight and departing early from great sites, legitimately), and animal spotting. Thank you Q for the tent :)

The green British Columbian forests were a wash in reds, both from wildflowers and from the pine beetles killing trees. The forests of the Yukon came with purple wild flowers, dead spruces with gray-purple hues and a few green ones that looked like some artisan giant had taken fingers dipped in blood and brushed their tops. Sunsets were stunning color symphonies, changing by the second from peach to orange, to fuchsia and then coral. Unfortunately, rain and clouds prevented staring into the heavens above.

The final animal count is: an entire herd of wood bison (like 25 including babies), 2 grizzly bears, 6 black bears (including two cubs who climbed a tree while we watched--the one sibling climbing too far out on the limb, the branch broke and they tumbled 5 feet down to the ground. their mother looked over nonchalantly and went back to eating grass), lots of moose, lots of deer, a bobcat, three marmots, an Arctic ground squirrel, two owls, and millions of mosquitoes who found their death on the hood of the car.

Friday, June 17, 2011

about Quakes of all kinds

**just for clarificatin: q-u-a-kes not q-u-a-cks**

  1. My father is unusually obsessed with earthquakes...being in them mostly. When we were in Chile early last decade it was on the wish list. Sure enough, there was one the first night which I was sure he slept through. However, he insisted it jolted him out of his slumber.  So, now--nigh on ten years later--he and my mama have been here visiting and we have been awaiting the ground shake. Yesterday, they decided to take a little road trip and sure enough, no sooner were they out of town and in a car than the ground swirled (it was a swirly one for those of you familiar with how earthquakes come in different motions) and they were not here to feel it. i deem this tragedy a result of not asking God specifically enough. I asked that there be an earthquake while they were here, rather than that they get to feel the earthquake while they are here.
  2. Starting a new job always comes with a few settling in issues. When you work at a place long enough, your body just mindlessly goes wherever you need: cafeteria, dark corner, bathroom. At my last job, the only thoughtful things about the bathroom were to check for ants twice a year when they seasonally came in. One of the first days I was here, I went into a different stall and proceeded upon sitting to be CONVINCED we were having an earthquake, only come to find out that the toilet quakes. To make matters more awkward however, i can't remember this--and am always surprised at the "toilet quake" for a split second. *insert old lady joke here*.
  3. Last night was spent watching "Good Indian Girl" videos in an attempt to figure out how to wrap my sari in advance of Trev & Angie's wedding reception tomorrow night in Vancouver. The last time this creation saw the light of day was 6 years ago in a strange land called Lucknow--hours by train from Delhi. Let's call this adventure in dressing a "marquake" because I nearly shook myself to death trying to get the pleats right.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

my no bears song

"No bears!
No mountain lions, or cougars, or mosquitoes,
No anything else i forgot to name"

"You said mountain lion twice," Adam says. i'm singing off key (the only way i know how) as we walk through heavy brush on either side. "huh, oh yeah cougar is mountain lion--i really don't want to see any," i reply. We haven't seen anything other than a few tracks to imply any of the aforementioned critters are around except the unceasing buzzing of the mosquitoes. Nevertheless, i am armed with my trusty bear spray and keep singing my song (much to neah's chagrin as she started woofing at the end of each refrain).

We were somewhere around 3 hours and 1500 feet up, too far into the valley near Chugiak to see the Knik Arm. The rain fell intermittently, not enough to deserve the rainjacket, but too much to not wear it. Neah decided to make herself a little seat to rest her legs on some grass....and give you a chance to check out her pack-pack.

As we crossed into the tundra, around 1800 feet, it became markedly colder, with some lurking snow. My song seems to have worked. Nothing moved, not even birds--well, one tried and Neah barked her displeasure. Second lunch happened on the ground, "in brown bear country" with Neah eyeing Adam's chili until he flicked a morsel towards her and me eyeing the mountain faces for any of the song's animals.
In 6 hours, we see four people.
Upon reaching the car, the usually energetic Neah curled up on my lap, nestled her head into the curve of my elbow and tried to sleep her way home. It took all her might to get back out of the car. i felt her pain--i have four impressive new blisters. At least i thought they were impressive until Adam starts telling me a story of blisters worse than mine followed by several more days of hiking. Apparently, my blisters are not so impressive afterall. harumph.