Of course my camera battery was dead, so you can't see we women of Morning Muscles class all stretching and bending on our yoga mats in a circle in the sun at the end of the cruise ship dock. ( I was pretty proud of myself for remembering the camera and waking up on time, to tell you the truth.) Marnie wanted to be outside on this perfect summer morning, so we all trotted down to the dock from the Chilkat Center for the Arts.
Heather Lende's blog
I have a busy day with two obituaries to write, and that always weighs a little heavy on my heart, as I think any passing of life should, but first I had to water the garden and let the chicks out into their run, and figured you may want to come along with me. It is a good morning to be alive and well and in this place, don't you think?
In honor of the 19th annual Kluane to Chilkat International Bike Relay, which a Lende family team ( and 1175 other cyclists from Alaska and the Yukon ) completed with flying colors yesterday:
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells
Lyndsey brought her bird Gus for dinner last night. He's a wild bird, and none of us could say for sure what kind, even with the Sibley's bird book, because he ( I suspect she, actually, because of the not very bright coloring) is still so young. Friends found the hairless baby bird two months ago and brought it to Lyndsey who fed it with a Q-tip. Now, Gus flits from head to shoulder all day.
At Morning Muscles early this morning at the Chilkat Center (6-7) the ladies welcomed me back. I'd been gone a fair bit this spring, to Ketchikan, Skagway and then Homer. My friend Anne Marie, who travels a lot for her job, commiserated with me. "It's summer," she said. "Who wants to be anywhere else now?" When I got home I tended my tomatoes, pinching suckers that had sprouted while I was away, and tying up the fast growing vines. Forte, my big old dog, was with me, whining. He really wanted a walk.
I was in a coffee shop cabin (it was made of logs, very small, maybe 10X12, with a lot of varnish, halogen lighting and a pretty barista behind a chrome and enamel espresso console that looked a restored car) anyway, there was a scruffy-ish pilot from one of the bear viewing air services flirting with the girl when I stepped inside. Pre-coffee I can't think very fast and am kind of quiet. I'm not sure what was said first, but when I told him I was going on a cruise of Kachemak Bay, " A short one, two or three hours." He said, "that's what Gilligan thought.
A poem from the keynote speaker here at the Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference, Rita Dove from her book On The Bus With Rosa Parks
Imagine you wake up
with a second chance: The blue jay
hawks his pretty wares
and the oak still stands, spreading
glorious shade. If you look back,
the future never happens. How good to rise in sunlight,
in the prodigal smell of biscuits-
eggs and sausage on the grill.
The whole sky is yours
to write on, blown open
So I am at Land's End, a hotel at the end of the 4.5 mile Homer spit, attending the tenth annual Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference, with a lot of heavy hitters. Fran Ulmer is here ( the female Alaska politician and thinker and doer we all admire) just as a participant, to give you an idea. There's a NY agent, a contract attorney, writers and editors galore. Last night the former poet laureate of the United States, Rita Dove, spoke about why we write. "We are trying, as human beings, to describe the indescribable, so we search for the appropriate words.
At 5:30 AM, on our way to the airport, (I'm off to Homer), we were the only car on the narrow downtown Juneau street near the state capital building, when a man flagged us down. He wanted to know if he could ask us a few questions. He said he was a reporter from a newspaper back east. "Oh," I said. "The emails." And he laughed. (They are releasing something like 24,000 of the half-governor's electronic notes in Juneau today.) So we chatted, for a minute, reluctantly, as any mention seems to fuel the celebrity fire of you-know-who, and like most Alaskans, we've had enough.
Papa Bob, aka "Macho Man" has a subscription to Woman's Day now. I'm glad, because that means he read this Father's Day column. It is a gray windy day, but clear enough for me to fly in a few hours to Juneau, spend the night with my daughter Eliza and then fly on up to Anchorage and Homer tomorrow for the Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference.