Major change here: the unadulterated sun appeared in the sky this morning! I feel like I've been reborn. I keep trying to glean energy from the people who live here, since I seem to be lacking some of it due to the overbearing weight of gray weather. Unbridled people of particular interest:
Keith: the tiny scientist who gave me the cold office, built his own kayak, which I carried down to the dock with much admiration yesterday. The vessel is an assembly of sexy wood overlaid with perfectly curved, waterproof canvass. I have been thinking about buying a kayak when I return to Colorado to shift from impact to non-impact pursuits, and this water creature has convinced me. How cool is it that he can transport himself, through the ocean, with something that he made, with his own hands? A rare accomplishment, if you ask me. I'm a little jealous. (Read: I snuck down to the harbor in the middle of the night last night and poked holes in it).
The New Mexican clients Luke had on his boat last week: in their 60's, on a 12-day kayaking trip through Alaska, for the 10th or so time, next destination: Yakutat, where they get taken by a bush plane to Glacier Bay, to rough it again in their skinny skiffs for another 8 days. Took a brief stop in Sitka to King Salmon fish on 20 foot swells for 10 hours with my equally energetic significant other. Ran into them drinking beers at the local pub, and thought, as I often do, I hope I'm that active when I'm their age, especially since you don't have to use lower extremities to cut through water.
Kids: especially of the Alaskan variety. I'm helping out with Creative Writing classes at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp and these kids are s-m-r-t. Alexa reeled out a perfectly referenced explanation of Trotsky's history within the Russian Revolution, Alaina unflinchingly regaled the rage of the the goat-eating bear in her backyard in Ketchikan, Asia offered that her witch-mother is also a published poet (my first real-life Wiccan encounter-- not as wierd as I would have hoped for), and Aviva asked, wide-eyed, after reading a Bukowski poem about underwear and alcoholism, "Can I read this again?" and did so, as though it were written for her voice alone.
Kasey and Peter: bought a 96 foot Viking-looking wooden boat, one of the oldest in Alaska, and converted it, over the last 6 years into their own home, after sleeping in seperate leaky twin bunks, with wet clothes, and no toilet for the first year. I haven't seen the inside, but I awkwardly picked their brains the other night from across a social table where I barely knew anyone, and the mention of the word Katrina sounded like the whole house falling down around us. Whoops.
In the meantime, I have given directions to tourists, can now walk across the bridge and back like a real person, and even went on a short hike through the flourescent green forest of Whale Island. Two things I realize I need: sun, a few times a week, and little human beings.