several years ago i spent some time in alaska. i have never been back. (ever since i have questioned the need for upper-case letters.) i stayed from may through october. may 20 until october 6 to be exact. at the time, i don’t really know why i left. i could come up with some reasons for my departure but i won’t worry over that now. things these days are good.
i relate certain songs with that time period. i relate certain smells to events there; smoke, fir trees. i think of being lost in the woods. the experiments, the ridicule, the fame. i sang for strangers. i saw bluebells. i cooked for guests. i saw bones and blood and porcupine and white-feathered ptarmigan. i saw a wolf.
i walked to the tops of mountains. i saw aqua-blue glacial lakes. i rode in small planes. i watched the son bear and the mother moose. i felt fairly alive.
13 years later i remember the ghosts and wet rains and the 2 week spring. i could get out a credit card and be there again in a day’s time. i could dig up those songs and live it all again in my mind; or maybe not. times change.
i found a duck along a river; a half-frozen river. the duck was scared and my friends laughed. i could not find anyone to hold my vest during the night of misty rain. i chopped wood at 1 am. the boss man yelled at me. he said i was out of my mind. i sat in a wood-fired sauna. i saw the faces of indians on the hillside. i watched the snow line rise and fall again. i saw the tallest mountains in the distance. i saw the green ribbons of the northern lights.
i was the tasty feast of a buzzing flying plague. i saw an arctic fox and some ground squirrels and a roommate with a burned arm and a mostly-broken leg.
i could always go back. maybe i will go back. it would be good but different. it woud be beautiful in a new way. i can remember. i can recall. but these old times and old things are all washed away in the seasons of time.