72 Hours in Alaska

Thursday evening Ben and I flew out for a long weekend in Alaska to visit family. Although a short stay we were able to squeeze a few adventures in. It only took about 10 minutes to get out of Anchorage and into the deeper areas.

The first day was stormy. We drove down and around the Turnagain Arm, I'm glad someone else was driving so I could just take it all in. As a PNW native that's been surrounded by mountains her entire life, I've never seen mountains like these. They took my breath away. Waterfalls about every one to two hundred feet, we even stopped and drank some glacier water (not something I would normally do). 

Easily the most scenic stretch of road I've ever seen. 

On our way to Prince William Sound, we passed through the Portage Glacier Tunnel a 2.6 subterranean one way route also shared with the trains. LOL. If felt like we were entering the scenes of a horror movie, you wouldn't believe how erriely beautiful this place is in the spring. As the town was mostly empty, one of the most notable buildings is the abandoned army barracks or something, perched on the mountain side hugging the bay, it clearly looks like it's from Chernobyl. I wanted to go inside but you know theres gotta be a bear in there.

Nov 13th.

Hours before getting ready to go to a show at The Paramount Theater to see my favorite artist City & Colour, we started getting news alerts about the attacks in Paris ... I read about the events that day that told the story of a woman attending to concert had to lay silent and still pretending to be dead amongst the bodies for over an hour. She listened to the dying around her. She listened to the couple knowingly saying there last words to each other ... Usually a newshound reading  my NYT morning briefing, I've giving the news a break. What else is there? This is just too much. It was a sad day for us all. Yet we came from all corners that night, in from the autumn rain storm and maybe make sense of it all.

If you know Dallas' recently released album If I Should Go Before You already, you know he explores dark themes of death and loss.  To be there listening to that It was like we were all meant to be there that night

The moment of stillness.

That last post wasn't melodramatic or anything. Moving on.

Rando image I snagged off FB. I'm guessing in public domain. 

Rando image I snagged off FB. I'm guessing in public domain. 

Last week I left a meditation with an interesting perspective. The teacher explained how new students often feel overwhelmed when they start because it's the first time they have ever mindfully sat down, shut up, and listen to just the thoughts in their heads. He went on to say that this is normal and we each have about 30-40 thousand thoughts through out the day. But he wanted us to focus on the unique moment in between each thought in our meditation. It is inside that moment of stillness where possibility lies what's in store for the next thought, it could be anything. It in truth is emptiness. It has made space for the next possibility. Much like brainstorming a mind map, pay attention to your thoughts for 1 minute with one arbitrary thought and see how far it goes and where it goes... How many small jumps, large jumps? 

Something to think about as we head into a stormy end of summer weekend in the PNW. 

The Learned.

Depending on my perspective that day I can either say I am a scholar of the arts, that it's about the learning and creating. More than likely though I've been viewing myself a jack of trades, expert of none. 

I searched for a craft my entire life it seems and nothing really sang to me. Nope. I am not an artist. Let us list things I've tried and ultimately abandoned. No particular order. Knitting. Weaving. Lettering. Calligraphy. Watercolor. Painting. In high school and middle school I took every art class, a few of the highlights. Batik. Ceramics. Art 101, Art 102, Art 103, Photography, Block Printing, Screen Printing, Drawing, Advanced Drawing. In Elementary school I was surprisingly athletically outgoing and did gymnastics, tap dance, ballet, jazz on top of athletics including baseball, basketball and soccer. I played the flute, taught myself the piano. My brother handed me his guitar one day and without knowing any notes I was decided to make a song. And I did. Something simple of course. Not that it was amazing for someone experienced but it was still impressive for a someone that didn't know what they were doing. I was actually quite good at a few of these things. 

And that song, much like every thing else I just listed is something I have done then I move along to the next one ... This is a pretty general but spot the eff on statement for my entire life. 

Oh. Did I mention my last 6 years I spent bouncing around as a freelancer. You know what is even more hilarious. I have even had a blog before, well couple humble posts from my previous portfolio site, but it wasn't terrible it was thoughtful and considered; dare I say good even. I'm painfully introverted, which doesn't help. It might be the creating, and not so much about the glory for me. 

I think I would be happier if I didn't expect myself to be an artist of something at some point. I think could resign myself to it if I didn't feel an expectation that I be one eventually ... I'm I alone in this feeling. 


Photo Shoot in Sodo

Some iPhone shoots from a shoot a few months ago. We had three days cram studio and onsite editorial shots. I always forget or don't care, sensible shoe wear. My tootsies were throbbing by the end of day one. 

The more interesting part of the shoot we featured onsite in a historical industrial building in Seattle's Sodo Disctrict. The building itself had so much character and history alone, seemingly untouched by the current residents of the building which happened to be a woodworking reclamation and heirlooms business. I commended their restraint leaving well enough alone. But even more it appeared that each previous tenant had simply left their belongings, and each new tenant simply picked up the industrial sized brooms and pushed these bits of americana to the dark corners and set up their curated items in the middle a huge warehouse room. In the owners office you could see the floor decades old remnants of where a previous tenant waxed something and hung as there was thick rows of wax on the floor.  

Smaller unlit rooms in the back that couldn't even beens stepped in without moving the junk aside with your foot, while we made our way closer to tiny windows that beams in beautiful light. Piles of americana everywhere. Fax machines, building plans, a nudie calendar from the 80s and old disposable coke cups. I had this really curious feeling like we arrived uninvited into someones unclean house, and saw the way things really where, not tidied up at all.

And this was all the public facing areas, there was an upstairs too. If I was a betting woman I'd say it's floor to ceiling with this stuff.