Sunday, February 26, 2012

Desire Lines

"Sociologists are better understanding a phenomenon known as 'desire lines', or the path humans naturally take while walking rather than ones they are forced to follow because of sidewalks and handrails—think of worn down paths in the park which veer off from the officials trails. In general, humans seem to prefer trajectories that afford them the most visibility, suggesting open, vibrant spaces."

I am thinking about 'desire lines' as I watch a lovely movie called 'The Way'. It is the story of a man walking the St. Iago de Compostella road. Like 'desire lines', the Camino wanders a path created by time and human faith and beliefs... many people following what they perceive to be the right path.

When the time is right in my life, is is my desire to walk the Camino... to be thankful, and remember, and atone.

In the mean time, I will dream and hope and imagine.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

A question of home

a : one's place of residence : domicileb : house
: the social unit formed by a family living together
a : a familiar or usual setting : congenial environment; also: the focus of one's domestic attention <home is where the heart is>b : habitat
a : a place of origin home to spawn>; also : one's own country homeand abroad>

Today I was presented with the question of home at least twice, and perhaps three times.

A dear friend asked me why I don't look for a new job outside of the Yukon. After a moments reflection, an explained that aside from two uncles aged 82, and a high school girlfriend who I have stayed in touch with, all the friends and people I care about in Canada are in the Yukon. I sent six years of happy labour forging new friendships and relationships, and am surrounded by the people that I care about in this place. They buoy me up when I am low, they share may moments of happiness and the serene beauty of this place, and as I search for my next job, they have been incredibly supportive and caring of my emotional state.

How could I walk away from this, and what would I be walking towards? A new job in a strange place... It's not that I couldn't make new friends, I know I could, and have the happy capability of finding delight wherever I have lived. It's that I want to feel that I am home... and this place in the world, and the people that I have surrounded myself with, make me feel the beginnings of that again.

This afternoon I visited a talented guy here in Whitehorse who is building his second tiny, tiny house. A good friend of mine bought his first effort, and lives in it south of town. I really like his second effort, and in many ways it is similar to an approach that I have been sketching out. 8' X 20', shed roof, steel frame with a plywood sheath that he plans to cover with cedar. I wanted to see the inside to see if it would feel too small for me... it doesn't. The more I thought about it, the more a part of me wanted to buy it at that very moment... the parts that I don't know how to do having been completed, and use the energy of my free time to create a new home that would be MINE!

I mentioned my visit to my father this evening, and he strongly expressed his disagreement with my desire to explore this possibility. I know his perspective is driven by his concern for my well being, and his hope that I am again soon employed in a better paying position. I appreciate his concern, and I believe that he views purchasing or building such a house as being akin to moving into a home made trailer... which I guess it would be.

But I don't think I have been able to convey to him either the realities of housing costs up here... he would like to see me move out of my current cabin and into town to rent an apartment that would have running water, but would likely cost twice as much.

I love where I live, but it is not mine, and I have picked up on the early signs of my landlady considering what else to so with this cabin. She would sell it to me for $30,000, but just for the building, not the land. I can't afford land, and while I have more than one friend who would entertain me parking a mobile solution on their property, the same could not be said for a more permanent structure.

I am fifty, finishing a divorce, I am searching for a new job, my current housing situation will likely require a change no later than the Spring, and I want a place to call home. Not an apartment, not a rented room, but a place and space that can be a little piece of me. No matter how small. I feel like I need it... that if I don't have at least that, I will have nothing tenuous to hold and to say is mine and to feel like my space in the world.

Small doesn't scare me... I can do with even less than I have now. The nice part is that I could weed through what I have and fill a tiny space of my own with only my most treasured possessions. Today my cabin is filled with Northern art made by or given by loving friends, good music to listen to, a warm fire, a modest kitchen that I can cook what I love, and enough space to fold out my table and sit over dinner with my friends. These are the things I truly treasure, and if I have them, in MY OWN SPACE, I know that I can be happy and content.

I need to find a way to make it happen. If I leave this space, and move to a rented room or apartment, I feel like the joy will go out of my life. I have managed to lose enough of my life that it is important that I find a way preserve, and indeed build a new home... a place of my own, no matter how modest.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nothing makes us so lonely as our own secrets.

-from a friends Facebook page

Friday, October 15, 2010

Icefog draped itself across the nape of the mountain and hollow of my lake this morning, promising me a long affair of white beauty and enshrouding quiet. How wonderful it will be to be able to share this beauty with my son when he comes for Christmas. It is the day in - day out beauty of this place that I wish I could share with the people I love.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"In the land of the midnight sun
Snow and stone to kingdom come
Ragged clouds, a sky of blue
Kansas I dream of you."

-From "Kansas" by David Francey

Monday, March 22, 2010


I've been from here to Lawrence, Kansas
Trying to leave my state of mind
Trying to leave this awful sadness
But I can't leave this world behind

- Richard Shindell

Monday, March 15, 2010

Reflections on Spring

What is it about the melting of the snow and coming of the light? Did we all have a happy dream in the long, dark, cold, snow filled nights, and now return to a more muddy and tired waking? Is the winter enchantment gone, and do the winter animals now leave their cozy dens to wander, solitary and alone in the Summer uplands?

Which is real and which is the dream? They seem like ying and yang. Suddenly, the certainty that was Winter has become the chaos and breakup that is Spring.

I am uncertain.