Monday, January 11, 2010

echos of a dream

I went north this past weekend, and on the way to Seattle I stayed overnight with my friends who live at Mud Bay, where I once lived.
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Early early in the morning on Sunday, before anyone else awoke, I walked the (almost)familiar roads... Though some trees I remembered were gone, and the conifer woods where I once found a whole clearing full of red-capped aminitas was now the bulldozed backyard of an extraordinarily ugly house, the beauty that so lifted my heart the whole time I lived there was still visible.
At dawn, fog still layers the pastures all down the Delphi Valley, and there are still open fields, with the less visible but still present happy romping eager ghost of a young Akita.
Smokey came to that house as a tiny puppy, and there are no roads I can walk, there at the confluence of Old Highway 410 and Perry Creek and one of the very very far ends of Puget Sound, that she didn't walk with me. Every bridge over the various waters she would rear up, place her forepaws on the railing, and peer over the top at whatever was moving below. Long ago I said, "scatter my ashes in the tidal waters of Perry Creek"; what is drifting there, amid the layers of empty wornout salmon, are the dreams and hopes of my younger self.
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I've moved on. I don't live there any more, in the place I hoped to live for always. I have a different home now, and a different life...

...my photographs here, trying to show/remember the aspects that were so very important to me, the beauty of the Place. When I first came to the Northwest long years ago, and was a student at Evergreen, my friends and I would sometimes drive down the Delphi Valley and imagine living there. Actually living there was the first and only times I have lived somewhere that there was Vista, that you could look for distance and see the shifting light. That beauty fed me in a way that nothing else does/did; leaving there, which I did not once but twice, was painful for that reason (disregarding anything else that was also happening at the time). Having lived there was a Gift.

Not to say that I do not see the beauty of place wherever I am, that being something always sought, but usually only found in the Small, or in the Sky. For me I wonder if it is a function of growing up in suburbia, of mostly living in places where the horizon is bounded by the houses across the street. Even when I lived in Idaho, it was in the middle of woods; there was no expanse to send eyes/mind/heart across. The first time I left Mud Bay was the first time I realised the specific Aspect that was so very precious..
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