Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Red Fox, Blue Fox

The first thing I saw when I moved to Kodiak was the sweeping form of a red fox bristling into the trees as we drove from the airport. The bushy red tail (or tale…) seemed an omen of welcome, a flash of a place where people and nature move together.

Now I land at Blue Fox Bay, five years later. It's so quiet here that airplanes don't even bother to fly overhead.  Solar panels reflect the blue of sea and sky. A cat surprises me with a hiss through the windowpane. Today the bay ripples quietly, tomorrow it may thrash. Buoys and bones punctuate the landscape and the hearth. Stories sneak beneath the keys of the piano, into the yellowed photographs under the wall of guns. Venison steaks melt in our mouths a syrup of grass, streams, and subtle Kodiak light the buck survived on. Colleen's cooking could launch 1,000 ships. I hunger to do nothing, and satisfy my hunger perched in a corner with a pen, a book, a half-knit sweater.

I am new here. I know the basics about this place. Anjuli's Grandpa Slim lived here, now buried out back with his friend Al. The world comes here, and the evidence is not only felt but seen. Business cards with titles like Adventurer. Long-Distance Rower. CEO. Dreamer. The French girl who suggested Colleen soak nasturtium in her vinegar. The Belgian who taught her to add cream and nutmeg to the juices that ran off her wild mushrooms.

Sometimes life is nothing but being. Nothing but a patch of sun on the cheek, a feather in a bramble of dried seaweed or net, a bird so small it seems nothing more than a pulse. Hank Williams on an old radio while the wood stove gurgles like a belly. A nap that takes over the body without declaration or apology. Coming together with a group of women, each unfurling into her own independence, then back together again to laugh and talk. Letting go of having to know. Letting go of the need to solve. Letting the sediment of life settle at its own pace, trusting the water will clear without clinging to your own timing. I haven't looked at a clock in days. Or has it been hours, or weeks?