V.8 : August 18th to September 3rd
Location: The Brooks Range, Alaska
Old Brown Shoes : Folksinger
It is summer still, so the snow melts away, except for the peaks. They are the herald of winter, for it has begun there in the highest places, and will slowly but surely creep lower and lower storm by storm.
In a few days Dave and Lana are back and I head out again, to wander the snowy trails and mountains, drinking in this harsh, rugged beauty and experience like water to a thirsty soul.
I know these trails, I have walked these mountains and found crystals and gold. Yet what I really sought was a little peace of mind, a little rest for my heart and soul. I return again and again, and not just here. My road is a circle. I follow a circuit with the seasons, returning to the same places again and again, even as I am always weaving in new places. Its a well planned structure, yet also just a bare framework that leaves lots of room for the spontaineous. Even my plans are really options, played out according to circumstance and opportunity. But it is all connected, so even as I walk in these snowy mountains, I am aware of it as the northernmost point in my circuit, the point at which I turn and start south. Even though I have maybe months of travels in Alaska still, I feel the circuit, the road that leads my mind beyond to the caribbean, and back here again.
It is a circuit not just of people and places, but of energies. I blend and balance the extremes of crowds and solitudes, music and silence, mountains and deserts and tropical oceans; and am able to feed it all into the music.
But right now I am here to visit my friends, and help out in the practical realistic chores of this life; cutting and hauling in winter wood and moving the sled dogs to winter quarters. There's time to spend a sunny day just sluicing a little gold out of the creek, till Lanna calls us to dinner. And of course, no part of my life is complete without the music. That is the constant thread is all this diversity, somehow the music is there. So we haul the dulcimer up the hill, and after dinner, I can play. This is the essense of my life, that the music is here still, and its just me and a the dulci and a cuple friends to listen, in a little cabin in the wilderness. Evening fades into darkness, and Dave lights a lamp, while I play on into the night.