This past Sunday morning Nia, Jake, and I sat by the campfire, sipped coffee, and watched the sun come up. We camped at the end of Trestle Pine road beside the broken bridge. I woke to the loon call in the middle of the night. It was the first time I had heard it. The loon sings a beautiful but haunting song -- something between a howl and soft scream. As the morning drew near I drifted in and out of sleep lulled by the rhythm of snapping kindling, peepers croaking and loon calls. Jake started tending the fire as soon as he saw the sun -- around 3:30 in morning. I got up a couple hours later. When Nia woke, she went for a swim across the lake. The water fills her with so much joy. Even without my glasses I could see her wide smile as she emerged on the other side. It was hard not to grin at the sight of her.
I feel grateful to be stuck in the company of Nia and Jake. They are both curious, optimistic, and incredibly perceptive people that have quickly become good friends. I am comfortably myself in their presence and excited to always be in creative conversation with them.
All is well here. I feel so content and engaged with the work. Coming across Suso's quote in my travel journal "Acapar aprendese cortando conjones" ("You learn to neuter by cutting balls") was a pivotal reminder for me. I am now jumping in head first. I'm trying my hand at projects I've been nervous to attempt or intimidated by, and I'm actively seeking out skills I want to learn and conversations I want to be in. This week felt especially productive with the culmination of several projects and the start of new ones.
Additionally, I just finished a sketchbook/journal I started keeping when I arrived at North House. It's full of so many notes, songs, quotes and sketches, but there are many pages where I wish I would have written more about someone's story, advice given, or craft process shown. I started the next sketchbook this past week with a goal to take time in the mornings to write and draw my experiences here in greater detail. I've found that recording these moments shortly after they pass makes me feel more grounded and clear headed before I start my day. It's almost meditative -- emptying the cup of my mind so I can fill it again.