It is a historical craft and if one chooses, they can access forgotten history and forgotten spirits, and it makes no difference whether one uses the worst of plastic tubs or the finest birchbark vessel made by a distant craftsman, or the featherlight curve of miracle fibers. It is all there for the taking. It is the act where the heart of it lies.
A friend's song, again, works in the background, deep in creativity and spirit going somewhere and coming from somewhere else. I hold it in the background so that my own thoughts can come, drawn forward, helped along by the song.
I am on the portage, one of several I can choose to use from my house to the water. I am heading to the dead lake on a whim. I portage the 2000 yards with a cart. I am not a fool. Even the voyageurs used carts and rail lines where long portages were used repeatedly.
3/4 of the way to the dead lake, the axle snaps clean off of the cart. I sit for ten minutes pondering my next move. I don't carry a cell phone and don't wish for one now. I find nothing that I can jury-rig the cart with, so I load up, caching the broken cart, and stuffing my pack with the things I usually just toss in the bottom of the canoe. It will be a double carry, the pack, my paddles and the canoe on my shoulders. It is just less than a hundred pounds. It is worse to think of than to perform. I have almost a mile with 250 feet of hill. It is in the middle of the city and it will be a spectacle that I can't observe, head up in the canoe and all. I know that I won't feel much like talking either.
I make it with 3 breaks. At my second pause, a guy walks by and looks at me, "party time," he says. "Yes, party time for sure," I reply.