Thursday, July 21, 2011


The wind blew most of the night and morning, but there came a time when heavy misting drizzle filled the view and the air stopped moving so rapidly.

It occurred to me as I portaged down to the south lagoon that I have, without clear intention, been disengaging myself from the city that I live and most often paddle in. Sometime ago I began to give names to marsh and shoreline features that had no official names, and I began to rename the few places that did show on maps giving those spots names that fit logically and emotionally...the burial island, the crossing under place, the workbench lodge. It was me engaging the marsh on my own terms. It was me creating my own geography, which was at least, devoid in name of the past sins and errors of the pioneer land barons, who matter little in the world that I travel.

The birch swamp of the burial island

I am far from being a hermit, even if I did write that down as a career aspiration on a middle school aptitude test (I actually used those tests as a role-playing game, seeing how far towards weird I could peg the results). In fact, I have quite a few friends, the numbers of which, have increased since I became an artist. So, while I disengage from the city, I retain a tendency to take almost anyone that is willing to show them the marsh from the canoe...taking friends along on my disengagement journey.

As I cross the bay northward, the misting rain returns with passion. It threatens to bring out "giant duck syndrome" - when the mist becomes heavy enough the ducks look far more distance than they are - but, knowing their size, it tells the mind that they are 2 or 3 feet tall.

This is a summer without summer. It is mid-July and we are still having weather that we would normally experience in April or May. It has been windy, cloudy and wet. Only the temperature informs on the actual date. It begins to shower heavily and for a moment, I wonder if, while politicians and self-styled leaders are bickering about how to not do anything about climate change, nature is crying.

I squeeze myself past the cattail berg that guards the mouth of Ravenna Creek. I don't go here often, but in inclement weather the man-made ditch always appears to be more of a creek and I find it pleasant.

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