As you have no doubt realized, I’ve been pretty limited in my posting here over the last week or so. As there are no major festivals coming up until the 6th, and September is pretty quiet in our Calendar compared to many other months (including August and October!), it is only to be expected in certain ways; and yet, I’ve got LOADS I’d like to say, and a small collection (about 10 or so) posts sitting in drafts–some of which have been there for six months or more–that I’d love to knock out. Part of this is because my summer teaching quarter, which this year was entirely online, for one of my colleges just finished on Monday (technically, though I was done with grading by Sunday evening, for once!), and I have been
half sick of shadows, she said a bit sick of looking at the computer. Another reason is that I’ve been out with ACTUAL HUMANS more lately than I have often been–an entire day’s excursion down in Seattle and its surrounds with one person last Thursday, a dinner with another on Saturday, a lovely dunch (that is not a misprint!) with Disirdottir on Sunday, and an overnight in Port Townsend on Wednesday, from which I returned on Thursday afternoon (on which more below). I had a dentist appointment on Monday (that was just supposed to be a cleaning, but due to a fortunate cancellation, ended up with me getting two fillings just after the cleaning was completed), and this afternoon (Friday), I’ll have an eye appointment, which will hopefully result in absolutely nothing, though more injections are possible, too.
The organization of my apartment is progressing–albeit slowly–and my shrine room is not yet complete, unfortunately. I’ve done divination several times, and have been told that I should not finish it yet, and am wondering what Antinous and the others are planning with all of this, and what fortunate timing will finally allow it to be completed.
I have to admit, a huge part of my inactivity lately has also been that I’ve been feeling listless, depressed, and with little energy or motivation a great deal of the time. I’ve been fine when I’ve been around people and out doing things, but just being at home–as much as I often enjoy doing little or nothing–I’ve kind of been in a rut. I’m hoping that it will be better next week, as I need to get a bit of non-college-related work done (including a good deal of writing, both devotional and academic, with upcoming or long-past deadlines impending) before the ramp-up for Fall quarter begins the following week. Ugh…this is the longest break we get during the year, and it is never enough…especially because the paychecks are also very thin on the ground and longer in between them as a result of the length of the break. Bleh.
My overnight, though, was a kind of interesting experiment–unintentionally so–at a purposeful unplugging, just to see what would happen, and I think to have a bit of a break from all of this. I did some very fast and basic e-mail checking in the morning Wednesday before leaving, and forgot to do some of the most important things I meant to, like writing down the addresses of where I was going and the directions how to get there. No matter, I thought, I’ll check them later. I took two buses and got on the ferry in Coupeville, thinking on the slightly longer ferry ride to Port Townsend that I’d have enough time to eat and then check a few things online before we arrived. However, unlike some of the other ferry routes in this area, there was no wireless available for passengers on the route, so I couldn’t check the directions and such.
I arrived in Port Townsend (I have not been back there in almost three years), walked down to a store at the near-opposite end of downtown, looked around for a bit, and then went a block or so away and had a milkshake and some onion rings in a 50s-style diner. I saw that it was supposed to rain there, so I very smartly brought my long overcoat and an umbrella, though it was sunny and almost warm for the entirety of my trip up to then, and given I was carrying two bags plus my coat and my umbrella, I was a bit over-warm already. While I was eating, though, it had started to rain, and not the usual gentle rain that we often have in my island home. I wisely put on my overcoat before venturing out from the diner to walk to my motel, raised my umbrella, and within a block my trousers were drenched. Then the thunder started–I didn’t see any lightning, but might have missed it since I was closely scrutinizing the ground to see where I might walk that wasn’t already occupied by a 3″ deep puddle (i.e. not very many places!). I arrived at the motel, and then the rain stopped–nice. I checked in, changed out of my wet clothes, and then went and enjoyed the hot tub for a while.
[Total side note: with tax, the motel I stayed in was less than a hundred dollars for the one night I was there. The motel has an indoor pool and hot tub, and each room has a coffee maker, microwave, and refrigerator, as well as DISHES YOU CAN USE, the usual cable TV, and so forth; continental breakfast, while a bit spare, was free as well. The furnishings and overall feel of the place is kind of a tired 1960s-1970s atmosphere, but overall, the overall accommodations were BETTER than the Double Tree at PantheaCon, and cheaper, with the only big difference being the rather retro–or, more appropriately, not-ever-updated–furnishings of the place. Come to think of it, Port Townsend would be a really good place to have something like Many Gods West in the future.]
I had planned to just sit in the hot tub for about a half hour, and then do a few other things before the “main event” I had come for. But, there were some folks in there when I arrived, and then they left, and then more showed up, and we got to talking; and then when we all got out (about an hour and a half after I had come in), then some other people had overheard part of our conversation and started talking with me while I was drying off, and I ended up talking with them for about twenty minutes. I barely had enough time to go back to my room, attend to my post-hot-tub grooming, get dressed, and then get to walking. I did not get the password for the motel’s wireless, but luckily, my browser was open on the page with the directions, so I copied them down, and set off on foot for my destination.
The destination in question was a private residence, as S. J. Tucker and Betsy Tinney had a house concert there. The website said it would take about 33 minutes to walk there, and even though I felt I was going pretty slow, I ended up making it–if the clocks where I had left and where I had arrived were approximately aligned–in about 23 minutes, which seems unlikely, but there we go. There was enough time before the concert started for me to chat with S.J. for a few minutes and do what we could to catch up in that short time, since I had not seen her since early 2014.
Needless to say–but I’ll say it anyway!–the concert was amazing and fun and a beautiful occasion. We heard old favorites from Mischief (“Cheshire Kitten”), Mythcreants (“Alligator in the House”), the title track from Wonders, several selections off Betsy’s Release the Cello! (“Gentle Storm,” “Valentina’s Dance”), an improvised “noodling” that was fantastic, some new tracks that we’ll all get to enjoy in the future on some upcoming album, and a generous helping of tunes from Stolen Season (which I reviewed here), including “Sultry Summer Night” (and the duo’s tour the last few months was the “Sultry Summer Tour”!), “Wild River Child,” “Girl Into Devil,” “Dream of Mississippi,” “Stolen Season” (which they’ve only played live one other time, in 2011!), “Little Bird,” and the final song of the concert, “Believe in Lullabies.”
It was not my plan to do so (and yet, it happened anyway!) that I asked whoever was present if I might get a ride back to town, since it was dark and was a bit longer than I’d have preferred to walk at night without sidewalks and street lights, and this meant that I ended up being one of the last ones to leave the event. Many people spoke with S.J. and Betsy afterwards and bought CDs, and I was mentioning how much I liked Betsy’s version of “Hallelujah,” and a few minutes later, she turned the sound system on again, explained the “cooking show” philosophy of using a looper, and then played the song…with a different, lower “verse” in it than I had heard previously, and pretty much had the small handful of us that remained there applauding as loud as the whole place was during the full concert. S.J. then did us the great grace of playing a song she mentioned working on earlier, about catching up in age to all the “older cool kids” she’s known throughout her life, and it was also lovely to get to hear that more-or-less fresh off the press, as it is part of the weekly songwriting group challenge she’s been participating in this year. It was great to talk with both S.J. and Betsy (and that was the most I’ve yet spoken with Betsy–hurrah for that!), to get a few “bonus tracks” out of the whole evening, to have met some other lovely folks to have shared the experience with, and to just be around people that don’t beat me up or make fun of me for wearing a leopard-print fez, but who actually compliment me on it! ;)
Really, the only way it could have been better was if:
a) they played five more songs (my choices would have been “Glashteen Shanty,” “Floor of Heaven,” “Were-Owl,” “Dryad’s Promise,” and “Ask Me Anything”…though I could easily increase that to ten or even twenty more songs!)
b) then we all adjourned to an Otherworld feast that lasted 80 years but no time would have passed for the world we left behind, and we all came back young and vigorous and with eighty years of songs and stories to share with the eager world upon our return!
c) we learned that all it takes is a very particular cello (called Raven) and two very particular guitars (called Dragonfly and Sangria) to cure cancer
…But, that might be asking too much, perhaps. ;)
Once I was given a ride back to the motel, I did not look at my computer, nor turn on the television. I laid out my clothes to dry (they were still damp from the rain earlier), did my nightly devotions and constructed my temporary travel shrine for the night, read a little bit of a book by Oscar Wilde (which I’ve been intending to read for a long while, have been reading for about the last month and a half despite it being pretty short, and which I finished on the trip back on Thursday, and that I’ll be reviewing in the next few days or week, hopefully), and tried to just relax and sleep for a bit. And though I was somewhat restless, and found it difficult to sleep easily because I was not in a familiar environment despite being very tired with travel and exercise and such, I very consciously felt myself unplug from everything for a little while…and it felt really good.
Thursday morning, I got up with my alarm at 8, but then set it again for about 8:40, got up and got dressed, and went for the continental breakfast (a bit basic, but oh well…). I got the wireless password, checked a few things briefly, and then decided that rather than stay until 11 at check-out time and then getting a ferry at 11:45 (which would then mean I’d have to catch the bus from the ferry terminal in Coupeville back to Oak Harbor just after 2 PM–I could almost walk in that amount of time!), I’d leave earlier so I could catch the 11:00 ferry and get the bus just after noon. I checked out just about 10 AM, and expected it would take a half hour to walk to the ferry; I ended up getting there just as the 10:15 ferry was leaving, and caught it, even though I didn’t even speed-walk at any point! I got to the other side and waited for the bus, finished reading my book, and then caught the bus back, and arrived home a little after 1 PM.
Since then, I’ve had a nap, puttered a bit, and done not-a-whole-lot.
So, I’m kind of wondering if it might be a better use of my time this month of September, when our Calendar is so sparse, to have blog posts be part of my observances for those dates, to see if I can get the 13 or so other posts done this month, and perhaps not much else. If that is only one post a day, then that’s still a total of about twenty posts in a month of thirty days–so, more days posting than not, but also, less than my usual. It might not be a bad idea to give myself permission to not have to come up with something constantly, in an effort to try and get what I have already planned worked on and reduced…and likewise to apply that philosophy to my other list of tasks in my non-blogging as well as non-devotional lives. I know I have made these kind of resolutions several times this year, and in other years, and it doesn’t always work. But, perhaps this may actually be borne out this year, and this month…who knows? If I don’t get the 13 planned posts done this month, that’s no big deal, but then I shouldn’t go rushing to fill in the spaces left by them, either, unless it is of major import to do so.
Anyway, it’s been nice to get out a bit more, and to enjoy people and the communities nearby a bit more as well. (Not so good on the pocketbook, alas–travel and food costs money, even though it is not much to most people, but I’m not most people!) With any luck, that will continue, and my energy levels and motivation will improve meanwhile, too.