Friday, May 28, 2010

May 19, 2010

Hello to Beaufort Kids! I am so glad you can see my blog. I enjoy writing about my trip to Alaska. I have seen so many new sights and met many interesting people. Today I am at

Mosquito Lake School

This school is such a sweet place. It is a "one room" school house. The grades K-5 are in the same room. There are only 14 students in the whole school! Miss Kathy is the head teacher. She has an assistant. The school is bright and sunny and opens out onto a playground. They have a hugh world map on the wall and I could see how far I had traveled to be in Haines Alaska.

Miss Kathy teachers all the grades. She believes that children should go out and play frequently. Even when it is cold and snowy in the winter everyone goes outside. They use their snow shoes or skies. The school is in a very rural area of Alaska.

I showed the class slides of my turtle journal and told them a story about saving baby turtles from a racoon that wanted to eat the eggs. Everyone went outside for play and fresh air. Then we came back in and created a field journal that they will use to record local plants. Dandelions were blooming everywhere. So we gathered their beautiful leaves and observed them as we made drawings. Eveyone concentrated and did a great job looking closely and observing the shapes of the leaves.

Older students helped younger students. Everyone was very cooperative and we had a good time.

Have a great summer everyone. Ms. Melba

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 16, 2010

The morning dawned Sunday and clear. I checked my watch. Becky was in the kitchen mixing up a blueberry breakfast cake. I poured coffee. It was only 6:30. Too early. Drake had said to call and say "let's go!" I waited another hour, two cups later and a couple of warm coffee cakes the sky was still clear. I called. I awoke him. Drake would meet us at 1:00. The day only went up from there. Little did I dream that I'd be flying on the most beautiful possible day in Haines since we arrived. The atmosphere was calm and pristine. A blue so deep that it receded into blue violet It was the day that Paul and I walked on a glacier. For us it was the equivalent of a moon walk in broad daylight. Really I can hardly write about this as it was such a joyful and emotional experience. I rush of love for the earth. My face was wet with uninvited yet welcome tears. The photos are my feeble attempts to capture these moments...but in our hearts and minds and souls, Paul and I will remember them forever. I was living my dream. I dreamed a year ago that an eagle swooshed through me and in a moment of extreme clarity, I climbed on his back and we flew over the landscape of my life and I saw it from a different viewpoint. A week later, Carol called and we begin to plan the Haines Exchange. I have envisioned this moment of flight, of soaring over this landscape since that moment. It was everything and more .....what is important comes into clear focus as our great Mother surges up with power and wonder. My attention is totally arrested. We gently land on an expanse of glacier. I joyful fall over as I sink knee deep and make a snow angel before Paul and Drake lift me upright. Enjoy the photos my friends....and FlyDrake! if you come this way in this lifetime.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

May 16

Carol and I walked the beach adjacent to the homestead. Truly one of the world's most
spectacular sights. She collects sea kelp and includes it in her diet. Carol is also one of the world's best cooks. Haines Assisted Living is soooo fortunate to have her culinary skills as well as astute concern for healthy eating and living. We stopped and enjoyed the view of the old crab cannery and then quenched our thirst at an artisan well along the roadside. Truly one of the world's most delicious sips of water! We enjoyed a stunning afternoon bringing it to a close with a local Haines brew and nachos at Mosey's.

May 16th

After lunch, I met up with Carol and we went out to her families homestead at Mud Bank.
She and her siblings have inherited 100 + acres of pristine watershed land. It is a pathway for
bears and moose as an important site for conservation efforts. Her dream is to preserve it from development. She lives here in the summer and is continuing to get the trash and junk. It is a slow process as it is difficult to remove anything here and costly. You can see the tower that will soon support a windmill to provide power. She has a little garden that her father started 30 years ago. The weather cleared and I was able to get some beautiful photos of this area.

Check the next posting for photos of the surrounding environment. Go Carol!

May 15th.

Paul and I drove 22 miles to Klukwan. It is a remnant of a Tlinglet village. The village is very run down as you can see by the photos. Though we understand that they have received large tracts of land that have now been lucratively logged. It appeared that only a few people actually lived here anymore. Some tribal members have become very wealthy. Poverty and pain die hard and the community continues to be plagued with alchoholism, abuse and squandering of resources from what I understand from local accounts.

Some of these buildings contain a fortune in Tlinglit arts treasures. They are building a cultural center in which to house and protect them. I will be at the Mosquito Lake school on Tuesday afternoon. A tiny school in this community.

We ate at the sole restaurant on the Chilkat Highway....33 mile restaurant. Best hamburgers in the area.

Check out the next blog for the remainder of the day and photos of Carol Tuynman's homesteac.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 11th Tuesday evening

Well it is only 10:00 here and the Sun set. Today was overcast and I felt like I just lived at the same time all day until it finally and rather suddenly became dark. I am still not totally adjusted to the time change. I get really sleepy about 4 or 5 and if I don't take a little nap, by 10:00 I am comatose. 10:00 is 2:00 EST. The good news is that I wake up early and for the last two days have walked to the indoor pool for a wonderful swim by 7:00. This is my new "leaf" on life. The community pool is only three blocks away. The water is just "right". Lovely murals decorate the wall. This community loves art. The Sheldon Museum is witness to that.

Monday evening the museum sponsored A Talk About Art. Jeri, the museum director, invited me to facilitate a dialogue about the works. The show entitled Curious/Vicarious featured works by Andrea Nelson and Amelia Nash. They shared that this body of work had been a life-changing experience for them and they hoped that we, the viewers would be inspired to cultivate the curious in our own lives. Their work created a space in which the seven or so people that came to converse, could stand and realize the awe of personal expression.

If you remember, the first day we were in Haines we helped sort through clothes and books for Hospice. Paul "happened" upon an audio tape by Joseph Campbell, The Way of Art. Synchronistically it provided a basis for my presentation!

Here are some thoughts to ponder. The field of aesthetics is a subset of philosophy. So when we use the word criticism it is not used in the negative sense of the work, pronouncing a judgment of "I like it" or "I don't"...good/bad. Rather it is calling us into an exploration of the deeper meaning of the artwork and into a realization of a "beauty that pleases, not the beauty as perceived by the ego which seeks fulfillment and desire, rather that of a sublime beauty that shatters our ego systems and hold us in a moment of fascination...holds us in a still point of wonder, aware both of the individual and collective unity of life. Some questions to ask:
1. Has your sense of beauty been altered? 2. What do you find fascinating/curious? 3. Does the work inspire you? In what way? 4. Which works did you feel "invited in"? 5. Which works puzzeled you?

We were able to enjoy a range of the archtypical "flavors" (according to Campbell). 1. Terrible, tragic and pathetic 2. Heroic and wonderous.3. Odious and furious 4. Erotic and humorous
5. Peaceful.

I am posting a few pics from the show. Congratulations! Well done Andrea and Amelia.

May 11, 2010 Tuesday

Sunday - Mother's Day photos

Carol was delighted to housesit for a friend over the weekend. The home is a beauty, as is it's rambunctious occupant Rufus. The window view overlooks Mud Bay. On Saturday a small group of inquiring women gathered to discuss writing, make sketches and mainly share a diverse view of ideas and perceptions of local culture, development and the preservation of traditions within "tribal" values and practices. We observed the uncommon and beautiful shapes of a dandelion leaf, prowled about the beach and made a few thumbnail sketches that windowed the vast landscape.

As you can see from these photos, on Mud Bay large boulders are strewn about a rocky shoreline. As I understand it, when ice broke away from the glaciers they carried rocks downstream. As the iceberg melted it left the boulders. Some formed small islands in the middle of the canal.

On Sunday, Paul and I spent a relaxing day exploring the beach and playing with Rufus. Rufus is still a "puppy". The tide was low and after an hour of romping through the mudflats, he was up to his belly in muddy curls. The temperature rose to a mild 70, light breeze and no sign of the legendary mosquitos...yet.

Tom, Kristin and Ryan called and wished me a Happy Mom's least I caught their message on voicemail. Happy indeed....!!