My hands have this coldness, this wrapping around pen and notebook, holding on for warmth, for dear life. I used to love the cold. This isn't cold.
What's the coldest you've ever been?
My brother read a book about how to talk to people when our dad was dying, that asked questions like that. When he asked me, I thought back to the parking lot in Juneau at my new elementary school. 1990 had this giant freeze moving through the pacific northwest that winter. We'd driven through blizzards in Washington and Idaho, having left blizzards in Central New York when we started off, and here I was, 6 years old in 40-something-below temperatures with windchill.
For a long time, I remembered how cold it was in exaggerated ways. 70-below, for sure. But maybe it was only 20-below. I'm trying to get more realistic over time with what I remember, but how memory works: it never gets truer with age. I remember the orca mascot, though, on either side of the entrance at Auke Bay Elementary. One side was in full color, or black and white, as that's an orca in full color. One side was the Inuit version, all cookie-cuttered out like a print made of bone and heartache.
I always want to go back there. Not to that age, not anymore, but to the land of glaciers which, as cold goes, as Alaska and the Northernmost points of North America goes, is not so bitter by far. It's green. Lush. A rainforest, but not a hot one, it's like--
What's the hottest you've ever been? Do you remember?
That question was in my brother's book, too. I read it after he did. I don't know if it helped me talk to people, though.
Process notes on a work in progress. This page serves to invite you into the way I work, with intermittent posts to show you the hows and whys on the whats I make, as well as prompts and ideas I bring to certain workshops. There will also be some raw, rough content found in notebooks written years ago, previously posted on: