The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable.
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley
During the Year of Adventure, I visited the redwoods. At Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, little campsites, carpeted in the soft brown litterfall that the trees let go, are nestled almost immaterially amid giant trunks. Even the most intrusive RV looks unprepossessing in the soft light and gently dwarfing perspective that reigns under this canopy, and in the hike-and-bike section where I stayed, our little clearings with our little tents felt like warm vole burrows.
One more thing: I have some pictures.
(Second of two new posts on the same day. See the first one.)
There’s a feeling we’ve been getting to know very well lately. It’s the feeling of waiting. And waiting. And waiting—all while being unable to make any plans because, each day, it feels like what we really need to be doing is waiting some more.
The last post I did was, ostensibly, about meeting Misty’s birth mother. Misty themself only met their birth mother for the first time a year and a half ago, and came back from the experience a changed person. The meeting wouldn’t hold as much significance for me since it wasn’t my mother I was meeting, but I still looked forward to it with deep curiosity. And then, three weeks after we met, I wrote a blog post about our meeting that turned out not to be about the meeting at all, really, but about how I was frustrated because we’d stayed in Portland longer than we’d planned. I realized a few minutes after posting it that I needed to do it over entirely. I need to honor the weird but perfectly sensible origins of the person I want to spend my life with (and who, I’m happy to say, wants to spend their life with me).
We met in Portland at Misty’s birth mother’s house. Misty’s birth mother has, for a couple decades or so now, been a man: Mike—short, bald, goateed, and proudly cultivating an image of Uncle Fester. He and his wife live quietly in a little apartment in a character-free building near Portland where they keep Halloween doormats out year-round. When I got there Misty had already been there for a week, getting further and further away from reality.
I’ve had grand visions for the last month of how I would get to Minneapolis and have so much time to write about all the amazing things that have been happening. I’ve thought of so many things I want to write if only I had the time and the focus. Well.
Yep, still ticking. It’s late and I’m tired, so this is truly going to be just a “still alive” post. In the time since I wrote last, Misty and I have spent a week at the Possibility Alliance, a community that’s at least as off-grid as the Amish (no electricity, no cars) and has refined the human aspects of permaculture like no place else I’ve ever been. We’ve also discovered that we share a favorite mode of transportation, one that isn’t hitchhiking but is just as free, about which I feel it prudent not to say more at this juncture, except that if you know me, you probably know what I’m talking about.