Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Rain & Gratitude

I struggle to decide what to wear. Rain is predicted, but we hope to finish our hike before it begins. Not having worn long pants all summer, I opt for lightweight leggings under my skort and carry both fleece and Gore-Tex®. Just in case.

Choosing a hike also proves challenging. We hope to escape the forest fire smoke by heading north from Seattle, then east on Highway 2. In Gold Bar we stop to reconsider. The smoke is hanging high, so we decide to avoid elevation and nix our plan for Heybrook Ridge given the view will be nominal. Instead, we head for Bridal Veil Falls, a hike I’ve never done despite a lifetime in the region.  
We picnic at the side of the falls, breathing in the damp fresh air, grateful for respite from the smoke and for the firefighters struggling against the violence of a changing environment. Like writing, hiking grounds me when the stresses of our physical and political world become unbearable.
The long awaited rain begins as we descend from the falls, this gray rain so desperately needed after a summer of drought. I hold open my hands, my mouth, like a happy child, hopeful this rain will be enough to control the fires. I feel the rain on my face and think of my mother a child of the Dust Bowl dreaming of rain, and I am grateful.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Haunting Synchronicity: Podcast Interview

Two weeks ago I walked into the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service Building. In 2004 INS vacated the 85-year-old building haunted by the history of Seattle’s immigrant community. Now repurposed and renamed, Inscape is “the largest arts and culture enclave in Seattle.” 
I was invited to Inscape for an interview with Laura Allen of Two Ponies Press. As we discussed my work, my distracted mind wandered the corners of her studio and wondered what joys or horrors it once held. I didn’t vocalize these thoughts during the interview, perhaps I should have, but the odd synchronicity of discussing the influences of immigrants and refugees on my writing within the walls of a building that once held power over their future did not escape me.

I hope you enjoy listening to the podcast of our conversation as much as I enjoyed my visit.