Tuesday, February 25, 2014

On Becoming a Sourdough

- photo(s) by Margaret Liu

Cheechako: A greenhorn, or newcomer to the Yukon.

Sourdough: A Yukon old-timer; a true or veteran Yukoner.

On February 17th, 2014 at 1: 13 pm, I realized that I had unequivocally become a sourdough. I was on the last leg of my travel back home, after a tasmanian devil of a trip from HJ -> WHSE->VAN->SF. I was wedged in between two unfriendly ladies in the plane-shaped tin can, hurtling through the biosphere, feeling dehydrated, unsettled and a bit morose, to tell you the truth. It is always nostalgic and bittersweet for me to visit my old life, especially solo.

Engrossed in a book, I hadn't looked up from my own ego and woe in an hour. The captain's message stated that we were about to prepare for our descent into Whitehorse, I wearily glanced out the window, and..... Mountains.




My heart literally plumped back from its Grinchian lump of coal, and I grinned like an idiot.

I was back in the Great White North.


Our time here is winding down, and I ache with the fondness I have for this place. I remember my cheechako feelings of ick, snow and ick, snow for seven months?!?! and wonder when it changed, and whether it was while I was sleeping that the sourdough crawled into my spirit.

It is truly bizarre that this city girl now prefers the bright cold of a -15 landscape, to a +12 San Francisco wind.

Here are some winter pictures, of late.


Back from December when M+J visited us. To see the Yukon from a visitor's fresh perspective, was a balm to chapped lips.

airplane to mt. mac in under 15 minutes. m. evans, Ambassador of the Yukon, stylez.

mt. lorne digs.

caramelized onion, homemade seed bread, soft goat cheese.

 individual, perfectly intact and stable snowflakes.

look, ma! my first .gif!

sundog on our way to Haines

heading out for a glimpse of mendenhall glacier, Juneau AK

nugget falls, Juneau AK

aftermath of a euchre game

thanks for roughin' it with us, friends.

On the fresh side of 2014, the light has crept back in. Days are warmer, the humans are reemerging, and beauty is abundant.

More fire parties,

More Aurora,

More skiing,

More lynx tracks,

More appreciative licks of a sunny Sunday.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Where I Stand

Windsor St, Vancouver, 2013.

It is 2014. Did you realize this? I know that you must have scribbled it a few dozen times by now; writing a cheque to your landlord, or filling in another white form, or scrawling it on the chalkboard so that your kids know that it is a school day, and no you cannot go to the bathroom classjustSTARTED.

But it is. 2014, I mean. Blink blink. It's also February. Blink. You've been meaning to write a post that means something, for quite some time now.

Summing up a year, looking ahead to the one up next-- it has such oracle-like, wisdom-shouldering Shawls that wrap around it. It's always easier to not. And yet-- not doing so is unfathomable, since you have pretty much done one every year since you were an itty bitty newborn in this Internet world. You can't send 2013 to bed without tracing its braille one last time with your fingers.

Meditation rock, Saturna Island, 2013.

So. Two thousand and thirteen. My lucky number, my lucky year. My phoenix rising from the embers of some serious stuff. If I was a life meteorologist, I would see that the ebb and flow of joy waxes and wanes from year to year, season to season. 2013 felt like a whole season of light.

I'm still not good at recaps-- this hasn't changed as I've gotten older. Longer in my soul. The most we will arrive to, will likely be nonsensical to you. Incomplete.

The High Line, New York, 2013.

You were love. Every morsel of you was full of it. Not neccessarily the kind that is sopping with roses and beautiful photos, taken just so. Beyond the portrayal of you on my FB page or this modest project here, which can be so misleading in all its camera angles and edited turns of phrases, you were love. The real kind. The kind that builds itself up, and heals pain, and joins fingers together in friendship. You were a chortling, brimming, 'we did it', 'but i'm exhausted' kind of love. You restored my heart back to its rightful rack; heaved it from the second last rib; elevated it so it could elevate me.

My back deck, Haines Junction, 2013.

You were adventure and power. That's right. That word that I shy away from. Why? Power doesn't have to be connected to greed or wealth or harsh tones. Power is sinew and limbs and nerves and verve and vivre. Power is the ability to stay a course on a rocky sea, or ask for someone else to row you to shore, if it needs be.

The Auriol Trail, Yukon, 2013.

So, I thank you, friend. I will tell my grandchildren about you, how all my memories of you are tinged with the soft glint of a pale yellow. It isn't true that you were the beginning of something, since all my years (even that kick in the shin 2012) began me. But you were a checkpoint, for sure, and you told me that I am running the right road.

The trek behind Rick's Cabin, Yukon, 2013.