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17 April, 2008

Letting Go

The `Opihi, one of Gods most clingy creatures.

When you archaeologize thousands of miles from family, you train yourself to detach, without becoming separated. Walking a Puget mudflat, or Kona pahoehoe, you can be completely in the place. Then at night, talk all you want on the no-limit family cell minutes. Now how you could pull that off a century ago archaeologizing some remote mesa, or cutting cane on Maui, I have no idea.

The family functions fine in my absence, partly because they have each other. I'm solo, though, never really connected to the (current) residents of where I'm working. Paradoxically, it turns out that dealing with this depends on more letting go. Because on your own, after work, the least little thing can get out of hand. The usual addictive threats like TV and beer, for instance. Maybe less obvious: like having a couple issues each of Scientific American and Harpers in various rooms, reading from place to place as the necessities of life occur, interspersed with multi-hour delvings into some novel. Beard cutting, carving, gardening,...any number of things can eat a weekend. You gotta let go.

And when the trip is also a major move, letting go becomes all the more necessary, because you want to throw down roots in the new ground. Probably worth looking into something completely new while you are at it; my dad started snorkeling at 60. I was in a garden community in Honolulu, but maybe in Olympia I will join the film society, or an amateur welding guild, or the League of the Large-headed, or the Rotary. Yeah.

In that regard, it was tragic to have missed the Blintzapalooza recently. But I will for damn sure catch the Procession of the Species parade coming up next week. There are enough strange things here to make for fun. I cannot yet know what the unexpected new thing in life will be, but up here, I hope it isn't snorkeling.

Good night.

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