Saturday, June 16, 2007


This time of year, by the time I crawl into bed, the sun is already on its way back up. This means I have sunlight blazing in my face for nearly the entire span of time I'm attempting to sleep. My summertime insomnia is back in all of its hazy glory; combined with a recent increase in activity, which also wreaks havoc with my internal clock. But being sleep-deprived is not the end of the world, and it does make for some interestingly dreamlike mornings.

Like this morning, I could not stop thinking about Equus. It's a play I went to see with Geoff and friends last night. It was by far the most graphic play I have ever attended; but its message was equally haunting - the tortured psychologist, who has nearly gone mad over the enlightenment that life is meaningless without passion, in the end realizes that passion itself is a hopeless pursuit. Heavy stuff. I chewed on it for a while as I prepared to go hiking, and for some reason - at the last minute - decided to throw a sketch pad and pens in my pack to do some drawing.

It was a strange idea, and a definite diversion from my usual hiking habits. I like to go as far as I can as fast as I can without stopping much. I like the idea of covering more ground and pushing for a destination rather than lingering on dewdrop-drenched spider webs and sprigs of grass. But that was the idea I had for today. I was going to stop, and linger, and make field sketches of ferns and chunks of glacial ice. But after a few miles and stopping and going, I remembered why I don't attempt this often. I have grand plans to create an image of the world as I see it, and I end up with drawings like this:

Awwww ... a black bear on a snow bike. These anthromorphized critters are the kinds of doodles I make when I am either listening intently to a lecture, or have my mind turned off completely (like when I'm in a meeting.) But more often than not, they're what come out when I'm zoned out. And it's interesting to me that I'd so quickly dive into doodling when I was really trying to be tuned in. But I think this is, whether I like it or not, the way in which I see the world. When I am truly lost in a moment, my mind fluctuates wildly between past and future without lingering long on the present. Thus, I'd be tempted to sketch out a winter-esque picture of a little bear in a hat, when what I was really looking at is the scene in the photo at the top.

Anyway, those are the doodles I make, and these are the blog posts I make when I am in the throws of an excessive-daylight-driven insomniac episode. I am really enjoying the summer though. We went to a barbecue tonight. It was warm enough out to wear a tank top (yes, I have lived in Alaska long enough to consider 65 degrees tank top weather.) And as I was gnawing on a juicy chicken skewer and looking across the channel with strips of orange sunlight lingering over the horizon, I felt completely at home. I think, someday, when people ask me what was the best thing about living in Juneau, I will say "June."