AK 2010, Day 36: Infatuation

…And though you have written 6 new pages of fiction today, which you decipher averages out to approximately one page per hour. And though this does not include the long minutes during which you
a) put your head on the table and played with your hair,
b) found yourself in downward dog pose no less than 18 times,
c) paused to watch the train rumble along the far side of the bluff (it’s headlight like an angry, yellow ghost haunting the low spruce forest), and
d) the numerous conversations you had with yourself (out loud) on any number of subjects such as (but not limited to)
i) the merits of flourless peanut butter cookies
ii) the demerits of flourless peanut butter cookies
iii) the fact that an antler is not a bone, but a living, hard thing
…And though the past six days have been riddle with miniature crises of faith, which you figure are really just a side effect of writing the first themed body of fiction you’ve ever believed in enough to tell a publisher about it. And though during these weaker moments there was always the option to
a) call home,
b) send a text message,
c) look up Middle Eastern baby names online and call it research for the war stories, and
d) eat extraordinarily healthy food but eat too much of it, thus destroying the “healthy” part
…And though all of it still rumbles on each day and each night, tonight when you finally step out onto the porch for your sweet ritual of wine and stars you are struck by the most invasive light you’ve ever seen.
This is not the last hints of sunset. Not at midnight. And it’s not the trace hints of the moon, which—come to think of it—you haven’t seen for quite some time. No, that invasive light starting in the low, northern pocket of the sky and bleeding in every other direction is the Northern Lights. You can see them even with your headlamp turned on…but with your headlamp turned off now, you gulp from the mug of wine and lie down on the porch and wonder how it is that such a fantastic thing can be born on the same planet where so many people are trying to kill each other, or one-up each other, or suck-up every last bit of trees/oil/gas they can get every waking moment.
Just stop. Look at these lights, you want to tell them. See the way they form in stripes and stalagmites, in throbbing pockets of greens and yellows. They’re the Aurora Borealis, a phenomenon so enthralling that the Athabascans said they were the pathway to heaven. Watch how uninhibited they are; their eerie way of stretching across the sky. Just look at the way they make everything else appear so small, as if when it comes right down to it, all we have is this very moment.
Showing 4 comments
  • Rocky Cole

    What a wonderful description of the Northern Lights and of your day as a writer.

  • Anonymous


  • Shannon Huffman Polson

    ahhhh…these are my favorite of your blog posts…is it the location that does such magic? 🙂 Or am I betraying how much I miss it….

  • Jeremy S.

    captivating post…literally forgot to swallow for a few minutes.

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