Wednesday, July 13, 2011

spaces, places, and homes

As I headed out of Rock Creek, noting the 'Rock Creek: Unincorporated' sign in my side view mirror- it felt big. Really big. I was leaving Rock Creek, I was leaving WV, I was leaving the home I was so grateful to have had- even if it was just for 6 months.

{pad thai- for squirrels birthday dinner}

{hug talking- we do it}

{Post blair pizza- best kind? grapes and rosemary. no, i'm not joking. its so good}

{somehow- June had passed. The Blair March had passed... woah. That calendar changed more quickly than i can recall any other calendar changing}

but right as I was leaving, right as my heart seemed to drop into my stomach, and my eyes wanted to cry- i got a message on my phone- 'mere hours from home.' it was perfect. it's not infrequent that i tell people- i'm lucky, because i have so many homes. in this scenario, i was leaving one home, to go to another home (central ohio). in the past-- little while-- i've been in my home of wv, my central ohio home, and now i'm in my maine home. it's always painful to leave one, but it's always so nice to get to another. i'm so lucky, but also perpetually heartbroken. I've got a deep sense of place- both for spaces i've only begin to know and for homes that made me who i am.
{the last super long, wonder around the house, tooth brushing session.... ahh.. clean teeth}

But before I got to Machias, and before I got to Ohio... I was in WV. Enjoying life after the march on Blair Mountain, and just riding the whirlwind that was my last few weeks in the valley. I made a pretty full on reportback from Volunteer Coordinating- including accomplishments, unaccomplished tasks, and recommendations- which felt great to hand over to EmmaKate, the powerhouse taking on volunteer coordination. I tried my best to keep my opinions on the next steps for the Blair Mountain campaign to myself- and even though it's really hard to accept my role in that campaign is over- its important to know--- and its important to let others make the decisions. I got to start developing workplans with volunteers- giving folks a chance to create autonomous, consensual, productive, accountable, and useful work loads--- perhaps for the first time in CRMW history.

{group photo of CRMW Summer Interns 2011- in front of the house even though Eli INSISTED it would be horrible lighting... and we shouldn't do it there}

{more group photo- not in front of the house- to appease mr shewel}

I had asked a buncha CRMW folks to sit down and talk about how they'd like to see fracking and mtr intersect. Particularly, how can i be an agent of change moving between these two movements- that to spite many similarities- have barely brushed each other? the conversation was useful, informative- but very circular and remained fairly vague. One thing that I've been turning over in my head- a lot- was this piece of advice went something like this... 'work for a ban. we almost had one, and settled for regulation. regulation has not stopped mtr, and it has not protected communities.' as i continue to think about work in ohio, with Ohio Alliance for People and the Environment and otherwise- that advice sits inside my head... just sorta waiting for me to do something with it... (or not?).

I had time to reflect on some lessons learned-- maybe most notably having a better understanding of what conflicts deserve time and energy, and what ones we should just let go. I thought about the amazing people i got to know- and all the ones who i didn't really have a chance to know but have impacted my life in incredible ways. And, while giving myself some space to think, I also was able to connect a little more. I got to spend my final night in WV celebrating- the many many movement birthdays that happen in July.

{How do a bunch of environmentalists celebrate birthdays? Well- we go to see the Appalachian Power sponsored minor league baseball team- the West Viriginia Power- play a game. Duh.}

{unintentionally twins. or so they claim...}

{Crazy caught a t-shirt. "Chucks Healthy Challenge"- sooo lucky!}

The next morning, we went for a swim in Peach Tree falls. To spite the smell of dead opossum (really)- the swim was nice. After returning home to newhouse- i got to play the 'find all the things that i had packed into my car and my housemates took out and hid' game-- for hours. Plus, newhouse left me a message on the dry erase board, "I slashed your tired <3" (they joke... they joke).

{friends at swimming holes}

{Becks loves male bodies thighs. Especially white ones. mmm

{goodbye hugs.}

When I got into Ohio that evening- I made my first stop to see my new nephew, Cohen, and see the rest of my brothers family. Cohen is tinier than I remember babies being (and way more squishy than i remember them being...), and so incredibly presious. Kayla remembered my name ('lolly' is pretty close at any rate) and couldn't stop dancing to 'head shoulders knees and toes'- which of course- is hearbreakingly cute. Next stop? To see my sisters family- including the boys and the very very pregnant- could bust any day- sister of mine. On my final day with my family- I told them I wouldn't see them again until winter. Winter!? that's too long...

{Cohen. Oh. My. Gosh. My heart explodes.}

{I got to babysit with my mama- and we took them all to the park (well, not Cohen, who is pretty much tied to Jennifer still- obviously). It was cute.}

{going for a walk}

{how'd they get so cute? srsly. what? so cute!}

{crackers for lunch. crackers all the time}

{Babies in a baby pool. Ohhh babies!}

{bo ys in spe ed os. matching ones. whhhatt??}

{Potato prints to finish the 3rd zine (from the mountains to the flatlands of ohio) I've made for the babies in my family. Since moving outta ohio-- a year ago?-- I've been making little stories about my life, to keep close and try and not let them forget me. This is the 1st one I'm putting out into the world. Fair warning- its pretty smooshy}

AND my mama told me... she'd be putting out house on the market as soon as next spring. that's under a year. I spent the first... 19?... years of my life at my mamas house. My first memory- my dad pushing me on the red swing set in the back yard. the bedroom i shared with my sister- when it had one peptobismal pink wall and she would throw all of the things i left on the floor on top of me and my bed, when i was trying (pretending?) to sleep. now it sits mostly empty- with blazin' red walls- filled with all the things morgan didn't want enough to take with her. the downstairs bathroom- where used to be the only place anyone could be alone- is now one of two bathrooms (sorta...). The barn in the backyard- that seemed like a fair refuge to run to after a car pulled over after the dirver got hit by mulberries we were throwing at cars from the tree. The no-longer chicken coop my dad burnt down- without knocking it down first- resulting in one of the times the fire department had to come to our house. the front garden that katie cepec and i pulled out a bunch of plants- when we were trying to help my mama weed. the tree that turns such magnificent colors that you see it well down the road in the fall- marking our turn well before you could see the road.
{family photo- i was probably 4 years old}

I haven't lived there- really- in 5 years. Its a home for me, but more so- it's a place. with stories- both the kind you write about (in a blog) and the ones you don't really want to remember much. It's a place that helped me grow up. It used to be home to 2 adults, 4 children, and uh... 3 large indoor dogs and a cat. Now, it's the home of my mama-- (and in january, maybe it'll be my home place for abit, again). But- she'll sell it, she'll move. Her new house? Sure, I bet it'll become a home for me- after all- my mama will live there- but my house- sitting on the corned of 229 and peru twp rd... might change into just a space. but probably not- it'll always be a place.
{my two elder siblings and i-- in maybe--- 1991 or so}

While in Ohio- I really prioritized people in my life. I got to spend a lotta time with my family, and a lotta time with mattie. I went to Emmas really fun graduation party- and got to see her family for the first time in a while. I saw Kate, my soon to be married friend who I hadn't seen- since well before leaving athens. I hung out and talked politics and revolution with miss dawson, will klatt, and aaron. I enjoyed a delightful lunch with my friend leslie- at her parents home (i always LOVE meeting the parents of my friends, and seeing the home they grew up in). I went to a highschool reunion (sorta).

{Lunch on the bank of Alum Creek- I went Kayaking with emma and papabear for about 4 hours, and followed i up the next day by canoeing behind my sisters house- the scioto- with mattie and a potential housemate, sean}

After meeting Kate and fantozi for lunch- I went over to Fantozi's parents house- and got to see Kates beautiful wedding dress, and their super cute Shasta. They bought and renovated an old Shasta to take on their honeymoon. They are SO cute. I'm so sad I can't make it to their wedding... which is gonna be hella cute--- family style pasta and homemade pies!?--but I'm so excited for them--- other than their move to Wyoming- which--- is just too far...

{The soon to be married Kate and Fantozi- with their honeymoon shasta}

And after being in Ohio- for ten days- I felt nothing but love for that place. I love seeing people I know when I walk down the street, being close enough to my family that if my sister had her baby- I could easily make her dinner, watch her boys, and meet the newest addition. I love seeing friends- and catching up with each other and feeling the comfort you only get with people who already know you- and are your friends because they know you. I love knowing exactly how much and when i need to break when i go around a curve, and not needing to know street names because i just know where i'm going. i love waking up and making my mama breakfast, picking berries with babies and wrestling them in a field of firefllies. i love being next to mattie and getting a chance to get to know columbus. i love day dreaming about moving there, getting a job, and doing lots and lots of listening while i try and figure out- how i can help stop fracking.

{babies eating smores. How did eating smores get cute?!}

and i love being in maine- at the hive. i've been here just about a week- and while only my toes seem to have actually landed- i'm excited for the rest of my feet to plant themselves.

{first dinner at the grange- made with extra love by miss erin}

And- believe it or not-- I once again have a new nephew to day dream about- Fritz Todd. (no photos have been seen... yet)

i'm so lucky and so heartbroken. all at once.