November 23, 2010
Literally, events of the current.
Well, that was an… uh, invigorating… experience. Yesterday was the peak of a very significant storm that flew in from the northeast on Friday and made a direct hit on the Pacific Northwest. The San Juan Islands were pummeled, but like any proud prize fighter, they defiantly bounced back up after each punch. And wow, there were an endless stream of them. Smudge, the commuter kitty, and I watched as the Washington State Ferry Elwha valiantly made its way through the channel from Sidney, B.C. toward Friday Harbor. Smudge was placing bets on how many measures of music I was going to be able to churn out as the seas churned up around us. Turns out, whoever bet the lowest, won the pot.
Just like going a few rounds in the ring with someone a lot larger than you, it was dizzying. The mostly glass-walled studio happens to face northeast. And is perched upon the tide pools, somewhat precariously, at the very, very northern, exposed edge of this beautiful island. There’s a nifty corridor of open water between my enormous windows and those many miles away on the Canadian mainland just southeast of Vancouver. Perfect for some bad-ass 50 MPH winds that feel like taking an unobstructed joyride across the Salish Sea, looking to get into a little bit of trouble.
Photos offer a glimpse, but they can’t help me share the oh-so-unsettling feeling of the constant, 2.0 earthquake-like shaking of the house from the wind and the waves that pounded under the deck (imagine sitting on a train as you gaze at these, or better yet, just start rattling your desk), nor can they bring your ears the intense pitch of the woefully off-key, 40 decibel, non-stop howling (accompanied by the occasional, louder feline complaint) that surrounded me from every angle. It was 24 degrees outside, and I couldn’t get the house warmer than 58 despite turning the thermostat to 80, making typing with thumbsicles a bit of a challenge.
By the late afternoon, each of the huge windows were buckling so threateningly against the endless gale (offering a visual like an acid trip minus the acid), that Smudge, my laptop and I finally threw in the towel and retreated to a back bedroom with good heat, out of harm’s way should an old pane succumb to its fresh, powerful opponent. Glancing at the plastic tarping with which I’d covered the most vulnerable 9-foot wide window only reminded me that if the glass went flying across the room at top speed, so would the tarp, looking like some sort of wild, opaque-winged, poltergeist muse on a protest rant against my latest wrong notes.
I threw a comforter atop my gear to at least give it a fighting chance in the unlikely event the above scenario were to occur, grabbed a flashlight and a decent bottle of cabernet (I’m no fool), and managed to get the rest of my work done reclining on the bed with Smudge and my MacBook keeping my legs warm. Every 30 minutes I’d get up and poke my nose into the cold and way-too-dynamic living room to see whether disaster on one level or another had struck. Not that I had any clue as to what to do if I were greeted with the sight of all my stuff swirling around in mid air. Wait, I know: drink more wine.
Today: bright sunshine and calm seas. Place your bets: there’ll be many more measures on the page. How fortuitous that I’m composing two very fast, dynamic pieces right now! Inspiration blows in from all directions in life.