New Readings, Writings, and Some Mushy Stuff
Hot off the internet presses, sweeties: In the Tote has a shiny new site for showcasing Fisher Poets’ work!
Great big thanks to veteran performer Pat Dixon for his tremendous devotion to documenting the Fisher Poets. The revamped site includes new writers, new photos, and, thanks to Pat’s commitment to recording us this year, new audio. Give it a look and a listen; meet some new favorite writers. I have. (Nice to see you aboard, Meezie!) If you enjoy your visit, please do leave a comment to let Pat know. In an entirely volunteer capacity, he’s given this work his all, and then some.
I’ve got something new over there, too. “Love at Sea” is a six minute audio story that I haven’t yet shared with anyone. Not even my Number One test audience, Cap’n J — and as it turns out, this one’s entirely dedicated to him.
(Brace yourselves for this shameless “Get a room!” moment, buddies.)
I’ve appreciated my partner over the past nine years, for sure, but I couldn’t have imagined the level of selfless support Joel would give me this winter. We’re in the middle of intense boat projects – and by “we,” I mean he’s shouldered the entire load himself so that I can devote myself to writing. Every Monday, he makes the two hour drive/ferry ride to Port Townsend. He pulls fiberglass-dusted coveralls back on and spends the week in the boat yard, working to resuscitate the cadaver that is our beloved boat.
It’s crazy over there. Everything that gives the Nerka life is either gone or in pieces. The main engine: gone. The refrigeration system: out. Fuel lines, steering lines: disconnected. Shaft: out. Propeller: off. Throw in a few gaping holes where holes are not meant to be (a particularly disconcerting state of being in a vessel that needs to be, you know, watertight.)
For those of you without boats in your life, I can’t tell you what a daunting scene this is. The Nerka — like every other fishing boat — isn’t Just a Boat: she’s our home six months of the year, Joel’s link to his childhood, our office, our sole source of income, our safe haven. We both know it’ll all go back together in the end. It has to. At the very latest, we have to be cruising back up to Alaska by mid-June, ready to drop our hooks in the water on the first of July. I can tell you that knowing your sweetheart is spending the day grinding fiberglass is an effective way to combat writer’s block. How can I whine about words, given such a gift of time?
I wrote “Love at Sea” for Joel, but suspect some of you will find your own point of resonance. So many of us unintentionally absorbed the fairy tale of what our love was supposed to look like. Easy. Fun. Hot. Perfect, spanning time to Happily Ever After. But we’re human, and our love is none of those things all of the time.
You don’t need to have spent weeks at sea together, aboard a tiny ship, to have figured out that though the fairy tale is impossible, hard-earned love is very real. I wonder what challenging situations some of you have pitted your partnerships against, how you triumphed (or not), and what unique measure of love you took from those experiences?
Give “Love at Sea” a listen here, then come on back and let me know how you’ve defined love in your life. As always, thanks for being such a participatory group — that’s one of the things I love about you.