6th of October 2013 Ketchikan, Alaska, USA.
I don’t want to let the unrest occupy me again. I feel it is intruding, uninvited and demanding my attention. It is that unpleasant sense of restlessness that, like electricity flowing through your body telling you to hurry. It is the fuel urban life thrives on and the very thing keeping the wheels running. As my trip is about to be completed I smell the busyness of the city oozing into my system, the busyness I have been released from for almost four months now. I never got rid of it, that bastard was just biding its time to attack again.
The whole meaning of traveling is to be present at every moment, to be open and receive new impressions, meeting other people, sharing their stories and ideas. This openness has followed me on my trip and I have indeed met people. I have felt relaxed and curious. But now I sadly state that that ingenuousness is almost gone and I can hardly concentrate on my meetings. I have turned into a indifferent collector of impressions with my camera as a trawl. During the last week I have watched the transition. More than one time I have been in situations where I just want to establish a contact so that I can put one more “interesting” person to the files and steel his face. Beware Richard!
Today was a lazy day indoors at the hotel doing laundry, writing emails – important and nonsense. I have also booked a flight back home and reading a book I heard the owl call my name. It is about the Haida Indians on Queen Charlotte Islands.
Yesterday I was a bit confused not knowing what to do – maybe a hike up the mountain or a stroll around the town until I, due to the pouring rain entered a shop where I met Susan Dickinson a former Community Planner who advised me to go to Saxman and look at the Totem Park and see the carvers workshop there. So I walked the road to Saxman, saw the Totem Park which was quite impressive but did not really catch me. But in the beautiful cedar workshop I met Tlingit master carver Nathan Jackson. In the workshop was also Nathans wife Dorica Jackson who was occupied painting a red cedar totem pole which was ordered by a Californian butcher to depict his family. Nathan had been working on the pole on and off for many years and he was anxious to get it finished and delivered. There was a young carver, Kelly working on a panel commissioned by the city. He showed me the bentwood boxes they make and which belong to the Tlingit tribe traditions which Kelly was a descendant from. The workshop had a distinctive scent of cedar coming from the pieces they worked on as well as the building itself which revealed its raw and simple construction of untreated red cedar. The room was good in proportions and mainly a big working space. Windows on the longsides and a workbench on one side with a pantry, tools and grindstones and cupboards for paints. The floor was full of cedar chips. A Husqvarna chain saw was apparently a tool for a totem carver.
Tomorrow I jump on the ferry again. This time to Prince Rupert from where I take another ferry to Haida Gwaii where I will stay some days to explore the alleged magic of the place. Stay tuned!