Only Half Here

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The smoke has been getting worse in Ashland, from all of the forest fires in Oregon. I expected it to be better by now. It’s been over two months since our town has been dealing with this. And it’s not just our town. Apparently, you cannot escape the smoke until you leave the state. Which is exactly what I’ve decided to do.

I booked a flight to Hawaii, and will be staying there for two weeks. A bit crazy, but I am an artist and a writer, so it’s to be expected. I can’t wait to get back there.

I found a sweet two bedroom sublet, on Craigslist, not far from where I stayed on the big island in July. It’s actually been raining in Pahoa, on and off, and the temperature is below 90!

I’ve been inside constantly. It’s getting on my nerves. People here are bicycling with paper nurse masks on. It’s that bad.

Yesterday, I painted all day. I’m happy with what I did, and it felt great to be doing art. Sometimes I feel that I’m a visual artist, and that is where my strengths lie. Other days I feel like I can’t paint or do any other kind of art worth a damn, and I give it up for long periods of time.

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I’m a bit confused about where my primary focus should be. Self expression of any kind is addictive for me. Although acting doesn’t appeal. Nor does go-go dancing.

Though I want to be close to my friends, and the Ashland Art Center, I’m feeling physically pulled to Hawaii. Almost wrenched there.

My finances are such that I don’t have a private jet, and credit card debt can pile up alarmingly. I kind of have to decide if I want to live in Hawaii, or just use all of my resources to fly there when I’m able to. Neither option feels satisfactory to me.

The forest fires in Oregon are getting more common, and more out of control. Since I moved her 4 years ago, we’ve dealt with them every summer, to varying degrees. This year is the worst, by far.

Before I moved to Ashland, friends gazed at me with deep concern in their eyes. “What about the Winters?”, They’s say. I don’t mind a little snow, or cold weather. But I cannot stand the intense heat. Strangely enough, I like to be able to breath without coughing my lungs out. Weird, I know.

Today I will spend as little time outside as I possibly can. I will probably buy one of those abhorrent surgeons masks, to prevent myself from breathing in ashes. Maybe this is why the town was named Ashland, at it’s beginnings?

It isn’t at all nice, feeling like a prisoner in one’s home. Thank God for places like Hawaii. With Global Warming, it will most likely soon be under water. I will at least appreciate it while I can.

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