Sunday, September 12, 2010


Written by: Maria

My last full day in Decorah, IA, USA: Senimental. Rolled off the white
and blue stripped couch 8:14, forgetting that I lugged out the
belgian-made carpet the night before. The dry bottle of cheap-o Swan
Reisling read, "the joy of filling out the 6th page of your passport." At 4.99, it was ultimately the cheesey aptness of that line that sold it to me last night. I even scanned past my go-to: Wildberry winery Ole Made Lena Blush. The town was empty last night. Went to Amanda Hamp's dance performance at the Art House. Rose Milligan, Hannah McCarger, Kimi Henderson(? new to me) and Alex Lange. Go move dance! Below the apartment there's usually some volunteer in the Clay Studio, the latest limb of the Decorah Art movement, but not this weekend. Even Kiley was fine just relaxing at home in WI on this, her birthday weekend. I carved her a spoon the night before because I HAD to have it done for THE DAY. By this morning my carving "whoopsie" had scabbed over well enough for me to jump on my bike for an early dash around Decorah- another one of those "last" events that have characterized this week.

While wheeling around, took pictures for a scrapbook of my years in Decorah to bring to South America. Lots of stimilating encounters in familiar spots I've neglected. My weird old drawing instructor, "Coach," was painting Dunnings' Spring on an IKEA chair for some raffle and excitedly told me about his new studio/gallery downtown. Harvey Refsal brought me into the bowels of the Vesterheim (Norwegian Museum). Just about as warm as they come, he's apparently some kind of super-star spoon carver in the world and he sold me some rare spoon-carving knife from Mora, Sweden, repeating twice, "I don't mean to take business away from the Folk Store out front. They're great and I support them, but I have the same knives here for less." On my fourth spoon now. I was told to hide away my first spoon so i don't ruin it. the second was for David Sliwa's birthday-the partner of Perry-O with whom I've been interning this summer. Sliwa Meadow Farm has taught me a lot, but after celebrating the 44th annivesary with the two at Magpie dancing to Pine Wilson and Flora V-M? Balcan tunes, i think observing the intense love and gratitude they have for eachother has influenced me most profoundly. Into the third spoon I scratched, "BEAN," my nickname for Kiley. Pulverized a coffee bean and ground it in for color. I think she's expecting a leather journal, but that'll come. Right now the Kitty I found at the Sliwas is using the leather coat rescued from the Depot to cut up for the cover. I'm hesitant to write about what Kiley plans to do, but she has expressed interest in writing a book about her time in Africa next year (peace corps) and I would be so Honored to supply her with a medium on which to write. No hurry yet on that- phew. If anyone else wants to write a book, let me know. The fourth spoon, by the way, is in the making. Buckthorn chopped from Luther's woodlands.

Otherwise, as usual, I'm taking the time to write when I'm the most pressed for time. P R O C R A S T I N A T I O N is me. I revel in it. I wonder if there are any types of jobs that need that type of person. Would need to be supremely dynamic. And if such a vocation did exist, would the constant state of change then become just another routine? and I would lose my golden niche- this thread of anticipation and nefarious action that pulls me in unpredictable directions. Dangerously close to chaos, eh? Jobs. That's something else to think about. Need to give an exiting interview at the coop but none of the management seems to care much about them. FINALLY a chance to say what I've felt so strongly all summer to those with influence and it might be lost if i don't insist. Fear is ubiquitious there- "I could never say that. I don't want to step on/over Mattias." Mattias is the deli manager. I doubt he'll ever read this, but just in case: I do hope he leaves and gets his own restaurant- he's a geat cook but clearly needs help with managing people. More than once I've heard, "You should feel lucky to have this job. There are lots of other people who would love to have it." Sounds like a union-buster to me. That's all on that. THIS IS ABOUT SA: maybe I'll volunteer with a union organizing force there. I might shadow a midwife despite mom's warning that it may be unethical to learn from them considering, "They don't use the most modern (Western) practices and materials available. You may have to watch them kill a child." I hear her and understand her concern. They won't do it the same, guaranteed. I also know that means I will learn what I can't in the states. I can only hope that they will take care in all they do. And that's all I can say on that for now. Definitely volunteering on organic farms in Bolivia. Political unrest is making the connecting part difficult, but I'm encouraged by past WWOOFers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) that the arrangements are best made while in SA. things like dates and deadlines aren't terribly prevalent there... let alone the fact that farms aren't exactly hotspots for wireless networks so communication will be molasses sticky.

Off to my "last" townie frisbee match. Hope everyone is there. I probably won't get too into the sappy-ness unless Charlie Langton starts me off. I just want to see everyone one more time and smile, PLAY HARD.

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