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Living in darkness…. is not always a bad thing

January 18, 2021

This posting is dedicated to

Chet and Joe two fine men

with whom I shared many hours of conversation with

As I sat beneath the old Coleman lantern reading my book, the night outside my cabin window was a black beyond black, one that appears that if you were to move through it, it would swallow you up into a vast nothingness. Living 65 miles from the nearest town and having neighbors that moved out here to live a solitary lifestyle one does not expect to have visitors…. and yet.

The fog of being lost in the story line of the book I was reading was broken by the distinctive crunch, crunch sound only heard when the temperature is way below zero and someone is walking on hard frozen snow, this was followed shortly by the familiar sound of snow laden boots being banged on the lip of the entryway into my cabin. That sound, out here in the wilderness, was nothing more than common etiquette announcing one’s arrival and the courtesy of one’s boots not making a puddle of water on the floor from the snow on them.

I had already gotten up and as I opened the door and, like a hot breath on a cold day, the fog created by the heat of my cabin and the sub zero temperature outside partially obscured my friend as he entered. Our evening meetings for the most part were never planed and always welcome. If one were to listen in on the flow of our conversations they might sound to an outsider like the random dialogue in a mental ward.

Most nights the talk started down one road only to branch off to many different and often obscure paths, and subject matter traversed almost every topic one could imagine literally from A atomic energy to Z which zones on certain rivers were closed to fishing.

Now sitting here in Texas one of the more important things I miss about my cabin in Alaska is those visits and those who never lived in isolation like that they would certainly not understand the importance of them. Though I never realized it those visits were akin to sessions with a psychologist, and successful ones at that, because I never knew at the time how important it was to speak openly without concern for its effect on the one you were talking with.


there were at times

during those visits

an intermission of sorts

when we both stopped speaking

and marveled at the beauty

piercing through the darkness

outside my window.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. TBG permalink
    January 18, 2021 4:58 pm

    What a marvelous memory to have Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jon Rukavina permalink
    January 18, 2021 8:56 pm

    I had a couple of friends like that in my lifetime. Sadly they’re both gone now. So I can certainly identify with your reflective post. And reflect on these friends myself. Which also brings to mind our meeting at your place & in Fairbanks already just over 5 years ago.
    Thanks for posting & you take good care.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. January 21, 2021 12:01 am

    I’ve lived in OR for a long time and just realised after reading this post of yours… This experience happened every now and again up north while I was there taking care of mom. Yet, here in the lower 48, it rarely happens. Another reason to miss home. Thank you for sharing this experience and these persons.


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