Saturday, December 27, 2008

lesson learned

I haven't been to many parties this holiday season, and I'm not sure that I'm too upset about that.

At one party that I attended, I found myself small-talking with someone I'd met a few times already. She professed that she was bad with names and could not remember mine, so I reassured her that: "It's alright, I'm not usually good with names either. My name is Elisa."

"Sorry, what's your name?" [perhaps she couldn't hear me, or had never heard that name before.]

"El-lisa...that's Lisa with an E before it." [Ok I admit, maybe I mumbled that.]

"Listen, can I call you 'Ay'?"

[Why would she do that? There's no "ay" sound in my name at all. But then, what are the chances that she'll even remember to call me "Ay" the next time I see her?]

"Uh, sure."

Then someone else entered the conversation and introductions had to be made again.

"I'm Elisa, it's nice to meet you"

Bad with name girl interjects: "But I'm going to call her Ay."

New girl asks why - she thought my name started with an 'E'.

"Oh my god, really?! I didn't know that...why did you let me call you 'Ay'?"

I am so mortified.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Old Crow

I've just returned from a trip to Old Crow, though my mom likes to tell people that I was in the North Pole for a week.

I love going places and finding myself changed by it. This time, I was mentoring in an Our World workshop, and one of the participants was a very distinguished looking elder who told us idyllic stories about trapping and hunting - living off the clean and beautiful Yukon land. He showed us photographs of people trapping and stretching muskrat hides. I thought the photographs were gorgeous and I suddenly wanted to live that life oh so much. That night, I dreamt we were camping out in Old Crow Flats together, checking on the muskrat traps we set in the pushups. It was a quiet and peaceful little dream.

Days later, I went inside a building and found a moose leg lying on the floor by the doorway. It was severed just below the knee joint - a slim length of a brown, furry, and bloody, stub. I was barely able to stay long enough to snap a picture before I had to pull myself away from it. I guess I wasn't as hardened as I thought I was.

Well, I'm still not disillusioned by the thought of living off the land. Maybe I can still go on camping trips, and sit with some soft, furry, willow buds in my hand while I feed on some tasty little berries.