Before he is dead, Grandad misses his funeral. The ceremony is supposed to be Thursday, has been Thursday for weeks. But Grandad doesn’t die on time. He doesn’t do anything on time, hasn’t done anything right for a while now, so he misses the funeral and drinks red Gatorade with what’s supposed to be his final meal.
In Ann Arbor, I’d been known as “the Alaska guy,” which now felt like a pose. Feeling too Alaska for the MFA book-world had supplanted how much of my life I’d felt too book for Alaska. Maybe that was why I’d been unable to progress on my novel. I’d left this place, after all. Had I ever really loved it, or just the way it let me represent myself?
Summer has come to “The Last Frontier” as well as the Lower 48. In Alaska, we’ve already begun the hurried rush of summer activities, sprinting against the onslaught of the coming winter, making the most of 24 hours of blessed daylight. The arriving summer solstice will be the longest span of daylight the whole year, and here it’s a cause for celebration. In the spirit of these wild things, I’d like to offer up a different idea of the word resource in terms of writing: mainly, the Wilderness as resource. It’s not a new concept. Thoreau went to the woods to live a very specific life. Bill Bryson took us on a walk in the green embrace of the Appalachians. It is ever more true across history. Even in a time of advancing technologies, we remain obsessed with our relationship to the natural world.