Wednesday, September 10, 2014

No Sleep 'Till ?


Ever since we got home from our trip, I haven't been able to sleep. I can go to bed normally, well before midnight, but once in bed I'm either wide awake, or if I do fall asleep, I wake to some small sound, a cat going through the door, an owl in the tree outside, or a car parting for the early ferry, sometime around sunrise. Sometimes I wake up multiple times a night, not quite knowing where I am.

When I sleep, I dream of water, consecutive waves crashing on the beach as rhythmic as a metronome, standing in the surf, or dipping my hand in its glassy surface, I dream of fires and great ships in a lagoon, caves full of bones and glass floats, of something, someone outside my tent, intimidating and inviting all at once; wolves, cougars, a great bird, old friends, unnamed people...

Upon waking, I feel untethered and ungrounded. It took days just for the ground to stop rocking under my feel when I first got up. Even though I was walking, I still felt like I was traveling in a small boat, feet bound, tethered to moving with just a simple motion of my arms.



Be it the Super Moon in Pisces, or just the after effects of a prolonged, profound exposure to wild nature, but the last five days have been a little unsettling in the best of possible ways. Suddenly it's easy to make decisions, both big and small, to separate that which we don't want from the things we'll take, to make what needs to happen, happen.


It's not hard for me to make quick decisions under any circumstances, but it takes me long time to process things, especially huge shifts. It took me about six months to finally internalize that we had moved, about a year to come to the fact that I was now living in America and married. Sometimes, I continue working on ideas I've had years ago, having them bubble to the surface at regular intervals, but not coming to a boil, until a long time has passed. I'm overly cautious with the implications of things, making sure I've covered every angle of decisions and opinions, mulling over meanings until they turn colorless from too much exposure.

Even when I'm not traveling, often takes my mind a long time to catch up with my body, for things that are happening around me to manifest in my head. Like I've said before, I'm not a very grounded person even under the best of circumstances, let alone when experience and scene-change after another rolls over my head like so many ocean waves.

So, even as I'm trying to write about our trip, the three weeks of paddling in the absolute Canadian wilderness, the whales, wolves, falling meteorites, peaks untouched by the Ice Age, I'm actually also still figuring out what those experiences mean, trying to put them in a wider context; both within myself and in what I know about the world.




I want to share them with you, the agony and joy of moving yourself miles and miles across open water, the inconvenience and delight of living in a tent for weeks on end, the utter dirt your body gathers, the magic of doing all this with other people, but my attempts fall flat, seem trite; their meanings not quite transferable, translated by some inept speaker.

Every journey we take into the unknown, whether it be a new town, a new person, an emotional, or a physical trial, changes us. The more we venture there, the more we change and the more comfortable we become with change. It's something I've never been that good at until push comes to shove. The unknown terrifies me for reasons very deeply imbedded in my psyche. I'm not good at pushing my own limits, or getting out of my comfort zone, yet at the same time I've always been able to make big personal decisions and take on things, almost at the drop of a hat. When absolutely necessary, I can stride into the new with the best of them, head held high and absolutely certain.

It's the aftermath of those decisions, integrating them into my reality, that I have a hard time with.

I guess I knew this trip would be a little bit of big deal for me: paddling a great distance without much sea-kayaking experience, in an unfamiliar and remote place in the elements, being part of a group of people constantly for three weeks…but I didn't, of course know, in what way it would be a big deal.

That's what I'm still trying to figure out. Night after night, apparently.

I know it might sound a bit cryptic, but it's really not. I'm not about to announce some huge life change, or anything like that, but I am brimming with internal shifts that I can't quite put into words yet and this trip was a big part of it for me. I look forward to sharing those ideas, and even the particulars, the miles and wonders and images of our journey to the wildest of the West.

So good Morning! I hope you had a goodnight's sleep. Any life changing journeys/ events/ decisions happening around there? 

19 comments:

  1. Your trip sounds truly magical, so do share, even if you don't know what it all means yet. Any words will do. You write beautifully.

    Nothing else going on here, except that I'm back to blogging. New blog, same old me. Mulla on muuten ihan sama juttu, että turvallisuushakuisuudestani huolimatta isoihin muutoksiin on ollut aina helppoa hypätä, mutta pitkäkantoisten seurausten kanssa eläminen on sitten toinen juttu. Luulen, että se on joku joskus kotoa lähteneiden, kodista luopuneiden identiteettijuttu. :)

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    1. Kuten sanottu, paras uutinen talla eraa on tassa. Ja oot muuten varmasti ihan oikeilla jaljilla tossa asiassa. Ite oon viela ollu AINA tosi juureton tyyppi ja varmasti molemma "ongelmat" juontuu just siita <3

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  2. Oh Milla, these images and words are so beautiful and profound, I am nearly moved to tears.

    Megan

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    1. Oh Meggs, thank you so much always for your kind words. Sending you a hug. Looking forward to reading all your posts I missed while away <3

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  3. Hi Milla, I have not had good sleep either in the last two weeks. But, i did not take a life-altering sea kayak trip, so not sure what's up with that. I do however feel that I understand what you mean (sort of), and this is why I thank my lucky stars each day that I'm old. I feel like I understand and experience things in a way I was incapable of doing only a few short years ago. The intensity of experience is much greater for me as I age, and grows with each passing year. I also kind of wondered if you might be a vata? Vata people are governed by the forces of ether or air, for that reason travel can be difficult for us--and changes too.

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    1. I'm actually a pitta-kapha, but ALL of the people around me seem like vatas, except my hub who's a total kapha, as is my best friend, BUT I'm terminally attracted to/ attracting vatas! I've always been a person of intense contradictions, so OF COURSE I had to be a mix of these two very contradicting elements. Hahah! Did get some sleep tho, the last two nights. I might be starting to ground out. Sending you love my dear and a lot of it.

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  4. Tuo kuulostaa ihan perinteiseltä maakrapusyndroomalta, tai siis juuri tuosta kärsivät esim merimiehet, majakanvartijat, napajäätiköiden tutkimusretkeilijät, etnografit ja lukuisat muut. Ne jotka altistavat itsensä tavalla tai toisella luonnolle, maailmankaikkeuden rytmille, hiljaisuudelle joka on täynnä elämää. Sille joka elää ja hengittää meissä solutasolla, on tehnyt niin jo tuhansia vuosia, sille samanaikaiselle tuttuudelle ja vieraudelle. Mä todennäköisesti joutuisin katatoniseen tilaan pelkästä valaan näkemisestä- tai tuollaisten maisemien. Tulisi pakottava tarve jäädä sinne. Kaupunkilaisena ero olisi niin valtava.. Ja siskon kommenttiin viitaten, siinä voi olla perää. Tosin mulla on samankaltaisia ongelmia, vaikken koskaan ole lähtenyt/palannut niinkuin te. Mutta toisaalta lähtemistä on erilaista, kaikkeen ei tarvita maantietoa. Ja ei mua toisaalta mikään muu unissa niin pohjia myöten järkytä, kuin se kun uneksin olevani Pohjois-Afrikassa Saharan miljoonien tähtien alla, eli ehkä lapsuudenkin vastaavat kokemukset voi aiheuttaa samaa. Tai sitten se on vaan meissä, meillä on vaan "sellainen luonto." Universumi vaan "juttelee" sulle, sun kautta. Unettomuus voi olla rankkaa, toivottavasti voit lepäillä päivisin, ja ettei kovin pitkittyisi. Mutta luulenpa että se ottaa juuri sen ajan jonka on tarvis :) <3.

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    1. Miten sina AINA osaat kirjoittaa niin kauniisti?!??!? Kirjoitathan kirjaa, tai ainakin runokokoelmaa, tai mahtivia esseita?!??! Maakrapusyndroomahan se. Unta olen jo saanut ja maakin alkaa taas kantaa jalkojen alla. Sinua ajattelen usein <3

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  5. What a magical landscape...3 weeks, huh? That's a really good chunk of time to be out like that. I've always thought that wilderness camping sharpens the brain and sloughs away some of the detritus on our heart/thought processes. Then, its almost like culture shock when we return to our everyday lives.

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    1. I feel crazy lucky to be able to just take time off like that. You're totally right, it's a huge adjustment and it just takes it's time . Whaddya know, me impatient? Sending you happy fall vibes, I hope you're getting your share of Mother Nature <3

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  6. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm i certainly relate to this sentence of yours "making sure I've covered every angle of decisions and opinions, mulling over meanings until they turn colorless from too much exposure." My life story, taking a million years to decide on anything. Often leading me to let others make the decision, or no decision. I think it must be a good thing to take time to process your experiences, drawing out time almost. I am not sleeping either; I have been sick though, and some new changes have happened; I have two children dropped at my house each morning quite early and I take them to school with mine.... a little bit of pocket money for me, and I've been forced into organising my mornings. Not bad at all. Glad you're back. x

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    1. I'm sorry you've been sick, dear. Especially at the cusp of spring. But I am glad that you're getting more organized for yourself, whether by choice or a little push, that's such a perennial struggle for me. Sending you love.

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  7. I get you. This happens all the time, and, especially every time I switch countries, and am no longer either Canadian, or British or Czech, but a strange hybrid of Bohemian and can't find I belong anywhere any more. Not at home, either home, not with parts of my family, not with my likes, my habits. I'm fractured like a faceted diamond fractures light, whole, but shooting off in millions of directions. And then I can't sleep and blame it on jet-lag, although I know perfectly well that jet-lag only lasts a couple weeks but the fracture goes on and on. Drag.

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    1. I like the idea of calling it a fracture although I do think our personal work is in mending them. Beautifully put, my nomadic friend <3

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  8. That first picture is just amazing (okay they all are breathtaking) ...alone in all that water, you are so brave...it's like something from a dream.... I always feel really spacey when I wake up from an intense dream and it takes a few seconds for me to adjust, it's not the same but I'm thinking after spending 3 weeks in such an incredible landscape, in the midst of all that space and wilderness that it's hardly surprising if coming home you feel changed and different.
    I don't like going out of my comfort zone either but will when needs arise...looking back on various events I've come out of, those challenges made me a better and stronger person, not life changing or anything, just more aware of my own capabilities which I think we all benefit from.....
    And I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who has ideas in their mind they go back to for years......I'm constantly letting ideas for projects come up to the surface, think about them before letting them sleep a little longer...I love your description of "bubbling"....it's like imagining them in a big pot of creativity.
    Hope you are able to sleep properly again soon and hope your kitties didn't miss you too much while you were away.

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    1. I got my sleep, thank you for the well-wishes and for thinking of my kitties, they were like 'oh, you came back. well, anyways…' The first pic is actually my friend Kelly, but you're right, it's totally a representation of how I felt, part of a pod, but also on my own devices. Great fire to fuel the creative energy. THanks for your thoughts, sending you love <3

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  9. That sounds like such a special trip! I love how they change us, and upon reading this I think I might need a little externally brought internal change myself. I hope you'll be able to sleep while you figure it out. So glad you're back! Looking forward to read what you have to say, when you do.

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  10. Oh Milla, I can't read this post and see these pictures (*falling into them* is a more appropriate phrasing) without crying. And it's my third reading. So you've been to Vancouver Island at last! And in the wildest part, and by kayaking, no less! My heart sings for you, so much ! So much Milla.

    And you know, as much as I love hearing your tales from this experience (obviously), my own feeling about this sort of adventure is that you don't necessarily need to make sense of it, whether in the context of your own life or in a wider setting. Maybe, in fact, we are more able to integrate in if we don't *think* about it. At all.

    I tend to just let it all rise inside of me, like the splashes of fresh water slowly overflowing a tide pool, until it's full and ready for the open waves to come and free the little creatures. When the sea follows the call of the moon a few hours later, who know what new roommates will be sharing the pool ?

    Sometimes, in the process, my thinking slows down to the point that I am not able to write, about any subject, let alone that one. And then I truly know that's how it must be.

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  11. Milla! Your trip looks amazing. I can't wait to hear more about it in person. I've been needing a big outdoor adventure for a while (or even a small one). Hopefully I'll fit something in before winter comes. Also - do you read myblueandwhitekitchen.com ? I think you'd like it. She's Finnish! - Sarah

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