zero to sixty

picture by Claire

Enjoying my cake

Luckily the cake didn’t make Alex or I more sick. Unluckily, Mirra succumbed. The uneaten portion of her cake is sitting untended in the mudroom and I’m contemplating it.

Suddenly, busy-ness came upon us. The macrobiotic course started- and it’s awesome- but it’s like we went from not zero, since we were already a little slammed with everything we have to do for this project, but maybe twenty to sixty. The course is all day, everyday, with evenings free, but no other time to do household chores, etc. So the dishes are piling up and the compost bucket is full and I’m trying to work myself up to doing one or both of them.

We’re thinking about taking a hiatus on walkabout stuff until we meet again in Falmouth- Mirra is leaving the day after the course ends and then I’m going to the conference and then Alex is leaving. And meantime we all have to pack and Alex and I have to clean the house that *sob* we’re leaving. I love the peace of the house, the quiet evenings we spend here, the impromptu dinner parties. The large bed in the living room (for hanging out on) the map on the coffee table reminding us of our adventure.

None of this would have happened if I hadn’t made cake with Cirrus one day; I invited Saori to my corner to have some, and then Alex came with her and I gave him a piece and we were talking and he mentioned he was thinking of moving into a cabin and I said I was too and we decided to move in together. And then, suddenly, Alex is one of my best friends and we’re talking and this idea falls out and changes the way I think about my life. And now we’re talking about spending well over a year- maybe two years- together, first working for the trip and then the trip and then writing the book afterwards (with Mirra too, of course) and I’m thinking ‘how did this happen? We were hardly even friends three months ago. Alex (and Pavel) picked me up from the airport when I arrived at Ionia. I remember him, so long and thin, carrying my luggage up the stairs in the hotel. It’s strange how in your memories of people before they are really your friends and in those you form after it’s almost as if you’re thinking about two different people. Ten months ago Alex and I didn’t really get along- ten months ago Mirra and I didn’t really like each other. And now we’re planning this trip. Now, when I’m upset I go looking for one or both of them. It’s crazy. It’s amazing.

I don’t know if it’s all communities, but at Ionia there is a undercurrent of love that sweeps under all of us. I love almost everyone at Ionia- certainly everyone I know well. Sometimes we cuddle on one of the couches, a big pile of us, teenagers and adults and children reaffirming that we’re there for each other. Or when we clean up and everyone’s singing along with the music, moving with so much energy through the kitchen, or when we’re just talking around the tempcast and I think: how could I leave this? I’m not really a social person. My social I.Q. is at around seventy. But I’ve figured out, over the course of my life, that I’m never going to make it alone. So I don’t know what I would do without Alex and Mirra- and I don’t know what I would have done if we’d never come up with this. Because it tears me up to leave- Connor and Sammy and Claire and Saori and Katie and the baby and Juliet and Eliza and Rosie and Ellen and everyone, a little hole for each of them- it tears me up when people leave and when I leave and if I wasn’t bringing some of Ionia with me- if Mirra and Alex weren’t bringing Ionia to me- then I don’t know what I would do.

-Gwendolyn

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