Posts Tagged ‘Goodbyes’

Leaving Home

It’s an hour (knowing Ionians, it’s probably more like two) from when I leave and I’ve been trying to figure out if I’m excited or nervous or what. A little of everything, I think. I’m not afraid I’m making the wrong choice, though. No matter what happens I know I’ll always have a home here, and having a home where you’re happy, although maybe not completely fulfilled… it’s amazing.

I got up early this morning because I didn’t want to miss any of these last moments. I took a bath in the outdoor tub (now I’m going to have to take baths in a little room- how unpleasant!) and made a bag to carry all the things on my airplane, and took a last walk to the beach. Everything I do reminds me of the past; my first walk, with Connor and Claire, sewing the baby’s quilt, how when I got here I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to take baths outside.

Coming to Ionia has been life changing for me. I’ve learned so much- about communities, about macrobiotics, but mostly about myself. I’ve connected with people in ways I don’t know that I ever had before, and I’ve gained so much. I don’t think I leave any regrets behind. Things that I would do differently now, oh yes, but not regrets.

I told Bruce yesterday that I don’t consider this me leaving; just me taking a long trip. I’ve packed a box of things for when I come back, I’ve left fragments of my heart all over the place.

For all the Ionians who read this; I love you. I consider you home.



Goodbyes (part 3)

This is getting old, I know. I should have done like Mirra did and just left before everyone else. But I didn’t and now you’re just going to have to keep reading all about it.

Four goodbyes that were hard; Connor hugged me for a quarter of an hour and then made me promise to call him on June 12th. If I forget he’ll never talk to me again.

Alex and I cleaned the house. Leaving the house was the most unexpected goodbye. I sat there, forlorn, while he finished sweeping the floor. I loved living there so much- I guess it was the closest I’ve ever come to having my own household. Someday I’ll live my house dreams.

The kids left, not quite understanding I wouldn’t be there when they got back.

And Alex.

And now here I am in the too-empty Longhouse trying to figure out what to do, making lists in my head and wondering if I could ever manage to pack as light as Alex. I have ten days and right now that seems like a gaping emptiness, though I’m sure I’ll get through them soon.

In other news, our applications to Dancing Rabbit are in, Koinonia is happy to have us and we’ve got a schedule that sees us through Thanksgiving, which seems kind of incredible.

Now I’m going to wander around with a lost look on my face,


It’s Monday morning, last Tuesday Mirra left, the next day my sister Katie left with her family, I cleaned my house and packed the following two days and then said good bye to Conner James Sam and Cirrus, followed by Saori and Gwendolyn yesterday. I am exhausted. I am taking off Wednesday with 11 others to Hawaii, we’re taking the kids to get some sun for ten days. I will say good bye to them there, and spend another ten days in Hawaii with my friends Hannah, Andrew and there two kids Nathan and Adresa. Then I am off to Falmouth to meet up with Gwendolyn and Mirra.

When we get to Falmouth we are going to be pretty busy trying to find jobs,  planning our trip and contacting communities, and I want to slip in a trip to Maine to pick some seaweed, and a trip to NYC to see my brothers/sister John, Lauden and Jane, and my friend Andrew. There never seems to be enough time in my day anymore, speaking of which I gotta do more packing.



It’s been a rough week; I’ve been saying goodbye to people everyday. On Wednesday Alex and I drove his sister Katie and her family to the airport in Anchorage; they’re planning on taking a road trip across the lower 48. It was pretty emotional for us all; for Alex, of course, and for me too, despite how short a time I’ve known them. I got pretty close to Katie, her husband and her two sons during the year I was here and the idea that we’re not going to see each other for a while is pretty hard. Especially her baby, Mathis; I was there when he was born and I’ve helped take care of him a lot. There’s something strangely magical about little babies. Seeing his smile was so amazing, no matter how much time I spent with him.

Anyways, Connor, James, Sam and Cirrus are leaving tomorrow, which is just as heartbreaking, and then I’m off to the conference the day after. I’m seriously thinking of ditching it so Alex and I will have more time to clean the house and I’ll have more time to spend with the children, but I’m supposed to do this stand up comedy thing (unfortunately I’ve got laryngitis, so hopefully that will clear up), so I guess I won’t. Anyways, I have to say goodbye to them at some point, and I’m going to see Alex in three weeks.

Work on the project is pretty much at a stand still. Mirra doesn’t have much access to internet in Wisconsin and we’re pretty busy. Alex and Mirra need to get their applications into Dancing Rabbit as soon as they can; hopefully they’ll both remember to do it soon. Meanwhile I’ve got tons of things to do; packing and cleaning, but mostly spending time with the people I hate saying goodbye to.


Break up

In Alaska the end of March and the beginning of April means break up; five months build up of snow and ice begins to melt, turning the world into a slushy-muddy-puddly mire. There’s so much slush and mud on our roads that Alex got our truck, a massive six wheeled dump truck, stuck in the road last night. It rained yesterday too, turning to snow in the evening.

It’s break up for us too; Mirra left early this morning. She’s going to be in Wisconsin for a while, then in Boston and New York before we meet up again in Boston in a month. Last night we hung out together, Alex, Mirra, and I, Katie and Claire and the boys, and it was so sad and happy at the same time, as if, Katie said, we were graduating school and moving on to our adventures. We went for a walk in the twilight, in the snow, all the way down Burdock, and when we got back just hung out near the porch, not wanting to go inside and have the energy we felt between us dissipate.

Mirra’s real broken up to be leaving and I am too. I feel so connected to everyone here that it’s hard to think about leaving. Alex asked me this morning if I thought we could make a community as cool as Ionia and I don’t know if it would be possible. Despite all the reasons Ionia isn’t somewhere where we want to spend our lives, it is an amazingly wonderful place.

Alex and I have a list of thing we have to do before I have to leave for the conference. It looks small and simple but so many of the things on it: pack, clean, move, are huge. Not just because of the time crunch- we have three days- but because it’s the end of this very small part of our lives. Living in this house with Alex (and sometimes Saori) has been really great, and even though I’m so excited to be starting my adventure, I’m also sad to be leaving it. But I’m so much happier to be leaving it this way than Alex just moving to Hawaii and me moving into the Longhouse, no future in sight.

Enough about farewells; Alex and I are in the middle of writing to Koinonia, this super amazing community in Georgia, one that’s been around I think almost seventy or eighty years and has faced persecution and has prevailed. So we’re really hoping to go there and get a good look at what they’ve done and how they’re doing. We’ve got a basic plan for the fall, and are sketching in the winter. Sometimes everything comes together so well I wonder if there might be some sort of destiny at work, which is kind of awkward because I don’t belive in destiny.


Sickness, soup and stuff.

It’s been a rough few days. First Alex got sick- some sort of congestion-cough-laryngitis-lung thing- and then I did, of course, because we live together and spend so much time together. So we’ve spent the last few days hanging out and not doing much (well, I have; Alex did firewood for the house, which was a bad idea because it made him sicker but a good idea because we’re warmer, at least). Alex has also been cooking for us, because he thinks that the Longhouse meals are bad for his condition (too much oil, not enough soft rice). The upside? I had no idea he was such a good cook. He makes these amazing soups and even his soft rice (not my favorite food) is appealing. I keep half-heartedly volunteering to cook for us and am always happy when he says he wants to. (I do have my upsides; I’m a pretty good baker.)

In other news we’ve heard back from two communities, both positive, and we’re slogging through the lists of intentional communities on (1882 in the US). We’ve decided to focus mainly on village-type communities, though there have been others that have caught our eye. Only nine or so days until Mirra leaves- she’s really sad about leaving Ionia and all her (or most of her) friends behind. And those nine days are going to be packed- there are still things we have to do together, plus Ionia is hosting an intensive, five day macrobiotic course in a few days, plus all the treats we’ve been wanting to make but haven’t been able to because of being sick. (Pancakes and cake, mainly.) And packing.

And I just bought my plane-ticket. I’m leaving for Boston on the twenty-fourth; I’m going to arrive about a week earlier than the others so I can rearrange the room we’re going to be staying in (I left a lot of junk there) and so I can spend some quality time with my mom. And, of course, start looking for jobs. I’m going to be sad about leaving too, I think, once it really hits. Right now I’m really carried away in this project and so many other people are leaving Ionia before me. But it’s not just the people; it’s the place and the ethics, and the way it surrounds you. And the little house Alex and I have been living in for almost three months, and the fact that you can look outside and watch a moose wandering past, and two amazingly good meals cooked everyday, and folkdancing, and full moon, and the little children, and the homemade clothes and everything. I’m definitely going to be a little bit heartbroken about leaving.

But I always am. I’ve started to think that when you leave little bits of your heart behind you then it actually gets bigger.