One woman’s quest to make sense of a nonsensical world after losing her dream home and all her worldly possessions to a raging and sudden wildfire. Exploring the existence of God, our cultural discomfort with grief, what it means to be human as well as life in a 1967 Airstream trailer, Kristen Moeller shares her humanity, her spirit and her dark edge openly for herself as well as for the countless others who beg to be heard in their wild journey through this wacky world.
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Pixie Life – Day 1

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Last night was my first night on the boat after waiting eons to get here. Well, maybe not eons but it sure seemed like it. Lifetimes anyway. Waves woke us up, heat kept us up, waves then lulled us back to sleep, then rain woke us again early. A sleepless night on the lovely sailing vessel Pixie Dust beats a sleepless night anywhere else. This morning, we made our French press coffee (with cardamom, of course), then I began putting the too much stuff that we brought away while David did some cleaning – then took off in search of monster lobsters. Now, I sit with fans blowing, music cranked, finally beginning to enjoy what will be a much needed hiatus from our world.

My first entry into Pixie, I went straight for my clothes I had left here and burst into tears when not only did I discover one of my favorite Levis jean skirts but also a pair of Lucky capris I was convinced had gone up in flames. Tears turned to sobs of relief, exhaustion, and dare I say joy to be on the boat. Here, we have a routine. Our 5th (or is it 6th) trip since we bought this precious boat two years ago this month, it doesn’t take long to get in the groove. The biggest concerns are where to anchor to avoid disrupted sleep due to tide and current changes, where to refill water and fuel, and avoiding running aground. Of course, boats always have something that needs to be fixed but David digs that stuff. Maybe, we don’t need to repeat our last adventure when we did run aground then began to take on water. Turned out to be unrelated but disturbing none the less. After two days at dock, we didn’t sink, David solved the problem and after a massive clean up – we were back in gear. Hopefully, this trip will be a bit smoother.

We need some smooth sailing, some gentle breezes, some early nights, some afternoon naps, some sunset swims, some fresh fish. We need it bad. Those last days before flying over to the Exumas while visiting mom and Jerry were a bit too full. I tried to get way too much done in way too short a time. We ended up turning in a close to complete insurance inventory list but I called uncle on turning in my book. After another call with my patient publisher that I felt sounded like “the dog ate my homework, again”, I promised to take the first few days off entirely from the book and dabble at whim after that. After losing 5 hours of editing work last week to some blip in the Universe, I lost my mojo. Her kindness was apparent but as we reviewed my various roadblocks to this project – my house burning down, my computer crashing, losing files – it seemed my “excuses” were questionable. I may be writing a book on waiting but really we know it’s about perseverance. After all, life is really about perseverance.

Often in the moment, as we walk through our fire, or as I walk through anything I have walked through, I wonder if I can make it – or will make it. Yet, that is usually a fleeting question. Sometimes it seems like it’s a real doubt, that really this time I won’t do it. I won’t make it. I can’t make it. Yet, I know I will persevere. Before beginning this blog, I opened the Introduction and Conclusion fresh from my ever-patient and resilient editor Ellen. I considered them for a moment, remembered my promise to not work, but mostly, was completely unable to deal with it at all. It might be easy to fear that this will be my ongoing status – and I know it won’t be. If I can truly let myself rest and recuperate, this book will say what it needs to say, what it’s supposed to say. I have to trust that. Just like I have to trust that ‘this too shall pass”.

In this sweet floating home that is now the most familiar home we have, I reminisce about our time spent meandering through these lovely islands. Then, I think about how leaving here is always challenging but given we always knew we could come back and that where we were going wasn’t so bad itself. Living in our mountain paradise was like a vacation and a lot of the time we treated it as such. Even in the midst of toils and troubles and day to day stressors, we stopped to look out the window and always appreciated what we had. This morning, I visited rooms in my home. My loft above my office where I always planned to spend more time called to me especially. I spent quite a few nights up there when one of us was sick – or occasionally when we went to bed angry but I often thought of retreating for an entire day which I don’t think I ever did. The space was small and sweet with a vaulted ceiling, a sky light and a window that looked up the hill behind the house. The walls were purple and the shelves contained some of my most precious treasures. My meditation nook (which didn’t create the perfect meditation practice I craved but did create a sense of calm when I ascended) was a partial loft above my little office. My office was full of that which inspired me and reminded me of what I was about. It also was filled with things I needed to do that hung over my head and I continued to put off. But, I loved my office – and the fact that I was lucky enough to work out of this space was always evident.

I loved to sit up on the hill behind my house admire its slender profile from that vantage point. I would admire it’s angles and the fact that so much of what I loved was in such a small space. I have never been attracted to large houses. Our sweet little Pixie Dust is 27 feet – although I have to say, an extra few feet here would be nice. Once again, we brought too much. We have lists of what is here to remind us of what we don’t need to bring – but a trip on either side of our visit here complicated that as well as my tendency to complicate everything in my life. I stashed what was unnecessary and know I won’t wear half of what I brought. The most important things are something cool to wear, sunscreen, a bathing suit, flip flops, a hat, my ipad, my computer – and coffee, of course.

I sit here and let the rocking of the boat comfort me. I realize I wrote all of that and didn’t cry. I know there is still more to mourn and that we are far from through. Yet we are miles away from all to do, decide and deal with. I promise to enjoy myself and soak up every moment that I can. I promise to remind myself gently when I forget. I will write when I feel moved to do so – and finish my book if the spirit calls.

Now, I will lie here and read as long as possible and wait to see what happens next.

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3 Responses

  1. Enjoy, breathe in, breathe out! Let go and feel the breeze. Let the rain come and play in the water. Sending much love and peace to you and David. xxSandyLon

  2. Brigette says:

    I stumbled upon your blog when I was researching PTSD and wildfire. I was looking for anything that would tell me that I was somewhat normal in what I was feeling after what I experienced. I came across your 6/12/12 blog written about the High Park fire. Two weeks later, Waldo consumed our world and life as we knew it came to an end. I’ve read your blog off and on and its so refreshing to know I’m not alone in what I feel. Thanks!

  3. Lauren Byrne says:

    Water heals:)

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