May 4, 2011

Baby Clearwater Cabin

"I up in the woods, I down on my mind... I'm building a still, to slow down the time." - Bon Iver
I'm already starting to lose track of the days up here in the Baby Clearwater Cabin. It matters less that's it's a Tuesday night, but that the sky is clear and the stars are out. That tomorrow we're sanding a floor, that out here on the dead end in the north, sitting by space heater, it is quiet. Down the hill the lake is still frozen. The Minnesota Mountains present a far different climate than southern Wisconsin. I wake up shivering in the Baby Cabin, and is this really May 4?
Baby Cabin sits at the far edge of camp, isolated in an isolated pocket of wilderness. It's about 24 square feet with a door that doesn't quite fit it's frame and two windows that leak cold air and maybe bears. It's got a nice little front porch and a spot to park my truck, and maps of the entire Boundary Waters and Quetico lining the north and eastern walls over my bed. It has electricity but no running water. I wish it had a wood burning stove, but that won't matter once we hit the heat of northland summer. The handle to the screen door is a canoe paddle, and so far as I know, it is not haunted, but it might as well be. I've yet to really unpack, so I move stacks of clothing around from bed to bin to bin. A bright red rug I brought from home ties it all together nicely.
I've always wanted a little cabin in the woods and now I've got one, but I've never been more home-sick than now. Moving to the capillaries of society is scary and thrilling, and I've done it before, but I got used to that office job and that comfortable home. There's a guy here that drives sled dogs in the winter, and he's got a sweet little husky that's lived outside all her life and is just now being introduced to the strange comforts of space heaters and couches, car rides and leisure, and I feel like that doggy, inverted. I'm starting to realize the comforts of un-comfort, again - fresh air and hard physical work, deep sleep and troubling dreams in a 12-by-12 room in the woods. Feeling my heels harden. Hiding, and opening myself up. But just as that sled dog is still wary of being inside, I miss my home and those I left behind very badly. There is so much beauty around me but my heart aches. Loneliness is amplified by isolation, but that's no surprise.
I don't know what I'm doing up here, I don't know what I'm doing with my life, but I intend to use the next five months to think about that in this Baby Cabin. And until then, I intend to write about whatever I want.