BLUE LAKE, CALIFORNIA
BLUE LAKE REVERIE: SOUND STORY
Eva sits on a mod leather couch just to the right of the eating table where there are signs of life living- bowls and spoons from a meal just consumed, notebooks and pens, keys, sunglasses, hairbrushes, sriracha, old coffee in a tin cup, loose jewelry worn earlier or the day before and face wipes.
I’ve been happily observing this display of life lived- how objects reflect back to us a semblance of character, personality, a moment in time captured by objects that won’t move unless we move them, but retain their value still. It is the afternoon, late sun peering through two small windows. We are in a converted garage AirBnB, some days into our stay in Blue Lake, California. Eva is attending a summer intensive through the DellArte International Theatre School. Next to me there is a small orange table lamp that, at night, casts a warm glow throughout the open space floor plan. We are the first to rent this space from Claire and it rings true that it would be this way, as there’s a tinge of quirk and surreal and depth that both Eva and I enjoy in adventure. Eva’s ukulele is named Henrietta and she is singing Ramblin' Gal by Hurray for the Riff Raff.
[Sound of Eva Singing]
We gather on Claire's front stoop a little before afternoon in July. We are surrounded by roses, and other flowers burgeoning with a cheer that is felt town-wide. It is Anne Mary day today. It’s a celebratory day honoring two women, Annie Carroll and Mary Buckley who were employed by the Arcata Mad River Rail Line as bookkeepers in the early 1900’s.
Blue Lake is a casually embracing town, a soft place with roaming friendly dogs, gardens and cozy homes. Blue Lake carries with it a particular personality of openness, familial connections, liberation and closeness.
Claire has provided mimosa makings and ushers us in to partake. The drink accoutrements are laid out on a tray set on a low coffee table. Her house has the kind of lived in quality that is a grandmothers hug. Colorful, warm, inviting, marvelous and intriguing. The personality of her house and herself brim over with love in the face of change and life’s ebbs and flows.
We join a mother, a young daughter, a friend playing guitar, and a DelArte student housed at Claires' during her summer intensive. We find a nook on the steps and giggle as the parade begins. Parades have the momentum and emotional energy to bring out the child cheer in even the most stubborn adults. I consider with gleeful smirk how child cheer coupled with adult mimosas make such a spectacular space of relaxation and abandon. Other neighbors and friends stop at the wrought iron gate left ajar, some enter in and join in drinking spirits, others pass back and forth ‘hello’s and goodbyes’ and ‘see you at the stages’. The space on the front porch is simultaneously an audience and a scene of it’s own. Passing by are fire engines, small ponies, costumed revelers, classic cars, tutus, waving hands, cheering public, children on the shoulders of parents, laughter, smiles, observation and participation…
[Sound of front porch cheer, the parade, guitar playing]
Bringing to a close the uproarious cheer of a celebratory day paying homage to two bookkeepers who signified more than just account keeping, is a song sung by Eva. She is practicing her finger picking style on the uklele as light bends again through two small windows. I marvel at this moment, enamored with a dear friends song and the personality of a little town called Blue Lake. Like a house and person who reminds one of a grandmothers hug and like feeling a community’s embrace, and too, like the hug we can choose to give ourselves, all experiences can and do happen at the same time.
Thanks for listening.
[Sound of Eva Singing]