Category Archives: River Live

Fairylands and Forty-Seven

Photo by Mike Hainstock

I’m blessed to live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and to have The Wilds so readily at hand. Saturday I worked a 3pm to 11pm shift followed by the morning shift on Sunday 7am-3pm. I only managed 4 hours of sleep between the shifts. I think I surprised Mike when I came home and said, “Grab your camera–let’s go!”. So Sunday, around 4pm we headed out, guided by our intuition, and landed down a gorge near a waterfall in Fairyland where I fell in love with this tree. I could have taken a nap and listen to it whisper secrets!

Photo by Kim Nixon

Sunshine is like the equivalent to “the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down” allowing me to sing in the face of negativity and danger! And I’ve been focussing on spreading joy and disconnecting from the negative that tries to swamp us down. Imaging and Imagining the life I want to lead is key!

Photo by Kim Nixon

Blossoming and branching and keeping that sense of discovery is important. What will sparkle in the sunlight under trees near flowing waters? You’ll never know unless you venture down into the gorge. Facing fears and trying new things isn’t so bad. The last time Mike and I visited this particular bend in the Carp River I was very afraid to walk over a log bridge. My fear of heights and falling so irrational. The creek is really only a foot or so deep, come on fall in I dare ya! (I can laugh now). I walked over it twice with ease on Sunday. Magical!

Photo by Kim Nixon

I am forty-seven and it is a magical age. I’ve having another spring and I can unfold, blossom, soak in sun, and enjoy the wind. I’m going to grow, heal, learn. I feel like singing often. I listen to my intuition and I can hear the little magical beings of the deep forest calling.

Self Reflections on the Dead River

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Dead River I-IV

(all rights reserved)

Part One: An evening with Mike on the Dead River Basin had me reflecting. I was thinking of May Erlewine, her music, her lyrics, her voice, and how I needed to be lulled by eddies. I was entranced by the surface tension of the water. The thickness of the water. Viscosity. The reflections of forest and sky. Upsides. Downsides. And how needy I have felt the last few days.

Chocolay Willow

Chocolay River Willow with Bridge
The April 30-Day Project–Day 7

After working at Zero Degrees Artist Gallery, Mike and I went for a walk from the Marquette Visitor Center up the beach to the Chocolay. We then walked up river from the mouth. And there “She” was, my willow. I had been looking for the perfect willow shot. The last month or so I’ve watched the willows turn brighter, more yellow, preparing for spring.

Art Every Day, 10/30, Good Warm Friends

Off Grid Friends, photo by Kim Nixon

This photo was taken on October 30, 2008 at Micheal and Beth’s. I thought how the Wood Stove and the Elephant were good warm friends to have when you live off grid. Lighting of course was dark that evening, and I had to play in Photoshop to get this capture “happy.” We were gathered for “Mike the Younger’s” birthday and had braved the two-track road in our beat up Blazer (usually only used for pulling our aluminum boat). When we departed the cabin the stars were stunning.

This post is part of my Art Every Day commitment. Join in!

Downstream–Sulfide Mining

This weekend I did not get to take part the Protect the Earth Summit. I wish I could have brought pictures of the hike to Eagle Rock and posted them here. I feel inadequate to address the issue of the proposed sulfide mine in the Upper Peninsula. Where I can spout my anger sufficiently enough, when I try to sound coherent and educated I stumble and I know anger is not a positive way to create change. Despite my intelligence, my protests have been limited to bumper stickers, tee-shirts, and the occasional letters to my politicians. What I am doing is not enough.

from Farlane's Blog

from Farlane's Blog

Is fresh water important to you? Have you swam in the waters of the Great Lakes? Have you walked the Yellow Dog Plains? Picked blueberries? Fly-fished? Snowshoed? Do you have friends and families living off grid up County Road 550? I like the idea of advocating for pristine waters–don’t you? Farlane, is not just someone I have stumbled across online (although I have never met him in person), he has become part of a family, a community. His use of technology and the Internet to promote and protect Michigan show commitment, and he is the administer of a Flicker Group, called Downstream. The images at Downstream run in a slide show along with Daisy May’s A Letter from Downstream . Please take some time to listen.

Spurred to action, I added a photo to the slide show, it is still not enough. I will call Kristi Mills at Save the Wild U.P. and get her that framed photo I promised. Earlier this year I had a showing at a Mission Gallery inside Dead River Coffee and one of my prints is promised to help the raise funds in a future auction. What else can I do? I can make this post, and a commitment to talk to people, educate, and encourage action.

Eben Ice Caves, Photo 144

Eben Ice Caves, Photo 144, copyright Kim Nixon

Eben Ice Caves, Photo 114

Eben Ice Caves, Photo 114, copyright Kim Nixon

Directions to the Eben Ice Caves from Marquette can be found here.

Eben Ice Caves, Photo 146

Eben Ice Caves, Photo 146, copyright Kim Nixon

Bonanza Falls

Bonanza Falls, Copyright Kim Nixon 2007

Bonanza Falls in Autumn 2007.

Ontonogan County, Silver City, Big Iron River.

Free Write Fling October 25, 2007

Like Stringing Beads 

I learned that you should feel when writing not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten—happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.

–Brenda Ueland

For 30 days I have participated in a Free Write Fling, and I am sad that it is coming to a close in a few days. I have been productive, and have deeply examined my needs, energies, and commitment to my writing while balancing work and family. I am quite satisfied. I have also been preparing for a poetry reading on November 1, 2007 at the Marquette Commons. It is a free Public Poetry Potluck. I am the featured poet and there is an open mic that follows.

I picked this quote to start my free write this morning as the experience of showing up and writing everyday—no matter what spills out—no matter if I am tired or sick, depressed, crying, or just too dang busy—has been like stringing beads one after the other. What topic will pop into mind today? How do I feel after the free write?

Symbolic representations of times of my life surround me in my Creative Cave and I am going to go out and buy some big wooden beads and a colorful shoe lace to sting them all to remind myself of the month of October, this wonderful autumn of productivity. Red bead—Green bead—Orange—Blue.

I want to stay absorbed in my writing and I am going to commit to write everyday until the end of the year (2007). I might not post them all to my The Dailies though. It is not that difficult of a commitment anymore. It takes about 30 minutes of my day to prepare settle in write and post.

Today the autumn light shines golden on the rooftops of the neighborhood. I spent a lazy morning watching the sun rise out of Lake Superior. I will substitute at the Ishpeming High School Library today. Tonight I begin to organize poems for the reading.

My focus has been on lakeshore and rivers, Michigan writers and the sense of place. I have been pulled into the landscape with my digital camera and not as many new poems stacked up as photos. But I am going to read some raw journals and talk on process. I am going to read from some other poets, too.

Here in Marquette we have been fighting Kennecott, as they want to open a sulfide mine. Water is blood. And it keeps us alive. As writers, bloggers, photographers, we have a responsibility to chronicle and document. Even if we are uncertain how to proceed, it can be as simple as picking a bead and stringing the first one.

So, here I am with my first bead in hand. I have tied a knot in the end of my shoelace and I am gliding it along. I will tack this shoelace and its first bead to the wall and take a breath.

For more information on this Free Write Fling.

3 words on how I feel about this post: Surprised at how the beads led to a new topic. Pleased at my progress. Committed.

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