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Birthday Thoughts and a Peek Backwards

Boy what a year. This time last year, the Ark was still an idea – full of dust and not yet even insulated. Wolf and I pushed through the worst rain and freezing temperatures of a January in the PNW. I slowly learned to use a Milwaukee grinder and even learned to do some simple welds on the frame of the trailer. I learned basic electric work and discovered that painting anything in the winter, is basically going to be a massive bust. But the year went on. The Ark was finished by the end of March – leaving me to iron out all the little details throughout the year. Today I can say it is pretty much done (at least until Ark 2.0). 

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Adam and I met on February 24th at Magnusun Park in Seattle, after I gathered the random courage to message him on Tinder during a manic mental moment a week earlier (we had matched 3 months prior in December when he “Super Liked” me). We quickly learned that our lives had woven past each other since we were kids. We had gone to middle school together, never meeting, and his father had interviewed my father multiple times on the radio. The house I lived in from 7-13 was about a mile and a half from Adams family home. We had about 2 degrees of separation for most of our lives until now. In my journal that week I wrote “I spent the last couple days with this guy Adam. I’m not sure why it feels so easy with him. And I am not sure what to think about it. It’s like nothing I have ever experienced. I have this feeling we are going to travel across the world together…. That maybe I met someone that will want this with me.” We didn’t know this would be the life that we were gonna build, but here we are,  in upstate New York finishing a camper that we will call home, looking into 2022 with a little bit of awe, a lot of excitement and a tiny bit of Holy shit. 

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This week has been a lot of firsts for me. I hit 1000 days of sobriety. I had my first Christmas with my partner and our now two dogs Lucy and Sasha. We sat around watching Lord of the Rings and eating too many pancakes. We are trying to train a new 10 month old dog that has separation anxiety and makes me worried I’ll never be able to make a photograph again – she seems to have a strong aversion to anything mechanical or electronic – and hates loud sounds – She will be a really handsome shop dog I’m sure. I am 36 today. This is my third set of holidays being sober, my second set of holidays with Covid hovering over every plan – and it has been a week of random tears and none sensible croissant cravings. My immediate world is all I have ever asked for and more. When I look out to the country and beyond, Covid and all the death floating around, I can’t even believe I am this lucky. 

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On January 5th, we will be leaving Darlin’ Doe Farm and heading South to the border of North Carolina and Virginia, where we will be staying at the Wellspring Mountain outside of Lowgap until the end of February. 2022 has so many things planned – and more of everything that 2021 had in store for us. I am sure there will be adjustments, plans that fall through and random roads we turn down that will lead to other things. I want to make more images of this life we are building. I want to make more portraits and meet more people. I want to float around this country and witness its myriad of hypocrisies. I do not believe in New Years resolutions. I do believe in Birthday dreams. So this year, I dream of conversations and faces, art and joy. Here’s to 36 – hold onto your hats. 

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