Walking with Michio and Lynn

We’ve reached the Breadlines Bluffs after passing through some old growth and a muskeg meadow. It’s 5 degrees. A fierce north wind works against the flooding tide. The resulting waves break beneath the bluffs. The sea’s pounding music comforts one who won’t need a kayak to return home.

Gulls hover over the breakers, dipping down to snatch food that was been ripped up by the undertow. I want to take a picture but my right index finger is numb from shooting photos of questionable value in this cold weather. “Michio Hoshino would make something from the ultramarine and grey colors mixing in the surf,” I think.  That now deceased Japanese photographer inspired the play, “Blue Bear,” which premiered last night at Perseverance Theater. I watched the play and today scenes from it float along with Aki and I on this wind blown trail.

Blue Bear is about an Alaskan and a Japanese man who become friends by sharing our animals, sea, and land.  Both have things the other needs; a good basis for any friendship. Lynn Schooler, the Alaskan, had a boat, curiosity, and local knowledge. Michio offered patience, charm, and an artist’s eye.  Together they hoped to find a rare blue colored black bear.

Lynn could tell me why frost feathers have formed at the portal of these hobbit holes. One’s in this stump and another peaks out from that tangle of spruce roots along the trail. Could I be looking at the frozen breath of an animal in torpor? If he were here today, Michio would save the warmth in his fingers until a gull lifted something from the sea or the sun broke free to send rich shafts of light to this violent sea. He might have the patience to watch, camera on tripod, for something to emerge from this hobbit hole.

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