Leaving the Hotel California


Image Goodbye tiny town with lots of problems.

I thought Avalon might be my “forever home,” in the parlance of animal rescue agencies.  It felt like it had all of the components to allow me to thrive and grow to be more me.  But it did not and I was not.  I am just one of the large herd of wannabe residents who try to set down roots on the rock and then have to leave because the numbers just don’t add up.

I applied for all of the “real” jobs that were appropriate for my skill set.  Over the course of 15 months I was in Avalon I tried for Harbor Patrol twice, Dispatcher, Recreation Dept. Asst., and Harbor Office Admin. I worked as a deckhand, in a cafe, on poop patrol for the camp-in beaches, helped out at Pony Club, taught ballroom dance, had a weekly radio show (which I will be continuing if I can), wrote and took pictures for the local paper, proofed that same paper and covered the Avalon office for three weeks in the winter.  I also spent 10 months learning about how not to do falconry and writing contracts to allow that instructor to continue working there.

It has been a whirlwind.  And strangely hard to leave.

But now I have done it.  In an 8 hour motorsail crossing I have returned to the mainland.

I was not anticipating a feeling of relief being back in “civilization.”  I like how it feels here.   The marina is oddly quiet for a pre-fourth of July week.  The internet is INSTANT.  That was a chief frustration on the rock.  The internet connection in Avalon is very third world.  There are amenities and a stillness here, tied down on four corners, that I do not associate with boats.  I did not like living on a bouncy buoy.  It feels like how it was to enter US Customs after traveling in countries where the the things that we spoiled Americans have grown to expect just don’t exist. 

The week before my departure I participated in an amazing radio bootcamp known as Avalon Speaks run by Transom.org.  I wish I hadn’t been so stressed during that week.   I would have been more playful and engaged and fun.  I am nevertheless glad for the experience and look forward to being able to say “I knew them when” about the very talented participants.  They also helped me notice how “island insular” I had become.  These are people who were not cowed by 20 dollar words.  They spoke fast and had Ideas and Observations.  I miss that.  I realized I had dampened and muffled my own impulse to emote and create in the desire to fit in.  And even muffled, I made waves.

Here is the link to hear the short and amazing audio pieces produced by the Transom Workshop.


So I’ve broken free.  And a new adventure awaits.

Stay tuned, sports fans.


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