Out of all the places I’ve ever stayed, The Housebrary is definitely the most unique!
How many people do you know whose dream is to live in a library, to be surrounded by books? (I can hear the bibliophiles and sapiosexuals swooning.) A universe inside every cover, stories stacked to the ceiling, never at a loss for something to sink your mind and imagination into after brewing a nice homemade latte and settling in for the night, or a good morning read.
Living in a library. The pipe dream of so many. And that’s exactly what manifested for me with housing in Copper Harbor, a town where finding a place to stay while working for the summer is next to impossible, where most people end up camping long-term (and usually in campers before the temperatures rise above forty and fifty-something, because let’s face it, it’s cold up here).
It’s actually quite a miracle that this place was available when I was looking for housing at all, given that it’s usually rented out, though month-to-month leasing makes it more flexible for people like me, whose futures in Copper Harbor aren’t certain beyond the end of the tourist season.
“So…is it really a house and a library?”
I get questions like this when I tell people who aren’t locals about where I’m staying. And as I’ve discovered, even some relatively local people have no idea there’s a town library here, let alone able to find it if they go looking for it on their own.
To answer the question, yes! It’s essentially a small community library (much tiny 🙂 ) that makes efficient use of the building to provide interim housing. I’m imagining, too, that in a situation like this, it creates a climate for unique community-building and the forming of relationships between the library board, landlord, tenants, and library-goers long-term.
So how did this all come to be, you ask? A now-coworker at the shop told me about it, and the initial info-gathering stages on rental went something like this:
“The library is open June through September five days a week. Your bedroom is totally private, and a library board member is always there during open hours. And all the past tenants have made friends with the library board members. They’re really cool people!”
Me, a Cancer Moon extroverted introvert, contemplating the idea of complete strangers frequenting my living space: “……”
“It’s really a plus if you love books!” the landlord adds enthusiastically.
I was definitely not sold before I saw the place. I couldn’t wrap my head around what a library as rental house would possibly look like. I expecting something stuffy and clunky, probably old and dusty, where you’re dealing with other people’s energies and weirdness all up in your private space (no thank you, says the empath). I was imagining tucking myself away like a sort of Hermit Prisoner in the bedroom, not even having the bathroom entirely to myself. I was dreading it, keeping it in my pocket as a last-ditch option if nothing else came together.
That was until I set foot inside.
It’s immensely cozy in here. The books filling the shelves up to the low ceiling flank the space on all sides, with track lighting, wood floors, and modern decor creating a warm and fresh aesthetic. To the left is the kitchenette – a small snack bar with fun stool chairs above the sink with a patio door view, cute shelves, and (surprise, surprise) a solid wall of books opposite the stove and refrigerator.
It’s so quiet here, at least for now before the library opens, and nighttime is even more peaceful (if not heavy for the deep woods and coastal darkness that blankets the land and wraps itself around the Housebrary like a starry wool blanket). The clock ticking and the occasional alien-like whirr of the fridge are the only sounds here for the most part, save some light traffic on the main road. And the fox I heard out back two nights ago – that was pretty cool. 🙂
But my favorite part about the Housebrary? By and far, it’s the bedroom. That little space is pure magic. Not to overuse “cozy,” but it is amazingly cozy. There’s just no other word for it. It’s a little world of its own, and I adore it not only for its intimate feel, but for being the one true space within this space that’s all mine.
I also think it’s the blinds – beautiful, sturdy wooden blinds, keeping out the night, slats cracked open during the day revealing white sunlight and the soothing green of late spring.
Being surrounded by books is a real treat, even for someone like me who hardly takes time to sit down with a good book anymore (the exception being Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion I picked up this spring). But in a weirdly fortunate turn of events (maybe), the knee injury is requiring me to rest instead of my usual physical light-speed modus operandi and to sit. The hell. Down.
The books I’m eyeing so far: Lake Superior publications with features on Isle Royale’s moose and wolf population, some Thoreau, Priestess of Avalon, and the Tolkien books I brought from home.
So here I sit, inside, writing, when my heart longs to be adventuring on the trails and wild places between Hunter’s Point Park and High Rock Bay. More and more sadness and depression is creeping in as the hours go by, though making time for physical healing is an absolute necessity. I have a functional neurology appointment in a week (Marquette) where there’ll surely be an integration of advanced physical therapy to speed healing, But for now, the “not knowing” aspect of exactly what’s happening with my knee, and whether it’s a hip alignment issue exacerbating it or something else, is heightening fear and anxiety. Surely this will heal, and it’s when I start feeling like this that a turning point – either in getting answers, in having a healing breakthrough, or both – is usually approaching.
For now, I’m doing my best to look around and appreciate this space that is such a blessing and a comfort at a time when physical healing is the top priority (not to mention the surprise of a good schedule switch that gave me the day off when my body needed it the most, and the even cooler surprise of a dear friend making a trip to Copper Harbor today, too, having offered to make a supply run for me!).
After a good long ice dunk for the knee, I plan to channel some LaHo-Chi, make a latte, and do some baking before my friend gets to town. May your day be blessed with relaxation and uplifting synchronicities, too!
Sometimes as an intuitively aware person, your guides give you a very clear vision of at least the essence of what’s coming, but you can’t always decipher how exactly the essence of what you’re seeing might manifest (nor are you supposed to every time in advance!).
What transpired today is exactly one such scenario – incredibly frustrating, but not very surprising.
I woke up in my adorably warm and cozy bedroom in the Housebrary, having passed out hard after a double-strength cup of honey lavender tea and late-night yoga. You know the drill—you get in late after traveling, you unpack and unwind. And the more intense the energies are wherever you’ve landed, the more time it takes to settle in and recalibrate to new frequencies.
Anyone who knows me knows that if I’ve had a stretch of long sitting, I start to get stir crazy. I’m a movement person—I thrive on physical activity, since it activates my ability to focus and clears stagnant energy from my body. God knows where it comes from, but I have an endless well of it.
For those new to the Keweenaw, there are no Anytime Fitness facilities here, my go-to gym for the past five years. And if you’re familiar with Copper Harbor at all, you’ll know, too, that if you’re looking for a gym of any kind up here, you’re going to be disappointed.
Your gym is outside your door. Nasty weather? Take it or leave it, or do something inside. This is where me, as somebody who craves cardio the same way she craves chocolate and carbs, does the only reasonable thing I could think to do to get my mojo back after what I feel was copious amounts of sitting.
I dressed for the forty-degree misty weather, had a fueling snack, and took off on my first run in almost a year.
Remember how I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I have something called “Push The Envelope Syndrome”? Let’s just say that for as proud of myself as I was for pulling off a forty-minute run in really unpleasant north coast weather, as exhilarating as it was to pound my way through little winding trails that pass by Lake Fannie Hooe and Fort Wilkins, and right down to the ROAD ENDS sign on 41, that I now have an incredibly bum right knee—very angry, very crunchy. Grindy, stabbing pain, stingingly twingy, even.
Sometimes not quitting while you’re ahead is a really bad choice.
I mentioned having seen a vision related to what transpired, and it was so literal that even I had mistaken the literal pieces I had seen as symbolic (well, thank goodness not all of it was literal—then I’d have a real problem on my hands!). In this vision, which came up during a meditation the day before I left, I’d been channeling LaHo-Chi healing energy for myself, when Merlin emerged in my inner seeing.
During the last year, I’ve learned that when Merlin shows up, it’s about to go down. And it’s probably not going to be pretty. The good news is that whatever happens afterwards ends up clearing the way for even more amazing things to manifest, and for that, I’m grateful.
That doesn’t mean I’m exactly thrilled when I see this incredibly mysterious, elusive, swift, and no BS guide show up. Actually, my uncensored reaction is something like “Aww, son of a…” “Do we have to do it like this?” “Just go a little easier on me this time, all right?”
Immediately after seeing Merlin flash in my mind, I see me running down the main street in Copper Harbor (while I’m lying in my bed hundreds of miles to the south, mind you). A small red flag waves in the distance. And then, a shark emerges from water; my right leg gets CHOMPED, from the knee on down and black cloud of what looks like dust and dark energies falling down and off of it, revealing only the bones that are left. And where the blackness crumbles, flowers bloom.
I watch myself get picked up by an EMS truck, presumably hauled off for healing.
Like Merlin, every time I’ve seen shark in my visioning, it means that something gnarly is coming—something that will be painful, emotionally intense, a struggle of sorts, something that causes distress and ultimately brings a bigger resolution of energy and a positive outcome.
So there I was, recovering from an unforgiving trail run, realizing that the essence of what I’d seen in that vision that had me freaking just a few days earlier had absolutely come to pass.
I walked ¾ of the way home, intermittently stretching my right leg to alleviate pain. And I was dressed for distance running on a cold, damp day, not walking two miles home chilled, and wet with sweat.
In the last twenty-four hours, I’ve already had incredible highs and lows of experience that have more or less been life-changing. Am I surprised? No. This is the Keweenaw, land of Things Manifesting Faster to put it so mildly. I get swung around in extremes here unlike anywhere I’ve ever been, sometimes from one hour to the next.
She teaches me to ride the waves and roll with the experience, this land and the lake that surrounds her. And that is a blessing to be grateful for, no matter how miserable it can feel in the moment.
As I walked home in the raw, icy wind, I reached a point where I stopped fighting the feeling of cold surging through me. I thought, “Maybe this is part of my lesson, too—giving in to experience, becoming the experience. Everything just is.” Feeling the intensity of it all while it lasts when there’s nothing you can do to change it is powerfully liberating.
Shift the energy when you can; get in from the miserable chill as fast as possible; and be the chill sweeping through your blood in the interim, lest you invest energy in resistance and adding stress to an inevitable challenge.
Today’s knee update*: it’s better, but a tenuous situation. One wrong move and it’s a stabbing pain that stops me in my tracks (and no joint popping, which is never a good sign).
What good has come of this so far, you ask? More on that coming later. (It’s quite good, believe me, and I think we’re headed for a very happy ending).
In Love and Swift Healing,
*As of posting this, my knee is more or less the same overall—same in some ways, worse in others. I hold space for healing to unfold as quickly as possible while knowing that there are gifts that have yet to come out of this injury, and am becoming increasingly frustrating and, quite honestly, at least a little heartbroken that I can’t explore the three trails I found today while out exploring in little bits from the knee-safe comfort of the car (boring, but entirely necessary). May my learning unfold with as much grace and ease as possible for the highest good.
An incessant clock ticking behind me in the library’s main room. The foreign sound of a furnace kicking on to my left.
Just two more signs that I’m not at home tonight. Or at least home as I’ve known it until now.
I sit in a blue plastic bowl-shaped bar seating chair at a tiny countertop just above the sink, a book shelf piled high with Gardening, Self-Help, and Mystery sections off to one side of the kitchenette, and a section of board games and puzzles protruding disheveled from its middle. My reflection catches me off guard in the glass patio doors. How uncomfortable I am in places without curtains, especially at night, where one is left feeling more transparent and vulnerable. Maybe thinner is the better word (everything is thinner at night—boundaries, defenses, focus, willpower).
Outside, a cool wind howls, surging in sweeping gusts through the pines and newly-sprung maple leaves. It’s a sure sign that rain is coming as the darkness deepens. The Big Lake conjures magic from her wild cauldron as clouds gather overhead.
“Better in here than out there,” I think, “and how it felt to be up there. That place. I don’t know what’s going on over there, but damn, that’s some stuff.”
Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
I pulled into town just four hours ago, unpacking the basics from my crammed car (but not so crammed that I couldn’t see out the back window, because that’s the worst). It’s amazing how night falls so fast. One moment you’re strolling in and out of the house (I say “house” loosely, yet affectionately—I’m still figuring this little place out, you know), and embarking on a journey across the town’s side trails. And the next, you’re shut up inside as pitch blackness falls upon the land. I had made it back to the Housebrary just in time to drive to the top of the mountain to make some phone calls and check my messages before the sun went down.
Let me be (presumably) the first to tell you, being atop Brockway Mountain as the wind howls and darkness descends isn’t exactly for the fainthearted, even if you’re in a car that’s locked and running. And someone has an adventurous streak, however mild sometimes, that just can’t be suppressed—call it a “Push The Envelope Syndrome” if you will—that lands me in situations that are either downright exciting, goofy, slightly risky, or occasionally, worse than any of those three.
What brought me to such an energetically charged place at such a time? Phone signal. The locals will tell you that that’s the place everyone goes to check their messages and make calls. The difference between me and the locals, I would guess, is that for one thing, they have landlines and internet connections at home. And secondly, at least some of them would know better than to venture to such places at night, if for no other reason than most probably have a bit more of a conventional sleep and rising schedule than I do.
Or maybe, if they’re even a shred as empathic and intuitive as me, they know that the energy is awfully intense atop Brockway Mountain—a truly awesome place—on an average day with fair weather, let alone at night when the wind swoops through the trees and wild energies are afoot.
The lights of Copper Harbor at the foothills are a heartwarming sight after dark, and the green flashing lighthouse beacon and freighter illuminated in the distance add bits of wonder to an already fairytale view. But I’m guessing that I won’t venture up there late again and stay until darkness permeates the space between trees, seeping in through the car windows and beckoning at the edges of my bones.
I like keeping this blog at least pseudo-anonymous, but I’ve decided that I’d like to share my summer adventures in the Keweenaw in this blog space, too. I’ve been hoping to keep the fact that I’m bi hidden from some people in my family, but aside from that, I couldn’t care less who knows. And in all honesty, the effort that it takes to conceal such a central part of who you are to some of those closest to you just doesn’t so much seem worth it anymore.
My brother walked in the morning that I left and most likely saw my usually-hidden Michigan Pride pin on the inside flap of my shoulder bag. He glanced that way multiple times, actually. And you know what? Not a word was said, and at this point, I guess I’m more or less neutral about whether my family puts two and two together or not. (He was beyond mortified when I came out as lesbian in college, but they’re all under the assumption since I’ve dated men again that that was just a “confused phase,” and that now I’m just a very strong ally for the LGBTQ+ community. No, and yes! 🙂 )
I have my own life. I am my own person. And now, I have another story to tell, one that I hope will be fun and cozy and filled with wild north coast goodness and (maybe) inspiration for those who care to share the journey with me.
I present to you an ongoing little blog segment on my summer of living and working in Copper Harbor, one of the most gorgeous places in the Keweenaw, and certainly in all of Michigan and beyond.
More posts coming soon!
In love and adventure,
First, some venting…
Another day, another round of homophobic comments on social media I’d have done well to scroll right past (REI is selling pride flag shirts, and the trolls came out in full force, sadly 😥 ). I am no wiser or enlightened for it, instead feeling an all-too familiar surge of rage and frustration (and even deeper down, heartbreak and sadness for collective ignorance and cruelty). I’ve done so well – SO well – in steering clear of inflammatory social media posts and commentary, but it’s not surprising that this Sagittarius Full Moon’s brought a lot of belief-based issues out of the woodwork in some pretty crunchy ways.
We all have opinions and biases, sometimes carrying them in ways that hinder our own growth and accurate perceptions as well as relationships with those we love so much. I’ve done much healing around my own paradigm/sociopolitical triggers this year, but this stuff stirs my anger pot like none other. I’m learning how to see people through “the eyes of soul” to gain a better intuitive/emotional understanding of why they might believe and express the way they do, and it’s been healing and very liberating for me to deepen this practice. If I shift my initial anger (not to say it’s not human to feel it or that it should be suppressed, because I don’t believe that’s ever a solution) to moving more into a place of wanting to understand why someone would embody what I feel is a cruel viewpoint, it takes the edge off and sets me freer from the pain that’s triggered in me when confronted with it.
We’re all wounded in some ways, ever presented with opportunities for healing. And hurt people hurt people, make no mistake. I keep in mind that we’ve all been “hurt people,” and in some ways we are all “hurt people”. Some are just more obviously wounded than others, in need of at least a certain inner level of compassion during interactions while still maintaining healthy boundaries and speaking our truth as required.
Local Bi Spaces – A Future Undertaking?
With that, I’m moving on to a topic that’s been on my mind, brewing in the cauldron for contemplation this week. And that topic is one of spaces for bi people – not as a way to further divide ourselves from others in an “Us vs. Them” kind of way, but as a way to join with others who understand the unique and sometimes misunderstood experience of being bi. There are so many of us who identify this way, and every time I read another person’s story of what it’s like for them to be bi, I’m uplifted, encouraged, and reassured that this is all perfectly fine, that sexual fluidity is quite normal, and that there is a place for me to feel at home, moving forward to express myself more fully and confidently in this world whether some understand the many facets of it or not.
I follow groups on social media like Bisexual.org and AmBi, which are both fantastic resources for those who might be looking for more collective support. Their posts have it all, from crazy humor and tons of puns (#BisLovePuns) to more serious topics that center on health, healing, and fostering support for one another. AmBi is especially good for people looking to connect with other bi people, since they’re an organization that has active chapters in many major cities around the world.
As awesome as it is to see these groups up and running (yay solidarity and a place to belong with the bi identity!), my heart sinks a little, wishing I could become more involved but not having any groups near me. You see, I live far away from those cities, where there are more deer than people per square mile on average, and am about to be moving a whole lot farther north, away from the largest city in my area to what’s more or less remote wilderness and the northernmost shores of a Great Lake that can never be tamed.
There are LGBTQ+ groups and resources in the general vicinity of where I’m going, sure, but I have fear and trepidation about getting involved, and will be living a bit of a drive from the hub of the group. As a priestess/Druid/healer/intuitive, will I find any of my people here in the LGBTQ+ sense? Will they be genuinely kind and welcoming to one who identifies as bi as a group, or will I run into the dreaded issues of non-acceptance and shunning I so often hear about in pride groups?
Setting foot in a pride group meeting isn’t something I’ve done for more than a decade, and doing it as a fully “awake” bi person is a whole other kind of daunting, at least in the back of my mind. Maybe I would go and find solid acceptance. Maybe it wouldn’t be my vibe. I don’t know, and know that aside from vibing into it ahead of time (which I will definitely be doing), there’s only one tried and true way to find out.
Which brings me to the larger question I’ve been contemplating:
The nearest bi groups are hundreds upon hundreds of miles from where I’ll be living soon. I wonder…are there other bisexual people here who long for the same sense of connection and understanding and “home base” that I do? Would anyone be interested in joining a bi group here? If so, would there be enough interest to keep it sustained and growing?
What about the possibility of starting an AmBi group in my area? It sounds like such a daunting task, and not something I’d be up for anytime soon. But I’m a fire-starter and a go-getter, and if you need to get something off the ground, I’m a pretty good person to go out there and light the campaigning fires (very inspirational, welcoming – not so good at details 😉 We’ll leave that to the Virgo and earthier types!).
Like anything else, time will tell what’s set to unfold as I make my way through this world as a person who, among many other things, happens to be bi. We really are a different stock in a lot of ways – there’s an energy about people who are more fluid in any way, more mutable, “cusp”-type personalities who embody so many things at once, whose lives seem to be a contradiction to the people around them, and in some ways, even to themselves (though I suspect that many of us would have a much easier time not only understanding, but honoring and celebrating our “walking between the worlds” energies re: sexuality, gender identity, etc., if more people understood and accepted what being bisexual really is and what it isn’t, instead of believing untrue stereotypes or giving well-intentioned but misguided advice while we’re trying to figure ourselves out).
So! If you’re reading this and find yourself in Northern Michigan, and would be interested in getting involved with a bi-specific community group, let me know! 🙂
Now may not be the time for me to take on a challenge like this, if ever, because of all the major life changes taking root. But it’s inspirational food for thought, dream seeds for the cauldron brew, as time goes on.
Yours in Love and Fabulous Bi Colors, 🙂
Life has been an absolutely incessant swirl of changes since I blogged last. First, my computer crashed (which took longer to figure out because the local repair shop couldn’t figure out what was wrong, but eventually a more experienced PC place discovered it was a hard drive failure). The whole repair process was, of course, prolonged for weeks, which led to me needing to put the majority of my online side business activity on hold – no videos, no blogging, far less regular updates to my business pages than usual, very few and far between (and I’m not the greatest at staying regular with it in the first place).
This ended up being quite the necessary restart with technology. Quite a healing experience, and I’m only just now contemplating how to step back into that world with an updated template that matches new schedules and other opportunities that have come forward.
Then, in what ended up being an unexpectedly life-changing trip, I went to an amazing land about three and four hours north of where I live currently (and by currently, I mean for the next few days 😮 ). I was a vendor at a holistic event, then went even farther north to host a ceremonial cacao and drum circle at an incredible yoga studio in a small town on “the edge of the known world,” if you live in my neck of the woods.
Long story short (but don’t worry – I’ll elaborate on the details of how this all came together whirlwind speed soon enough), one thing led to another and I’m moving to this glorious new place, rugged yet absolutely shimmering with abundance, friends, and new opportunities for me personally, by week’s end.
I feel a new life era is beginning. I don’t even know where to start unraveling it all in words, but this, this I have to document. It’s too incredible of a story not to be told here..
All within the span of two weeks, here’s what’s happened:
- Had a crazy trip north, full of powerful connections and new friends and business connections that flowed in instantly, synchronistically, along with some misadventures that led to even more next-level synchronicities that somehow led to me this one of the most incredible far-north places I’ve ever been
- Drove home, looking for a part-time job (seasonal or longer), only to find that nothing was lining up or feeling right. So I followed a wild hare idea and…
- …pitched my off-the-cuff idea for moving last-minute for a right job opportunity in new said incredible northern regions if it were to come up, and lo and behold, a new far-north friend hooked me right up to incredible people at an amazing little shop in Very North Town less than a week later, and…
- …I was more or less hired on the spot – in a phone interview that felt more like a conversation between a new friend/acquaintance than anything – and was thrown into the vortex of a last-minute housing search in a town that’s notorious for scant options (especially for seasonal workers)
- One week later, I drove back to Very North Town, had even more incredible experiences, had an emotional breakdown that was totally clearing the way for changes coming up the next day (I saw it for what it was, but it’s still never fun), then landed kind of miraculous summer housing in Very North Town, thus not ending up living in a tent in an area that has regular high temps in the 50’s F this time of year.
Ever since a traumatic brain injury in 2013 and healing from Post-Concussion Syndrome since then, I’ve been realigning my life, getting real about who I am and what I’m here to do on this earth. It’s been a slog, with financial status getting me down as I’ve put my effort into build what’s been built with my businesses so far. An immediate family member has been my saving grace with finances, supporting me while healing and business-building while healing cognitively and feeling like the time was right to take on a fitting steady part-time job again. It’s been endlessly frustrating at times, not knowing how long the road would wind ahead of me before something more solid would “pop” so I could be more financially independent while doing things I truly enjoy for the first time in my life.
The beginning of that beginning have arrived, and in the most miraculous of ways.
I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about this move – EXCITED. The job goes through mid-October, so I’ll be north-north until then for sure. But something tells me that if things go according to plan and how they’ve come together so far, that north-north is about to become the new home.
Despite my excitement, this land is powerful, almost unnervingly so for me at times. It’s brought me to the brink of emotions I didn’t want to feel, changes I didn’t want to make, deep wells within myself that I’ve been avoiding peering into…and yet, it’s been an unapologetically necessary part of my growth. It’s purpose unfolding, with greater clarity and energy swirl that’s acting as a catalyst for me to get on with achieving it than ever.
She scares me, north-north. But I am enraptured with her rugged power and beauty and was dreaming of going back, despite my trepidation, since I left not more than a month ago. I’m bracing myself for what’s to come. A structure is in place, and an amazing, cozy place to live is set, but beyond that, I have a feeling that much adventure and magic and potent clearing (and leveling up) awaits.
Lady Elen waits on the other side of this bridge. I saw her there in a vision just last night, though I feel it’s best to keep the potency of her revealing herself to me private for now.
The clock ticks, the full moon beams outside, the night bird and cricket songs dance in the cool night air in this sleepy, comfortable town. And I write, familiar walls and surroundings embracing me, but not for long.
Let the journey begin.
With love and anticipation, 🙂