August 5, 2009

in a farmhouse down the road

Question: In what situations do you find yourself truly happy?

an answer: The best, yet perhaps least striking, moments in my life have been by and large sitting around a table with delicious food and enthralling conversation.

Last night, my new room mate and I went to dinner at an old farmhouse just outside of town, where a couple she knows is staying in exchange for doing construction on the house. We ate delicious salad and sandwiches - with ingredients straight from their luscious leafy garden!
Conversation topics included:
*puffin preservation; apparently because puffins are endangered because (stay with me on this) gulls are flourishing because of all the trash in the ocean, and these new, expanded populations of gulls take over tern environments on islands. Puffins and terns live together - and no one quite gets it, but apparently the puffins don't like to live without the terns, because when the terns leave (because the gulls are taking over their nests), the puffins leave. Check out for more info.
*the mindset of a surgeon (both an animal surgeon and a people surgeon)
*the different ways men and women perceive facial cues; apparently women - and even newborn baby girls - are WAY better at correctly identifying non-verbal cues and even mimic the facial expressions of someone in order to be more fully empathetic.
*how much more sense it makes to carry large, heavy things on your head than on your back.

I'm so excited to be here.

In pursuit of answers I traveled with people of differing dispositions."
-Barry Lopez in Arctic Dreams

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