Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Old Otter

Otter Lake is one of the country, cut-from-rock corners of my mind that I go to on a frequent basis. There's something about the stripped down simplicity of its openness and darkness that makes my soul come alive and shine out the clearer.

In these wild, strata-obsessed times, it seems like most folks think of a cottage as a massive mansion that sits atop a cliff, miles up from the shore - posing its superiority upon all. Luckily, none of my friends or family members growing up had mansions by the water. In some ways, I'm sure that fact has made me appreciate the simplicity of an open lake (and it probably made me less of an asshole).

Sometimes, I just want to write. I want to get in a boat, undo the anchor, and float out on a semi-windy day with a pad and a good pen and my guitar.

Other days, writing is a chore. That seems to be more of the case lately. It's not that I don't have anything to say - it's that the delivery method stays the same and I become a victim to a bit of a routine.

The lake, like writing, takes work. I used to be mostly a visitor and not an owner of the lake. I would show up somewhere, use the facilities and then leave.

In the last few years, I've seen the merits of elbow grease and I've spent some time helping my friends who live near old Otter. Docking boats properly and tying the right kind of knots. Getting windows winterized, boarded and covered. Staining wood. Sanding. Cleaning out fire pits. Building tree forts. Putting docks in and taking them out.

The city can stay where it is - and it has its mystical beauty - but the rawness of the lake cannot be lost.

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