Monday, August 16, 2010

Dear friend

Belle to J, 24 June 2010
Dear J - Am wondering - are you able to access my blog? Have rec'd page hits that at first I thought were from you (given that they started the day after Nome) but yesterday, to the plummeting detriment of my mood, thought weren't from you after all. Now I'm less sure, in this age, perhaps the satellite signal gets directed to NYC...

Anyway, could you let me know (if you get this message, that is) if you're able to check in on my blog? It is like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle - my knowing that you're reading it has an effect! A crucial positive one that is - if you're not reading it, then I'm inclined to perhaps discontinue it because the impetus goes straight out of it for me.

I hope all is well with you. If you have a chance to drop me a line (an extra one, that is) - then, how is it going for you up there, so far? I hope it is all beyond tolerable - enjoyable even. All my love, Belle
J to Belle, 16 August 2010
Dear Belle, I have at last returned from Alaska--I flew in early this morning and was still on the beach at Cape E~ less than 24 hours ago. As it turned out, the promised internet connection through a satellite phone wasn't workable, and I had no internet access after June 17. I did check your blog from Nome that morning, but have been unable to access it again until now.

The field work was successful, but was exhausting, especially because I was in charge of a large and complex operation and had various personnel problems to deal with (I had to send one person home in late July). When a large number of people is stuck in a remote place together for weeks and months, problems are bound to develop, because there is no escape from the group (it's dangerous to wander off on your own).

I hope you've been well, had a good summer. Being in a remote place for a long period of time--as beautiful as it was--makes one appreciate small and simple things like a hot bath and a glass of wine... Love, J.
Belle to J, 16 August 2010
Dear J, Welcome back, glad you're back safe & sound. I'm feeling like an idiot at the moment. All summer long I thought you were able to access my blog. I received your Nome hit, and a day or two later I started to get hits once or twice a day from what registered as "United States" from someone's iPhone. At first I didn't think it was you because the IP address seemed to be from NYC. But then I thought, well maybe that's the mystery of satellite service - you look at my blog on Cape E~ and it pings to a satellite in more or less my region.

So I wrote to you (that is, posted daily) faithfully every day this summer - I didn't miss more than a day or two. I had liked to think that I was providing you with a tiny bit of enjoyment. Guess not. Guess I have a fan with an iPhone in the "United States." (Also I seem to have a faithful reader in Denmark.)

Well, I missed you, I don't know if you missed me. Oh well.

Sorry to hear about the personnel problems - hardly a surprise under the circumstances. One of my posts this summer related to how I imagined your situation to be a cross between Sartre's No Exit and the Survivor show where someone gets voted - or kicked - off the island - which, as you say, happened...

Enjoy that hot bath & glass of wine. I'd love to hear more details of your trip if/when you get a chance. Saw a post... written by your camp manager - I really enjoyed it. I certainly hope that he worked out for you - such a crucial role.

Really, that wasn't you all summer? What a bummer, my mind is going through major revisioning now. I'm sorry about that - I like to think you would have enjoyed them. Love, Belle
Thank you, "United States"

89 years before the day Belle was born...
E.D. to T. W. Higginson, 16 August 1870

Dear friend
I will be at Home and glad.
I think you said the 15th. The incredible never surprises us because it is the incredible.
image: Bland House, after Edward Hopper, by Elise (5th grade), 2010 [via]

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