Klondike Letters Project

Translating experience into memory through inspired creation.

Forget Me Not…

I'm small, but I've got spunk!

Some of my favorite flowers are starting to pop out in the woods behind my house. There brazenly blue gaze has always charmed me, but this summer they are especially pleasing because they have become the floral mascot for the Klondike Letters Project.  The postcard project is an artistic experiment in the things we remember and the things we forget as we experience a wild place.

The box of postcards just arrived from the printer today and I’m incredibly curious to see how what words and images will appear on them in the coming weeks! I hope the people I rope into writing a postcard to themselves won’t feel like they have to pull some deep wisdom from the depths of the glacial past to write on these guys. I think taking a moment to observe what they are thinking and feeling right then, and “Quick! Write it down before it evaporates into the alpine atmosphere!” can elicit the best memories, years down the road. It’s the details we don’t consider important at the time that bring the most delight to our remembering.

Speaking of memories, the forget-me-not also happens to be the Alaska State flower, a fact I learned when I took my first trip to that grand state on a Girl Scout Wider Ops trip when I was 15. (Incidentally, that trip made suffering through middle school as a girl scout totally worth while!). Some things I remember from that trip:

  • visiting the Anchorage Airport traffic control tower (how many of you can say you’ve actually been inside an air trafic control tower??)
  • learning to skin a stoat from a Chugach National Forest Ranger
  • sleeping on a bed of moss thicker than my mattress at home
  • staying up all night at a salmon farm hoping to see the northern lights (no aurora but lots of stars)
  • hanging out with girls who lived in strange, far off places like Minnesota and Florida and the Bronx
  • eating Eskimo ice cream, which I think is sort of like eating poi in Hawaii – they give it to you so they can snigger at the expression on your face when it goes in your mouth.

We didn’t make it to southeast Alaska on that wonderful trip, so I am very excited to see what Juneau and Skagway have to offer, as well as all the fun with those Canadians on the other side of the pass. I’m looking forward to making some memories!