I suppose that's not a very professional way to start a post, but by all measures 2013-2015 shall hereby be known as the years that stuffed my whole life into a food processor and hit: Puree.
There's no easy way to say this so I might as well have out with it, I came home earlier this month to discover that the big red barn that I rent for the Cape Falcon shop has been sold, and I have until the end of June to vacate. It was an unexpected broadside during a year fraught with unpleasant surprises. If you've been to this idyllic setting on the North Fork of the Nehalem river, just a few miles inland from the magical little coastal town of Manzanita, you understand just how truly special this place is. 12 years, hundreds of classes, nearly 1000 kayaks. So many memories. It's hard to believe that it's really over.
A week later I got a call from the neurologist, who informed me that my biopsy confirms that I do in fact have idiopathic autonomic neuropathy, (like I always said I did), and not an anxiety disorder or psychosomatic illness, (like every doctor I've seen in the last 3 years has insisted). With no real options for treatment aside from the drugs I'm already taking, this is one of those times when "I told you so." rings pretty hollow. Right now what autonomic neuropathy means for me is that my heart rate, rhythm, intensity, and blood pressure is very unstable, hitting me the hardest while I sleep, leaving me feeling like I've been run over by a truck most of the time. It's a nightmare inside of my chest. I'm eating perfectly and taking as good of care of myself as possible, but from here it's pretty hard to know what to do. Alternative therapies of all types have shown little effect, and conventional medicine doesn't have a magic machine for repairing nerves or their corresponding control centers. Fortunately I'm still qualified for work as an international fashion model.
I've finally reached a point where I can walk on the beach and just feel appreciation for the incredible experiences I've had in the ocean, the wilderness, and on so many beautiful rivers. Back at home I continue to work on the off-grid Airstream when my body is up for it. Bright, and clean, this sustainable remodel has made this 1970's beast into a delightfully modern little place to live.
As much as things are changing, things aren't ending by any means. There is a lot of ways to grow the business that I've wanted to explore in the past, but haven't been able to due to my full work schedule. The impulse here is to start transforming Cape Falcon Kayak now with video projects, kits, and satellite classes, but right now is not the time for that. My body is tired, and my nervous system is fried. Neuropathies of unknown origin are hard, but not impossible to reverse, and on this long journey I've seen enough genuine medical miracles to consider medicine, both allopathic and alternative, to be only one form of healing. In all of this difficulty I've been through, that understanding has really been the silver lining. I've come to believe that the world we directly perceive is but a small portion of a much larger consciousness, and this perspective has given me an unshakeable trust in my own journey, as difficult as it is at times.
In the farther future I'll be looking for investors and collaborators to help me create a much more integrated version of the workshop/homestead I'm leaving behind. Using all of the knowledge I've gained to create a place where all of the food, water, waste, thermal, electrical, and use flows are integrated as tightly as possible. A multi-purpose teaching space, and a sustainable living demonstration site. I can see it so vividly in my mind. Because I still have every intention of getting well, I see no harm in making connections and starting those discussions now about what the future of Cape Falcon Kayak can look like. If that sounds like a project you'd be interested in collaborating on or investing in, drop me a line.
For now though, clean out the shop, sell my stuff, throw some camping gear and few dozen books in my old Subaru, and try to find somewhere quiet and far away to rest and heal. I know that's not much of a plan, but it's physically and financially what I can do in this moment.
Finally, for the most part I've always been too busy to take photos during class, but here is a random collection of photos I found from 12 years of teaching at the barn. The time I spent here and all of the wonderful people I met along the way has been a privilege. Thank you, to everyone who helped make this period of my life possible.