the story of the salmon cabin

Salmon Cabin is an actual place and also a state of mind.

I’ve kept “old-school” journals for years and have always enjoyed the process of recording of my thoughts, ideas, recipes, garden notes, etc. But that’s always been a private pastime, as opposed to whatever “serious” work I’ve published (in print, online or film).

In 2004 when blogging was taking off I thought about moving my journals (well, at least the less personal aspect of them) into this realm but it seemed strange to go public with something that was not really a polished “product”. It also felt weirdly egomaniacal to think that anyone besides me would actually care about what I was growing in my garden or cooking for dinner.

In the summer of 2008 I was talking about this with a friend who told me that going public didn’t mean I was forcing myself on people. He said, “it’s just like throwing open a window to your house and whoever walks by can look inside if they want to.” That thought freed me to start and I was so inspired by the image of throwing open the windows (like a spring cleaning for my mind!) I named the blog “The Open Window”.

Then in October 2008 some magic came into my life. I happened to drive by a derelict pilot house from an old fishing boat, up on blocks near the side of the road. It was a peculiar yet romantic image that drew me to pull over and take photos of it.

A few weeks later when I was going through a series of very sad events in my life, I started to think about the pilot house again. It began to take on a symbolic quality in my mind–a kind of emblem of future dreams and possibilities. I asked myself why I had relegated this to remain a dream. Why not try to make it reality?

After several months of legwork, on January 13 2009, the pilot house (aka the Salmon Cabin) came home to my garden to become my future writing studio. When this happened I knew I wanted to change the name of my blog.

Even if there’s no literal connection between a ramshackle pilot house and a home and garden journal, to me there’s a poetic logic. And the daily reminder that dreams can come true.