Blake More brings her energy and creativity to Point Arena

Independent Coast Observer 1/14/05

By Jo Rouse


Blake More was wearing a red hat she had knitted. She said this was the first time she had tried knitting and took her hat off to show a flaw. But one had the feeling that the flaw didn't trouble her. She was pleased with her accomplishment. She had decided to knit a hat and that is what she had done.

This was merely another in a long list of her creative accomplishments, big and small. A life full of creative adventures requires deep self-confidence and Blake seems to be one of those rare people whose self confidence "goes to the bone."

We are at The Record. It is a chilly day and the tables are crowded with people who have come in to get something warm to drink. Talking (and listening) over the din of surrounding chatter requires focused attention, especially as Blake talks fast. Keeping up with her is not easy.

The hat is not the only created item Blake has brought with her. The thermos from which she drinks her tea has been decorated with a ceramic exterior she has made. Two people have stopped at the table to admire it. She has been asked how she came to live in Point Arena and her response is to provide a brief life history. It is as though she cannot answer the question without going through all of the connections and acknowledging the serendipitous happenings that have led her from place to place and have now brought her to Point Arena.

Blake grew up in the Los Angles suburb of San Gabriel Valley, attended UCLA where she majored in economics and got involved in party politics as a Young Republican. "I spent a semester working on the hill for Senator Pete Wilson. That was my first formative training in politics."

She didn't see herself as a potential politician, but was interested in the behind the scenes world of politics where the policy making occurred. Soon, however, she came to realize that politiciansÕ work is about compromises. "They have far less power than I thought. And I learned how hard it is to keep your idealism."

She added "When I worked for Pete Wilson, that was the end for me. I saw too much."
She grins. "I'm not a rebublican any more."

After her disillusionment with politics Blake began to travel. She spent time in London, but it was her travels through the Mid-East that were the most significant for her. She felt a strong affinity for the Arabian people, whom she described as "warm, curious, open, kind and aware. "She added that she thought her greatest influence as a poet was Rumi.

When she returned to the U. S. she got engaged to her college sweetheart, who lived in Marin. But soon she realized that she was not ready for marriage and broke it off.

She began to write---journaling and poetry at first, but soon free-lance writing was helping to pay the bills. She continued her travels, this time in the far east, then settled for awhile in Japan. Here she found a very good market for her free-lance articles. But she realized that "I was never going to be Japanese" and began to think about where home might be.

"When I left Japan I decided that I didn't want to be urban anymore. I needed the country." It took a few more years of living in San Francisco before everything fell into place for a country move. She moved to Sebastopol which became her base while she worked with her publisher to promote her first book about how to heal a headache naturally.

But how did she get to Point Arena?

"Only through a series of what I consider magical circumstances. I had actually dreamed about Point Arena before I came here. I dreamed about Main Street. I had not come through Point Arena in traveling through the countryside.

"I was looking for a more grounded reality. Here, everyone knows each other---the good and the bad. I've enjoyed learning what kind of weight I have here. When you're as flamboyant as I am and you are in the City there's room for you. But in a small town you have more of an impact. You have to make sure you don't take too much space." A friend of hers used the analogy of big fish swimming around in a thimble.

"You have to be tuned in to those around you or you can really get in each others' way." She added that Point Arena is a very intimate environment for this reason. "But I love it. It's a really special place."

The question always arises. How can one make a living in Point Arena?

Her answer is one that coastal residents are familiar with. You live cheap and have a lot of part time jobs. At this time Blake's jobs include teacher/artist/technician at the Arena Technology Center, teaching occasional classes at Pacific Community Charter School and working with the Mendocino County Poets in the Schools project. Some of her jobs are the result of grants she has written.

As for living cheap---she lives in a converted school bus (which still runs). It has everything she needs, including a sewing machine so that she can make her own clothes. And for transportation there is Eartha Karr---her 1978 Mercedes which runs on bio diesel, a non-toxic biodegradable, carbon neutral fuel made from recycled vegetable oil. Eartha Karr makes a statement in more than one way. It is art in motion, decorated with colorful designs and poetry.

Blake wants her footprint on the earth to be a small one. That doesn't mean it won't be colorful.


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