Atz Kilcher

From the blog


Atz Kilcher walking with Bonnie on the beach in Homer, Alaska.

I believe every once in a while it is good to do something you know nothing about, or to write about something you know nothing about. It broadens your horizons, it stretches you, and it is an excellent example to those around you who do not believe in risking or caring, and for those many people who abhor looking or sounding foolish.Yes, you guessed it, oh wise reader. I used to be one of those, and still am at times, in certain situations, around certain people.

How does the Internet work? How do cell phones work? We hear terms like signal strength, connection, hot spot, reception. And, of course, their opposites: signal strength poor, connection failed, dead spot, no reception. I am familiar with all of those terms, I know what they mean, and I have no clue how it all works. All I know is that when it works, it works, and when it doesn’t, it doesn’t.I am here, and someone or something is way over there. Somehow, miraculously, we are connected and can hear each other, we can read what the other is writing. We can even send them a photograph or a video of where we are and what we are doing. Magic!

When the connection fails, it could come from either end. One person’s driving, and the other person is moving around while they’re walking. The lost connection could also come from something neither end has any control over. It could be caused by the atmosphere, the Northern Lights, a dust storm, or atmospheric pressure.So, with all of those variables out there over which we have absolutely zero control, all we can do is take care of our end. Find that good connection spot and not move. Oh yes, perhaps there is one more small detail: if the connection fails, don’t immediately blame it on the other end. The more urgent and dire the circumstances, the more important it is to find a place with a good signal and then keep that connection.

Atz Kilcher cell phone wilderness technology

Many times I have been out in the wilderness and have needed to make an urgent phone call. It’s never been life and death so far, but some of them have been extremely urgent. If I was in a place I had been to before, I would immediately go to a spot where I knew there was good reception. If I was in a new spot, I would search until I found that place of reception. Sometimes I have climbed a tree, sometimes I have started up the mountain, sometimes I have walked a mile or more down along the river to the tidal flats. Believe me, in that type of situation, when you finally find that sweet spot, you don’t move! You hardly breathe. But alas, when it suddenly disappears, as it often does, you are always amazed. It always brings up a lot of emotions. My first reaction is usually anger or disappointment, I want someone or something to blame.

So, even though I know absolutely nothing about the Internet or cell phone connections, I use them. I have learned to appreciate them when they exist. I have learned to do what is in my power to keep those connections and signal strengths when they are strong, and not to blame anything when the signal is weak or fails. And yes, even to learn to live without them.

Is it any different with people? Maybe a little, but not much. What attracts you, causes a first connection? How much of it at first is chemistry or physical attraction? It is easy to say that while the sexual attraction is still strong, that there are many other connections, that there’s more than sex, that there are many ways you are linked with your partner, There are many other areas where the signal strength is alive and well. Sometimes, even while there is still wild, mutually gratifying sex going on, the connection is lost.

Other times, with time and age, sexuality fades, but many other areas of connection, and therefore the overall connection, remains strong. Or, when sexuality fades, there’s not much that connects us after all, that holds us together. At that point we may look for someone else, or stay together unconnected.

All of this makes it imperative that is if you want a good, strong, long-lasting relationship anyway, that you each do your part to maintain that connection, to accept that which you have no control over, and not to blame your partner. Even with both people doing all they can, because of all those atmospheric factors out there, it is extremely hard to keep that connection.

Even when you are living together and in love, it is a minor miracle if you can both be in the same place at the same time,both want to talk, both want to create, both deeply feel emotions or sexual energy, both feel the same need for the same length of time at the same moment in time.Whew!

So my advice for something I know absolutely nothing about, whether it’s cell phones, the Internet, or relationships, is this: when you got it, whether accidental or something you worked hard for, keep doing whatever it takes to keep it.

Stay up in the tree. Stay on that big rock halfway up the mountain. Stay out there on those tidal flats. Keep standing on one leg with your finger on your nose. Whatever it takes, if you got it and want to keep it, DO IT!

And remember, even if you lost it but you both really want it back, you each know that place where you need to go.


  1. I loved this, Atz! Excellent metaphor for keeping relationship connections. Surely you must be writing a book to share all your wisdom with us. I just finished Jewel’s book & loved the raw honesty of it. I love the Kilcher honesty, openness & evolution. Your willingness to be vulnerable & openness to grow inspires me. Thank you!

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