On the Hard in Preparation
Fresh wind bit my neck. I’d turned sizing up the blow. My sailboat is a capable partner to be running with. Going against this howler would tax the durability of the helmsman’s spirit. Not destiny but the downwind harbor made this leg of the journey a more valued lesson.
With the compass I read a course heading South and the least bit of West. I am making my way quick as life will allow. For a lapse of necessary time I anchored secure in stillwaters claiming refuge.
Sacks of fresh potatoes, tins of garbanzo beans, jars of tahini, cubes of sugared ginger, pounds of dark roast coffee to buck up sagging spirits…. provisions meant to stiffen a spine and strengthen resolve.
Time itself is thrown into question. How much, how dear, how little, when to go, will we return, is this the moment? Does passagemaking make the kind of expeditionary sense in such a compact and well charted world?
In an event horizon measured by lifespan what piece of this sail– in all its vicissitudes– can be refracted and focused to provide a more accurate glimpse of what has been too self-sure arranged within?
Can a closer brush with the front range of our ambitious questing to the unexplored corners sail us any nearer to the more fully realized self we hear whispering to us in the wind?
Forces scaled to the size of nature’s wit and wisdom have a way of clearing the view from a cluttered mind. A good passage is what we find and feel from start to end— pieces of the experience can provide a sailor with satisfactions found out of reach just beyond the horizon. A good passage is a promise fulfilled.
End of Day
Can’t Blame Everything on the Bossa Nova
What Having a Hard Time of Things Looks Like
Odd jobs ate my week’s allotment of time. Hidden among the thieving chores and tasks were the weeds. So I performed the banishing act with a gas powered filament line empowered whirling dervish of a whacker. Then, fabric softener was purchased and the salt encrusted lines aboard my sailboat, not all but some were machine washed. Car was a disaster and had to be cleaned. My personage a disaster and had to be scrubbed to within a hair’s breath. My personal maintenance has gone on day in and day out. Thistle, thorn and stickers excised. Dust, pollen and cobwebs wiped away. Sunscreen having served its function removed. Bites from bugs soothed by calamine. I have been tattered, battered but none the worse for the wear.
Thoroughly exhausted the organizing pleasure of what remains of the day is to get horizontal with the current book- The Logical Route by Moitessier. There seems to be a safe and sane serenity space located on my bunk. First, brush teeth, turn on reading light and hold my book in the light with my rosebush punctured by venomous thorns hands. Moitessier’s narrative has been entrancing as it strips the bark from the present to remind us of the always here waiting for us to notice- eternal. His attention to detail- not just any set of particulars- but the concerns of a penniless in pocket abounding in wealth beyond all measure in spirit adventurer opens a space to an unexamined inner world. Moitessier’s gift is to reveal a more intimate testimonial, a more honest accounting of the circumstances he dared to overcome.
Filling the water tanks to the boat, cleaning toilets, putting pots and pans away, make a cup of coffee. It has been that kind of week. Many tasks have been technical. Cut this, acquire that, split the cable apart and insert this thing in there, seal it back up with heat shrink tubing, affix wire ties, onto the next chore. As is said often preparing to sail offshore with even one misplaced matchbook can spell disaster.
Most of what passes for skillful passagemaking is the mental faculty we describe as judgement. Experience is insufficient. Judgement is key.
As always may I suggest buying a book or booking my show as a gateway to fun and laughter….