Saturday, March 12


Morning Everyone!

The image of a huge ship sailing out of a safe harbor to undertake a major journey was the best way I could describe the process of itineration. I don't know why I thought a couple of boat rides made me a sailor, but I was soon to find out the truth. Reality hit when it took multiple tugs and massive shoves just to move this new ship a few feet from the dock. After busting the links on a few chains, there was a point when I felt the ship's huge mass gliding across the port and heading steadily across open water. The props began to churn and momentum built into a steady pace that was a testament to the sweat it took to get underway - I began to suspect that even if I had the capacity to slow the ship down, I could not. Days passed. Weeks passed. Eerily quiet afternoons and soul-numbing stormy nights would pass on the open sea, with no where to drop anchor during moments of weariness and frustration. Neece and I would spend many mornings trying to hog-tie and wrestle the other overboard, only making peace a few moments later until mutiny became an option once again. Many times I longed for land and fantasized about a small island with just me, a hammock and a moment of shade with a baptist beer (Dr. Pepper) to cool my sunburnt face. Many days I stared over the side of the ship not knowing if the waves were actually passing beneath our ship, or if it was just the wind blowing around us and we were standing still (even though I could feel the engine thrumming deep in the hull.) At times I was seasick and desperate for a point of reference. I would see vessels on the horizon and would try to contact them. Some of these vessels were Carnival Cruisers headed the other direction, who couldn't take the time to acknowledge my call. Other vessels were tired trawlers that would put alongside and offer to share what provisions they had while comforting one another with tales of the mysterious deep. Looking up to the stars later in the evening, I would see by the Southern Cross that progress was indeed being made, and the silent beauty would nourish my spirit. And then one morning the horizon changed in a small way - a gray strip on the horizon turned into land, and we both dared not hope that we had actually crossed such a vast distance. But it was true. Now the momentum is reversing. Comfortable with the physics of the ship, we are patiently riding its mass into the middle of a large peaceful bay that we do not recognize - and there are many questions to be answered. "When can we get off the boat? What will the land be like? Who will meet us? Can they warn us of the new dangers?" But other questions from the journey will never be answered. Someday the wounds will heal into scars and the many crossings of the future will waste our fat into wiry muscle. But I know this - I'll never listen to the Beach Boys' "Sloop John B" without staring out at the ocean like a buggy pirate with an itchy peg-leg...
It is just beginning