I have never intended that my blogs should be a venue for any rant. This blog is supposed to be about getting a boat ready to sail away and the inner and outer journey before, during, and after that moment. As it turns out I recently found myself replying to a friend’s e-mail. A rant began to flow which I began to transcribe into a blog and then realized that this is something I can never do here. Real sailors are often non-conformists and also very opinionated especially when in opposition to bureaucracy and other men’s attempts to control their lives. The one thing of value I’ve salvaged from that discarded effort is a single line about global warming and social cooling. I’ll ponder that a while yet.
I sat writing at a desk where in the background a television played the movie ‘Fiddler On The Roof.’ I caught the line, “If God lived on earth, people would break his windows.” Try to imagine that with a geriatric Yiddish accent! What an eloquent way of describing our tenuous existence on this planet. From environmentalism to politics and economics, it’s all the same hype in the end. Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf? Well, I think we’re truly under the spell of those who have discovered the profit of paranoia and it is not the wolf we should fear nearly as much as the wolf hunters. End of rant. Each to their own and enough said.
Duende? It is a Spanish word possessing diverse related meanings but generally having to do with spirits and ghosts. I heard a flamenco artist explaining a deeper meaning having to do with the unfulfilled spirit within, always driving a person forward in passion and creativity but ultimately never sated. I suppose enthusiasm has a similar connotation coming from the Greek and meaning, “God within”. I like the lyrical sound of the word duende and think it would be a great name for a boat. I wish you mucho duende and also great peace. What a delicate balance!
It is suddenly October. It seems it was Easter three weeks ago. The summer has blurred past and the weather has now changed. The butter is hard again. The wind and rain have come. October usually has some very fine weather and that will be the final chance this year to lunge at the must-do chores outdoors. After the full storm that just passed we now know where the new leaks in our boats are. The sky has to quit dribbling so everything is dry enough for the final touch of caulking and paint. Just as it is almost dry enough to do some work, another soaker descends. All summer we take dryness for granted and then comes the ugly reminder about why we want to move to Southern latitudes. Hopefully the October reprieve comes again this year.
Well, I’m still here and that’s the way the pickle squirts. I’ve had an insidious nasty flu for the past three weeks and so there are no grand adventures or epiphanies to describe. My dog Jack is still asleep in my bunk as I grope for words while waiting on the morning fog to burn off. It is so damp that the Beaver float plane moored adjacent to me didn’t want to fire up this morning. One of the magnetos probably had some condensation in it and there was a prolonged effort of cranking, spluttering, backfiring and coughing. Finally the sweet growling clatter of the Pratt & Whitney announced that there would be work as usual. There is a clear sky somewhere above the gloomy blanket. Work continues on the boat and the dream burns on despite the sound of dripping. Duende!
I’m posting a random assortment of photos which are irrelevant to any particular blog but are interesting in their diversity. From a local abandoned coal mine to downtown Vancouver and points in between there is always a new marvel to photograph. I’m soon going to sign up on Flickr and post my photos there for the world to see but for now, here are some shots which someone else might find interesting. I often use my Canon Digital SLR with a minimal assortment of lenses. The damned thing leaves me feeling like an idiot with all it’s various modes and options. I’ve made part of my living at times with film cameras but all of this digital stuff is overwhelming. I like to also carry a simple pocket camera for those grab-shot moments when you don’t have your bag of gear handy.
A photo site I visit daily is called ‘Twisted Sifter’. The work there is amazing and inspiring, I recommend it to anyone interested in superb photography. For a while they ran an ad for an Olympus camera, the TG-2. I needed a new pocket camera and in the end, after a lot of research, I bought one. It’s amazing. Water proof to depths of 60′, it is shock proof, cold proof and can take up to an hour and a half of movies. It’s sound recording is fantastic and the darned thing even has a built in GPS and altimeter. I don’t know what all else it can do, but for a little over $300. it is great value. All of these images are taken with this little pocket camera, yes even the flower. End of commercial.
The last photo posted with this blog is of a face carved into an Arbutus tree. It was skillfully done with an understanding of how it would turn out once the incisions of the carving healed.
Clearly it has been there for a long time. I only saw it a few days ago although I have walked the dog within a few feet of it for years. This, of course, becomes an essay on seeing.
Sometimes we become so fixated on distant stars we miss the beauty right at our feet. A while ago I made a point of finding interesting, safe anchorages close to home. They were ones I’d charged past on my way to distant exotic places. I’ve had to concede that there is as just as much beauty and mystery right here at home.
It is hard to rationalize going cruising at all except to have such a wonderful place to come home to.