Wednesday, June 04, 2008

All that we could always see

Northern Maine woods in June.

I’ve been contemplating, for some time, the idea of a long monastic retreat to decide on my future goals. I thought Karl and I had a five-year plan, but, as it turns out, it was not meant to be. I have fond daydreams of some boat life still working out--we could sail around Maine!--but I suspect that Karl’s heart is no longer in it. So my only question is: is my heart in it enough to do it alone? That’s the question I’ve been mulling over for the last five months. Hence the need for a monastic retreat. Those monks, they help you think, right?

It seems like now I’ve been given some time to think. As you can tell, if you are reading this entry, my plans to fly to the Bahamas, yet again, have gone awry. My plan was to fly to Nassau on June 1 and be joined two weeks later by my parents. Then I discovered the rates for being carted back and forth to the boat at French Wells, eight miles into the mangrove swamps from the nearest road, so I investigated bringing an outboard on an airplane, without much hope. Believe it or not, you can check in an engine on international flights. So my parents and I conferred and decided to postpone my portion of the trip to spend that two weeks investigating repairing my Evinrude. We’ll all fly together on the fifteenth, hopefully with an outboard in tow.

Let me count, though. That’s the *eighth* plan since February:

1. I planned to head down to meet our Canadian friends who were sailing through in early March.
2. I planned to fly down with my brother during his spring break at the end of March.
3. I planned to fly down with two local college kids who are experienced sailors in April, and bring the boat offshore back to Marion.
4. I planned to hire a professional delivery captain to help me bring the boat back in May (his words--”the boat is not oceanworthy.”)
5. I planned to go alone. Screw anyone going with me (although Karl did insist I enroll in a knife-fighting course before pursuing this option).
6. I planned to go by myself at the beginning of June and be joined by my parents two weeks later.

So what is that? Plan G? And that’s amid all the other complications, the weddings, the doctor’s appointments, and Karl’s recovery. To top it all off, our Subaru has broken down. So now I’m not even sure how I’m going to get to the airport in Boston, let alone to any place where I can post this entry, and it leaves my parents (and Karl’s dad, who is now working on the outboard) burdened with more of the tasks for our big journey. It’s frustrating. It also gives me an excuse to procrastinate boat-related tasks, and gives me time to wander around the northern Maine woods, which is good for my mental state, if nothing else.

Wandering around in the woods, I suppose, is a kind of monastic retreat. The contrast between life here and life on the boat will at least help me choose between the two lives. I’m not ready to make that decision yet, but I do feel myself letting go of Secret. Maybe that’s what I had to do to save her. This plan will help me salvage what I can of the dream--give me one last gigantic adventure before I have to let go of the dream. This plan’s the one. I can feel it.

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