Saturday, June 14, 2008

Milford, Connecticut

My niece Iris, whom I get to see this weekend!

On the boat, right now, I wonder what’s happening. Are birds circling above? Are fish circling below? Sharks? Rays? The algae on the bottom is growing, cell by cell, unaware that soon I’ll be swooping down on it and scraping with fury. The mildew inside is likewise unaware that soon its reign of terror will be completed. And Secret herself, I hope, knows somewhere deep inside that she soon will be rescued.

Or that’s what I believe, when I’m optimistic. My fear still creeps up on me, generally taking the form of nightmares or irrational panic attacks over things I can’t control. Tomorrow at this point, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be flying high through the atmosphere, above the clouds, heading towards blue water and green islands and the small chunk of fiberglass I call home. Today I’m in Connecticut with my entire family, immediate and extended, celebrating the marriage of my cousin Laura. It’s an appropriate sendoff for us, and though I quail as I tell my aunts and uncles what I’m doing with my life, the general response, instead of pity and terror, is envy. Even though I’m broke, I’m taking a journey that require a semblance of bravery.

What they don’t know is that I envy them--their stability and security. They’ve dug roots for themselves and stretched branches into the sky in a way I can never manage to do, with my compulsive tendency towards constant upheaval. I do crave adventure and movement, but I still want stability. That's why I was so excited about the boat. I thought it was the ideal combination of transience and permanence. I did make it into my home, a home that moved. I love that home, more than I probably should, and I hope I don’t get myself into trouble with it.

I’m trying to build spiritual practice into my life right now, partly as a way to give myself equanimity in case of disaster. I know that that's when I've been happiest, when I've managed to be disciplined enough to build in time every day for calm amid the storm. I've been trying to build habits of meditation and yoga, partly because I know those are practices I can maintain on the boat, but while I know that those things and writing and running are always the things that keep me sane, they're the things I have the hardest time doing. Why is that? I have no idea. I've always been that way.

Now I should probably go and post pictures while I still have internet access, and decide which thing on my life of things I have yet to buy is the highest priority. I know as soon as I land on Crooked I’ll think of a zillion things I should have bought that I didn’t. I hope I’ll be able to do without them. Maybe instead I need time with my family, time to relax, time to enjoy things like clean hotel sheets and plumbing and breakfast buffets and lobster salad and grilled duck breast.

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