Wednesday, August 11, 2010

John A Hobson was a good man

A towering cumulus cloud
Bahamian cumulus cloud

I had fun finding that forecast applet yesterday, although the flash may crash your computer. One of the advantages of having internet while you blog is squandering time trolling for toys. Distracting me from the actual work of crafting my experience into compelling mini-stories. My cultural stream of consciousness. Although maybe all of our streams of consciousness are made up of applets now.

Anyway. My stream of consciousness is made up of weather. Or it used to be. The one phrase written in my little notebook that used to break me into tears every time I read it, every single time, was:
whole conversations about clouds
That alone. I used to have whole conversations about clouds. That’s what sailors do. I used to sit in the cockpit of Secret, watching them flow over, and discuss what they meant. Watch the looming cumulus, tracking the course of summer thunderstoms across the landscape. Watch the strung-out cirrus, the arrows they pointed in the sky following the frost in the upper atmosphere. Watch the feathered clouds for the angle of winter squalls.

I can’t do that anymore. As much as I love my new career, it involves sitting at a desk for the majority of the day. A desk where I can’t see the sky, let alone clouds. I can watch the wind breathing through the oaks and peach trees, see the moths that settle on my screen, hear the crickets swooning through the greenery--but no clouds. When I do see them, they’re meaningless. They don’t speak to me the way they used to. I used to be able to read them, like a book, like a script written in the sky.

That makes me weep. As much as I believe that the decision I made was a good one, the right one, the loss still hits me sometimes, a blow to the solar plexus.

As you can tell, I’ve been rereading my little notebook from Secret. So I find things like this:

Fri- S5-10kts <2ft
Sat- W5kts, SE, SW5-10 kts <2ft
Sun- Nassau: frontal trough, shifted E near Haiti- clouds & showers in SE- strong low N of Bahamas move to GA, swells subsiding NW- SCA extreme caution NE swell S-SW 15-20 kts 5-8 ft swell

I remember how I used to wake up at six every morning to hear the weather, to copy it down. How weather used to be such a presence in my life, the third personality on the boat, its spirit always in my mind.

Every decision, every choice, means loss. I’ve gained something, but I’ve lost things, too.


Red Sonia said...

Sounds like there might be an itch you are needing to scratch! I believe that August brings out a desire for change, something different or a longing for what once was. I also believe we should all take the entire month off, like they do in Italy!

Red Sonia said...

Just want you to know that I am missing your blog! No pressure to write it, but I look forward to hearing what is on your mind! For now, I will read boat blogs for to get my Melissa wisdom.

wfrenn said...

I love it when you talk nautical.

The Capt'n