Monday, September 24, 2012

Can't see over to the other side

The Psychedelicates and their wine-soaked songs

Last night I went to see my friend Carol's show in Presque Isle, at Bou's, a club aptly named. It made me feel, as usual, on most days when I wander around Aroostook County, that I don't belong. Spending time with Carol, who belongs so thoroughly, who builds community as art practice, as much as I love her and love spending time with her and at her home in Castle Hill, makes the feeling especially acute. All of the county girls were out last night, in kitten heels and shorts, all of the twenty-somethings, one of which I once was.

Now I'm not. Now I'm watching my blown-out garden, praying I get tomatoes indoors, and maybe a pepper or two before frost, bolting cilantro and lettuce, basil I can't bear to cut back. I feel always like the odd man out, the one that doesn't know the score, the thin man in Bob Dylan's ballad. Here I am, the one thing that I want—belonging--the one thing I can't have.

It makes a better story that way. K.'s been looking at boats and boat blogs again. Here are two:

Downeast Cutter
Ingrid 38
I'm not allowed to post links whereby you might go find these fine sailboats and buy them yourself.

And then, what follows soon after sailboat searches?  Adventurer blogs.  This guy, Grillabong Quixotic, flew to Mexico with nothing but a dream, to build an outrigger sailboat. Now he's in Panama.

These people raised a child on their engineless Ingrid. Who needs an engine?

As soon as I'm happy, comfortable, putting down roots, I begin to make plans to pull them up again. Kayak searches to Baja. Lonely Planet guides. Emotional separation from the dog that'll never survive Mexico.

Casting off, you say? Casting off indeed. Sometimes I believe that the best thing to do would be to stay put, that again I'm just running away from belonging, from stability, from home. Sometimes I don't want to run aymore.

I want to paint walls. I want to plant rosebushes. I want to put up bookshelves and brackets for hanging plants and window boxes. But what's the point of buying paint or bolts or lumber for someone else's house? Better save that money for epoxy and teak-and-holly ply and bosun's chairs.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Don't you remember

To some extent, maintenance is a matter of doing the same thing every day. Brushing our teeth. Eating, sleeping. Weeding, in the garden. Writing, as a practice, on these electronic pages and elsewhere. Coming to my desk to work, coming to my mat to practice yoga.

We must do these things every day, or we lose flexibility, we lose skill, we lose resilience.

At least I do. I become flaccid, lazy, weak. Or that's what I believe. I don't know.

It's been a rough couple of months. The shoulder thing has blossomed into a full-on injury, and I keep blaming myself for it, internalizing the national dialog that's taking place right now over my choice to pursue my own entrepreneurial dreams of being an adventurer, traveler, writer—the choices that have let me to consequences, to a career without health insurance. I've been stewing in my own juices of self-pity and self-blame, thinking about karma (my favorite word to say with a Boston accident) and martyrdom (almost as fun) and how if I had just done more yoga, to the correct amount of vigor, if I had just been able to listen to my body, if I'd had enough faith, more courage, more moxie, more vim—I wouldn't be in this situation. Yet here I am.

In the meantime, I've been traveling, writing, writing about traveling. I had my first ever retreat to the wild world of the Allagash. I'll get around to posting photographs eventually.

The tomatoes are stricken with blight, and no hot peppers this year for green-tomato salsa. The rest of the garden is overcome by weeds. My immobilization means I've been eating ramen, dreaming of the days when I can once again carry wood and dig up sod and knead dough.

And I'm going to see a doctor, even if I have to make a run for the border after.