All in Personal Perspective

Celebrating 67

Today is January 3, 2017 and I wrote this blog post almost a year ago.  At the time I celebrated my birthday with my childhood friend Clint onboard Mystique while anchored in Nassau.  We dinghied ashore for some fine dining at the nearby Poop Deck.  Interesting to reflect how life passages as one ages.  

Asking for Help

I awoke this morning hearing a light rain dousing my deck overhead. It's 4:21 am and my Mystique is rocking with a sudden gust. Somehow the soft sound of this short shower turned on my consciousness.  Like the rush of a sudden gust rushing through an open hatch, an epiphany woke me to a stark reality.

When Horizons Disappear

As Lainie and I departed Ramatuelle, we peered westward toward a line of racing yachts skirting a southeastward French coastal breeze. After we returned to our laptops to unload our day's photos, we both noticed something we had actually seen, yet failed to notice.  The horizon had vanished when the immense Mediterranean Sea and an afternoon sky meshed into a magnificent cerulean backdrop. More than a beautiful array / display of white sails south of St. Tropez was a beautiful blending of blues. 

You Don't Know Jack!

As I took my catamaran out of the Moorings charter fleet,  I departed St. Maarten on Mystique, a 40' Leopard catamaran, in late November 2013 heading northwestward towards the Bahamas, as a boat owner, I still had much to learn. Though I thought I knew a great deal about sailing, I knew little about my boat's idiosyncrasies, quirks and behavior during a long voyage. But mostly I knew my understanding of Mystique's mechanical and electronic systems was limited and rudimentary at best.

More Inside than Out

n a motor yacht anchored near my Mystique in Marine Stadium, i wondered if its skipper had given much thought to how close they set their anchor next to my boat.  How do my thoughts come to me? Do we look outside without looking inside first?

Self Control Freaks

If you have ever sailed a small dinghy in light air, you may have been tempted to let go of the tiller. Yes, release your hold on the steering mechanism in your hand. If you happened to let go so, you probably discovered some delightful things not only about your steering your boat but also yourself.

    Taut Not Tense

    Years ago in what and where it seems now was a far, far away galaxy,  I took swing dancing lessons. In the first class the instructor cajoled his neophytes with  "Apply gentle resistance". "Supply pressure for each other". "Hold hands with your partner so he/she feels engaged with and responsive to you." and finally "Both of you need an ounce of opposition to make your relationship work."

    Eye Patch

    Having one eye has made me see life differently from most people. After I lost my eye in a water polo incident years ago, I gradually decided to see the so-called handicap or disability as a strength. While my depth perception was impaired at first, my tennis and squash games suffered, I learned to compensate and develop a new and better way of seeing life. When I realized my accident wasn't one; i realized it was a gift.

    Facing Fear

    Let's face it, fear keeps us from facing life. Fear holds us back from being genuine and authentic with each other and maybe even ourselves.  Fears of facing our fears hides our faces. And hiding the truth or hiding from the truth takes our freedoms away.  Fear hides our souls and who we could be. Even facing facts often challenges our realities.  In fact, truth and reality often collide and crash in so many ways and places.  And even when some opinions are presented as facts, it is difficult to distinguish between real and fake, truth and false or right and wrong.

    A Presbyterian Sermon

    As Susana gradually shared her faith with me, I became more and more curious why and how our conversation turned towards spiritual beliefs.  Not pushy, petulant or pedantic, she comfortably articulated some of her more passionate beliefs.  As our nearly 2-hour lunch-break conversation grew to a close, I realized her inspiration had sparked some call for me to explore  and attend her church's upcoming services. It was the sermon that Sunday that really lit my fire.

    A Weak End

    "It's Friday night, People!  Listen Up, People".  Blaring, reverberating, rattling, echoing Macarena, Latino and Rap beats the harbor's tranquility into an auditory pulp.  Like a slow moving squall cloud that drenches and soaks an island with its rain shower, all the dry and quiet disappears with this vessel's arrival. Like some bullying bullhorn announcing its private parade, everyone within shouting distance is aware it is "in the house, bro."

    Onboard Singing

    A gentle easterly breeze, a moon's horizon light and a slight chill helped set the stage. Anchored a few miles east of Nassau in Rose Island's Bottom Harbor all of us sat on the Mystique's foredeck listening to Cristian sing and improvise.  As he strummed his guitar, he created and recited his day's lyrics and entertained his family and me.  Rose Island, a supposed nurse sighting and  some mystery girl seemed to dominate the music. His words were part improv and part sing-a-long. All doubts about further evening entertainment on board for our week were soon dashed. I had a Miami version of the Von Trapp family singers onboard.  Well, not quite, but it was obvious this family could and would entertain themselves. The Bahamas would become a backdrop and an inspiration.

    Memos to Self

    In many ways my body has been incredibly kind to me these last few years. I have put it through my impulses, paces, yearnings and learnings. And at 67 it has pretty-well withstood the tests of my time. No real body aches and pains, nothing nagging to complain about. Yet when I was in my dinghy a couple of days ago reaching for a nearby dock line and ladder, my shoulder sent me a sharp and quick memo - a hey-male reminder!

    Amiss

    Met a miss while still a Mrs.
    Missed life she could have had.
    Waited late to divorce her past.
    Yet still married to maniac means.
    Wants more/less from what’s left,
    Desires more than she's ready for
    Oh missions are never accidents
    No, never really met, yet we did

    Meeting Henry Again

    Last year on my third day after leaving Miami sailing alone on Mystique into the Bahamian waters, I anchored at Cambridge Cay, the southern part of the Exuma Land and Sea Park. Flying my quarantine flag to notify any passing officials I had yet to clear Customs or Immigration, Henry, a park ranger, and his cohort stopped by my catamaran to check on me and my destination. I told him I was on my way to George Town. He informed me that I should have checked in at the nearest Port of Entry - either Bimini or Nassau.

    Another Einstein Dream

    Alan Lightman's national bestseller Einstein Dreams is about time. The author's short stories all imagine Albert Einstein imagining life as if time were experienced differently.

    My time with Steven could have been one of Lightman's stories - it felt so timeless. We packed so much into our week, it was so much fun it was like a blink; almost over as soon as it began.