In the Wink of an Eye
"Henry, come quickly? Here they are again."
Calling me from her bow seat, Lainie urges me forward to look eastward. There on the horizon once again another amazing sight appeared before our eyes.
So temporal, yet so timely. So commonplace yet so rare. So awe-inspiring to challenge credibility. At first, I didn't believe my eyes. Then when I did, they appeared almost daily. It was and wasn't a dream.
If Lainie and I hadn't been paying closer attention at the time, we might have missed them. They happened that quickly.... in a blink of an eye. As they were over us in moments; we were over them soon thereafter. They appeared on the edge of our sky on the boundary of our vision - only on our horizons at their best time for showing off and our best time for viewing. While they always are always present, they aren't always visible to the naked eye. Maybe it is more we don't see them because of where we are. Some may say they are two brilliant; some may claim they blind our vision. Some may say so what. Yet when the sky returned almost each day, I wasn't quite sure what I was seeing. I knew they all looked like faces, but didn't wanted to label their emotion or their expression. They weren't human; only likenesses made from clouds and light. Their repetition, however, helped us see them more clearly. And then actually see them for what they really are and what they were trying to tell us.
Simple turning into complex. Common-ordinary morphing into extraordinary. Their show showed us. And like rock stars strutting their stuff upon a stage, their appearance touched us (their audience) moved us to our core. By the time we reached home, they were still within me. I am now writing about their showing up...about their show upon our stage. I wondered how their show related to our voyage. At the time I didn't understand their timing, but now I'm taking time to write about them,....before our meeting time disappears again.
By themselves with their timing, these facial expressions barely felt significant enough to mention. Of seemingly no major consequence, they seemed remotely related to our sailing. At first, these eyes were nothing spectacular to write home about, until I returned home to write this blog post about them.
While on our sail to the Exumas, we anchored Mystique a few times in protective Bahamian coves. During these stopovers, we took many morning and evening photos. Nature was such a showoff at each sunrise and sunset. As she faced us with her winks, we faced her.
While almost constant companions, the sun and clouds reminded us we two were far from alone. At the beginning and end of each day, we readied ourself. Choosing our best possible deck seats, we became her audience for her art exhibit, light show, seascapes gallery, blue sea/sky imagery display. But we saw much more than cloud formations and sunlight brightening or fading our sky. While we saw sky-eyes looking at us, we also saw their winks. Their messages seemed unclear in first few days, but as they appeared more and more, we were certain they were telling us something significant. It was only after we had time to reflect on our sailing adventures that their true meaning began to dawn on us. When Lainie and I sailed to New Providence and the Exumas in 2018, we watched the sky wink at us. Our collection of sunrise and sunset photos (below) attest to the fact of what we saw, but alas, those shots do not capture our feelings at those moments. Though tempted, we were unsure how to wink back.
Winks show you something - maybe a shared joke, a secret, a flirtation, a greeting, a "thumbs up", an acknowledgment, a ftic, a blink, a bothersome eyelash, a speck of dust, a nervous twitch, an eye-opener or closer, A wink might even be an invitation, a sign of interest or even a trap. It might be a discovery, a way to engage in playful banter. Maybe a wick is an attempt way to feel closer connect with or attract someone. Maybe it's a introduction of sorts. How about a roundabout way to strata a conversation or ask a question? Could it be a confirmation or an agreement? A wink could actually be a warning?
No matter what a wink suggests, it can easily be misread and misinterpreted. A single wink can be, after all, an unclear facial gesture. When a sky winks and does so repeatedly, how should a human respond? Carrying on a conversation with the sun and clouds didn't seem practical, but ignoring the sky signs didn't seem prudent either. So we asked ourselves questions instead. What did we believe the sky faces were telling us? What did the almost daily facial sightings mean? Does each facial expression convey a separate meaning? Were the faces relevant separately? As crew on Mystique, are we forgetting something in sailing into the Bahamas? Does their repetition mean we need a reminder? We weren't sure we had the right questions or any answers. But now back at home more than a month later, the sky messages seem to have been warning us
While a single wink may appear quite harmless, it can be more than a wink. As a type of communication, it can be an invitation or request to respond. It would not be surprising if the viewer is perplexed. What is the sender really trying to say? How does the witness comprehend the expression? This was the challenge when the sky winked at me. Understanding what the Universe's facial expressions meant. Reading a sky with all its many, diverse messages.
Of course, only humans interpret winks, while often misunderstanding and misinterpreting the language. After all, sky writing and reading is a foreign language to most of mankind. And even those of us who have never seen sunrise and sunset faces facing them, how can any of us know for certain what the meaning is. The repetition of these sky eyes winking at us almost each morning and evening was too subtle a sign to comprehend fully. We certainly did not pretend to know the sky's message during those two weeks. Ajar in a Pickle
Maybe not the invitation or the message intended. What may seem uncertain, probably isn't n't often to mean more or less than what they are intended to convey. So while a wink may play with our playfulness, they too aren’t always clear. a cleansing or clearing.
-This was an amazing display, nor some hohum coinsidental horizon sky-eyes over a two week period… We found us paying attention for the sun signs. At the time we could not decipher the message and its meaning. WE kept asking ourselves: "What are they trying to tell us? What did all the expressions mean? What message had we missed?" We eventually found out. No two skies are ever the same, but the following facials were unmistakable sky eyes that awed our days in the Bahamas.
If one misperceives a wink, an inappropriate response, a face slap, might follow. When misreading is a definite possibility, one might best tread lightly. Nature always offers signs, but when humans fail to read or understand or accept their message, they often suffer the consequences. Does the sailor blame the shallows for his running aground or himself for his misreading the depth? Or maybe his choosing to steer into the cove in the first place? How many of us have been lured into a trap of our own thinking? Into our own making? Trapped by our prejudgements or attached to our own interpretations, we have been known to jail ourselves by our own unconscious actions.
As an amateur sky-reader, cloud watcher and sun seer, I have grown up watching horizons communicate. As a sea-soned sailor since my first summer squall-sailing experience on the Chesapeake Bay, I have become acquainted and accustomed to watching nature, especially wind and waves on seawater. In noticing currents, cuts and cays, I have also developed a basic understanding for sky-reading and sky-writing. I'm particularly passionate about sky communication.
When I sail, my love for nature's power is at the forefront of my thoughts. It carries my ultimate respect. To me, all of sailing is about responding (dancing) with Nature's powers, cycles and flow. They rule the Universe. So whenever I observe nature create/paint her sky art and sky-scales, they rarely escape my attention and awe. Intrigued by nature-creations, color-contrasting (blue hues, darks and lights). I am often audience to her magic SHOWs. She without TELLING. Their show is one of one's wonder and imagination. The sky's canvass-art aka the sky are only temporary creations, impossible to replicate by human hand or skills. While human artists and photographers often attempt to recreate a reasonable facsimile, I think there is little debate about artists falling way short of achieving nature's variety and creativity. And for all other sky readers who proclaim their adroit skills at deducing, deciphering and comprehending nature's sky messages, I offer them an opportunity to explain how for ten days or so in early March 2018 northern Bahamas skies spoke to a couple of people aboard a 40' catamaran. Like a mime who exhibits and explains through motions and, the skies used her own language to convey an energy. rather than simply explain.
So it is one thing to receive a wink from across a room, quite another to receive or two each day for over a week from across the Universe. Mankind might label it happenstance? coincidence? sign? warning? harbinger? omen? heavenly message? synchronicity? spiritual Divine intervention? foreshadowing? Or just see it for what it was: faces, eyes, human features on sea horizons at sunrises and sunsets. But I could not see only the physical; I saw the metaphysical and the spiritual in their faces; but I could not translate what they were telling us until it was too late to save and protect my boat.
Where we were anchored in the Bahamas meant no one else would witness these phenomena. They were inserted into the cloud cover so no one else would take note. Two photographers on a sailboat watching sunrises and sunsets anchored in a secluded spots in the Bahamas - could we get any more remote? Our only evidence were our photos, but how are pictures of a fairly routine occurrence in anyway convincing? Though I am writing this blog I am not writing it to persuade anyone of what our eyes saw. Convincing readers was not the point. The message was intended for us alone, and now in retrospect, I have no doubt what the messages were.
So has Nature ever winked at you? Has the Universe? Has the sky? weather? water? wind? waves winked? or has it only blinked? If you have ever watched a sun sink into the sea. A meteor zip across your eyes at night. A star twinkle. A clouded sunset appear or disappear upon a horizon. But then again how much of humanity is actually paying attention? actually in a place they can witness these shows? How sad that few actually witness the natural world. Too consumed by "other more important things." such as TV, music, "reality shows. Too bad, most are missing the real show.