Sunday, June 16, 2013

Plumper Cove , Keats Island, BC - journallingI

It's lovely here, anchored, sitting below in the cabin of my sailboat drinking coffee and blogging.  It was hot on deck when I went topsides and threw the dinghy overboard for a later row ashore with my first mate, Gilbert,  the cockapoo.  I'm grateful today.  Grateful that the sun came out and that the boat repairs were sufficiently complete that I was able to motor here easily.
I'd taken Thursday afternoon off hoping to get away. I vaguely thought of crossing Georgia Strait and going to anchor off Nanaimo.  That's best done as a three day trip given it's about 7 hours to get across the Strait.  I had errands to run and as usual at the end of a week my head isn't quite in the space it needs to be for starting an adventure. I wasn't even sure I'd take the boat though that was the plan. When the weather turned cloudy I thought of heading south in the Miata for a weekend in Seattle.  I imagined getting a pedicure and staying at some place with a hot tub.  Places like Harrison Hot Springs are the only way to recuperate when it's rainy and cold.  I fancied a massage even.
Alternatively I thought it was the end of spring bear hunting season and I could head out to the backwoods with a rifle and hike mountains in search of a freezer full of meat.  That was countered with the though I preferred salmon to bear meat and really a long drive in the truck on Thursday afternoon wasn't what I had in mind for r and r.  So I stocked the boat going with the first plan, clearing the decks of stuff that needed to go to the storage locker and provisioning for a weekend in case the weather turned.   I took Gilbert for a couple of walks.  We actually got dressed up with the idea of going out to a club but only got as far as taking Gilbert for a walk before returning and watching a movie seemed the better idea.  My mind is so ambivalent at the end of the week.  All week I've 'answers' and 'questions' but at the end of the week it's just a muddle for me.  I pray and ask God what I'm supposed to be doing. Know I'm supposed to be recovering and don't know if it would be better to just had a long nap or go for a walk.  Gilbert usually settles that by climbing on my chest when I lie down, looking me in the eye, and suggesting I reconsider. He does love drives in the Miata with the top down.  I look over and smile at his dog face in the wind hair blowing all over as he stands with his forepaws on the elbow rest and tries to get as much of his head out the window as he can.
Waking Thursday I was lonely.  I'm so much with people when I'm working, overwhelmed with the human predicament. happy to be with people, happy to share their lives but not particularly happy with people out of the office.
Thursday afternoon I'd sat for a late brunch on Commercial.  A very attractive woman had sat down beside me wearing the most red shoes I've seen.  It was like one of those black and white photos where someone had added red to the picture except that the world was in colour and this red was just really really red.  She had a contraption, a vaporizer for 'smoking' without smoking'.  Some nicotine delivery system that she proceeded to talk about at length without any sense of her addiction to nicotine focussing her attention to this.  I was thankful I'd quit smoking 15 years ago and thought it good she was struggling.  Sad though that something that was initially so attractive turned into a demon.  The conversation seemed fine for her but for me it was a bit like a bus man's holiday.  Especially when she began talking about AA and other addictions. She was so critical and unaware of her criticalness.  I saw myself in her, those times when I was negative and critical and found an external institution or event to vent my frustration on.  She was critical of life and God in a sense as well and I found myself almost back at work asking, what alternative is there. What's a better solution.  As is so often the case, there wasn't one.  All that time and energy spent in tearing down something and none spent in building.  It's an adolescent thing really.   I probably even said , "boys and going destroy, men and women create."
I think the anger and frustration comes with nicotine.  It's worsened by it really, fueled in a way.  It also could be youth.  She was younger than me by a decade at least, like everyone seems these days.  I was so 'opinionated' when I was younger, trying out new ideas, trying to figure things out, breaking down and building and hoping for a new age.  Hopeful really.  I'm probably just jaded.  I've turned a corner and don't have much hope for the world or is it for myself.  I don't think if I just change this , everything will be all right.  Now I'm mostly trying to change me and feel alright with what is.  She was mostly objecting to the 'spirituality' of AA and going on about Buddhism like most westerner do who haven't read 'Trungpa' or even Buddha.  Just like the communists of old who would idolize some distant land where 'real communism' worked, so she was celebrating a religion which was fine but not in comparison.  Or maybe I just didn't want to talk comparative religion after years of studying it and thinking always Buddha, Mohammed, Moses, Jesus would behave better together at a tea party than any of their disciples. She was pretty and enthusiastic and angry like so many young women.  Rebel's without causes.  I just couldn't help but think as I so often think listening to women is  that I heard men saying the same things 10 years before.  So is it a gender thing, women coming into their own, developing all the diseases of the workplace, dying the same as men once they left the protection of the home, suffering in the workplace, or is it just youth.  Was she no different from her male cohort and I was just registering the ideas we tore apart a decade or two ago when we were all so intellectual and all the 'ideas' seems so fine on the couch and in the coffeehouses before reality took over and messed with even the best of ideas.
There are so many 'binary' ideas, like all of the Marxist notions, all the I'm right you're wrong groups, my brain is healthy , yours isn't.  I tire of that paranoid ideology and want to hear the trinity, god, not god, and god and not god. Can't people even begin to grasp quantum physics and what is says about our minds.  The courts and politics are so often binary which goes with sports and choice. Maybe it's just me at the end of the week unable to think so well any more, weary with worry and concerns for those I'm privileged to care for.  I've read so many articles recently but none have the answers that I need in my work.  All the 'solutions' I see in the 'learned texts' have been tried on the people that I see.  The paradigms are exhausted.  Meanwhile all the government offers is marijuana and euthanasia and arguments again about the fat cat Senate.  I'd really like to  be a senator though I'd hate to be caught stealing and have to pay back all the money fraudulently taken. In my work if I did that though I'd lose my job or go to jail.  I miss  "security".  Everything seems to be hanging on a thread these days.
When she left to return to work where she obviously struggled with injustice and defended the weak I was glad to move on, thinking talking with people isn't really a break for me and that if I'd known the weather wasn't going to stay sunny I'd have best worked.  Better to be working on a rainy day than sailing though that's not necessarily true.  It's a Vancouver thing, the office buildings explode with people when the sun is out and we all scurry back to work inside when its raining.
Perhaps that's why all dressed up I preferred to walk the dog than go out to meet strangers.  I like the feel of a new shirt though.  One I've not had time to spill coffee or food on.
Thursday morning I was thankful for a meeting.  I knew some folk who get together at lunch time and decided that's just what I needed.  A little coffee and company would do the soul good.  The drive to Davie street from North Vancouver was a bit of a chore with the road construction but a convertible like a motorcycle makes that all tolerable.  I liked joining the discussion about homophobia.  Ingrid shared with me that she had not been invited to a wedding she thought because she was lesbian.  That may well be but as she knew it could be other reasons. We focus on the difference we struggle with and the sexual differences are most difficult.  I like this group.  Sitting in the coffeeshop beside Little Sisters on the patio where Gilbert could be with us we talked about relationships, homosexual and heterosexual and bisexual. Everyone had a relationship of their own to contribute with mostly light hearted humour.  The discussion even got into prostitution and much was said about money and energy.  I thought about Buddhism and 'right livelihood' and the strictest religious view in some Hindoo and Christian sects that sex was only to be used solely for reproduction and not to be much fun either. Very stoic in that sense but not at all epicurean in a Greek sense.  The thing I enjoy most about these friends is that their conversation is always 'us' and 'I' centred. We call it the 'language of the heart'.  Each person was sharing their difficulties and strengths and not criticizing some external agency. There's a truthfulness is the 'subjectiveness of experience'.  Each person spoke about what they themselves had experienced as opposed to the formulation of the intellectual and assumed objectivity.  I felt we all had shared Heidleberg and knew something of limitation.  The youngest too was in her 40's and waxed poetic about her home and garden.  Phil was good to see again. A handsome man who ran a hair salon.  For some reason I remember Charlotte's name most because she was talking about art and vision and expression.  We laughed together about the Lulu see through yoga pant recall, how the girls had objected but that when the story got out gay men were lining up to get a pair.  I was happy to see the fellow from the tax department enjoying our conversation about money as an 'idea'.  I'd hate to have him be having a bus man's holiday.
I had a parking ticket by the time I got back to the car but I didn't feel lonely any more.  Back at the boat I threw off the dock lines and was just heading out when I noticed I'd not disconnected the shore power.  That provided a little excitement, backing up, docking, jumping down, grabbing up the electrical cord and jumping back on board without hitting either of my neighbours fore and aft.  I got away with my heart pounding thinking how stupid of me.  But it's been a year since I took the boat out myself.  I'm experientially into so many complex and frankly dangerous activities that it's hard to remember every detail especially after gaps of months.  I just went through recertifying in scuba diving with a dry suit in cold water and had the same process. Now I was getting back into solo sailing.
The autopilot is a charm.  I love that it holds the course.  Fueling up I found I only needed 80 liters.  The forward tank was mostly full so I suspect I'm running off the back tank.
I actually got the down rigger out and fished on the English Bay side of First Narrows.  No luck but I figure if I do the right thing enough it eventually pays off.
I always enjoy passing Pt. Atkinson.  A pretty lighthouse.  I enjoyed passing Whitecliff where I scuba dove a few weeks past.  That was in Howe Sound.  The sea was fairly flat and I was making good time. I'd started late and thought to go to Plumper Cove but almost turned off to Gambier thinking I'd not get into Plumper till after dark.  Thanks to the clean bottom I've been getting 5 to 6 knots so decided to go for it. I made it to Plumper Cove while there was still light.  Anchoring went without at hitch.
Then I got out the marinaded beef shishkabobbs (spelling?) (beef chunks skewered on sticks).  Save on had a deal on them.  Gilbert was happy to have half.  For a little dog he can put down a lot of barbecued meat.  I boiled little potatoes and had those with sour cream and butter.  The hagen daz ice cream didn't stay frozen in my freezer but was tasty as a milkshake.  I watched the Ghost Writer dvd and figured I'd seen it before but enjoyed it once again.
Now I've slept a wonderful sleep at anchor and risen to make coffee I've enjoyed and written this journal, grateful for my day, my dog, my boat, my fingers and toes, this incredible scenery, the great british columbia outdoors and no real demands.  A trip ashore for a walk in the woods is all I've planned though I could go fishing too.  I think I'll make breakfast now. Another cup of coffee.
I' ve  been reading Dan Browns newest thriller Inferno.  I love the Tom Clancy writing like a good rock and roll song but in Dan Brown's case all the art and history and ideas are thrown in as well.  A delightful romp so far.  Thanks to the autopilot I got a lot of reading in yesterday evening. Nothing better than sitting on a boat reading a great mystery or thriller , looking up all the time to make sure nothing untoward is happening.  I remember when I studied the shore but now the gulf island are a bit like the drive to work.  I know them well and enjoy seeing the occasional eagle and maybe do miss things like deer on shore or a surfacing whale but the fact is I've seen a lot , am constantly looking about but enjoy so much reading at the wheel and drinking coffee while I'm doing it.  Gilbert lies at my feet in the cockpit and doesn't appear at all guilty about sleeping a whole lot.
I've also been reading Diogenes Allen's "Spiritual Theology'.  It's my second go round.  That good a book.  I loved reading last night, his quote from Walker Percy, "I have learned that the most important difference between people is between those for whom life is a quest and those for whom it is not."
Life is a quest for me.
Bolen texted me on the iPhone when I was in Howe Sound that he'd heard I had a poetry manuscript completed. He shared that he had too and we're planning on exchanging ours for a good read.  I liked the tech experience, the 'grid' experience.  I've got a 'Wind" "hotspot' here being generated by a little device they gave me.  I didn't know it was good here but sure enough I've got wifi.  The iPhone operates on the Telus network.  I was planning on checking out my internet satellite phone connection sometime too.  I've got lots of things to do if I ever feel like a task or two on this boat. I'll be lucky though if I simply read and get breakfast.
I'm behind in my Biblical Hebrew studies so planned to catch up on those this weekend with a few hours of study. Cohen at the online Jerusualem university has been a delight so far.  Not at all too onerous and I'm actually hopeful I'll get some ability to better understand Genesis.  I'd love read some parts of Isaiah and maybe learn a psalm or two too.  It seemed such an insurmountable goal when I realized it had it's own alphabet. I prefer the study of Spanish and French and Latin from that perspective. I've got some basis.  This is daunting in comparison but the teacher makes it 'seem' easier than it is.  I think with the sunshine though lying on deck with some sun tan lotion might be a better alternative.
Time to make a mother coffee. It's like a summer day as a child during summer vacation.  Then I'd ask my mom what I should do.  She always had ideas, some of which weren't at all what I was hoping to hear.  Now I'd just love to hear her voice and see her smile.  If Dad were here we'd be out fishing for sure.
Right now I think I'll have another coffee and read more of Diogenes.  I was meditating already this morning and pleased to have Gilbert join me thinking my cross legged position was a perfect place for him to rest his head.  Right now he's got his little bum pressed up beside me.  I know he'd like us to go for a walk or play ball but that seems a bit energetic as yet.  Another coffee and maybe some fried eggs with hash browns is the next order of business.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.
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