Afloat On The Bay of Wonder

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"Every human person is inevitably involved with two worlds: the world they carry within them and the world that is out there. All thinking, all writing, all action, all creation and all destruction is about that bridge between the two worlds. All thought is about putting a face on experience… One of the most exciting and energetic forms of thought is the question. I always think that the question is like a lantern. It illuminates new landscapes and new areas as it moves. Therefore, the question always assumes that there are many different dimensions to a thought that you are either blind to or that are not available to you. So a question is really one of the forms in which wonder expresses itself. One of the reasons that we wonder is because we are limited, and that limitation is one of the great gateways to wonder."  - John O'Donohue

Blue Man

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     The narrow path of pine needles and smooth pebbles led to the shore of a green pond whose surface reflected the gently moving shapes of boats on the pier. Savoy walked carefully towards the water. An old man whom he had seen many times smoked near the water's edge. He wore a kerchief on his head, one hand tucked into the pocket of his denim jacket. Savoy thought of him as blue — his kerchief, his jacket, his jeans . . . the trail of smoke.  For the first time ever, he said hello.

     The blue man nodded, his smile kind, his eyes blue. Savoy walked along the shore respecting solitude. But also putting distance between himself and the smoke — unmistakably weed, which had once held a significant place in his life, some would say too significant, long ago.

     A lone duck floated in the water. Savoy watched as the current moved it away. Ripples captured him and he knew he could watch water all day. Across the pond Blue Man vanished. ~

The In-Between Time

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I love the in-between time between Christmas & New Years, out for a walk, tai chi & coffee, this time of reflection

I never see things straight on, as Emily Dickinson said, but at a slant. Or reflection.  Which in my mind allows me to see what I see with space for imagination and perspective. I think it might be how we all pretty much see things anyway, and I love doing  this while knowing I’m doing this. It’s an interesting way of looking at things but these days it’s the only way for me. Marvelous. I see no separation between art and life.

I never see things straight on, as Emily Dickinson said, but at a slant. Or reflection.  Which in my mind allows me to see what I see with space for imagination and perspective. I think it might be how we all pretty much see things anyway, and I love doing  this while knowing I’m doing this. It’s an interesting way of looking at things but these days it’s the only way for me. Marvelous. I see no separation between art and life.

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I'm A Believer

photo by Dennis Bayer

photo by Dennis Bayer

Every year our neighbor across the channel Blaze Nash lights up her tug Otto and serenades the docks with her friends who play lovely Christmas songs and sing so beautifully. Floating Carols. It's an extraordinary waterfront experience.  Wondrous. ~

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Apparently Santa fell into the drink shortly after this was taken. Ever cheerful, he laughed he climbed back aboard, tightened his belt, and Iaughed it off.  I wondered what was in his flask ~

Apparently Santa fell into the drink shortly after this was taken. Ever cheerful, he laughed he climbed back aboard, tightened his belt, and Iaughed it off.  I wondered what was in his flask ~

Out For A Walk At Low Tide

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I'm delighted to discover the nautical origins of words and phrases we commonly use and rely on. 'To tide me over' is from the days when a sailor or fisherman ashore needed to borrow some money until the tide came in and his ship could go to sea and he could earn some posh. My friend Neil, Ordinary Seaman, sent me this:

"Don't know why but made a list of all the nautical words that I could think of that are preceded by an a.

   Thought you might get something out of the muse.

    If I could send along a smell to accompany these words it would be the unmistakable odor that exists in all bosun's lockers. I remember it as :

     Marlin ( a tarry twine used for binding splices )  mixed with a hint of mold, and a dash of turpentine. 

Like pine needles baking in the sun ...one whiff and I find it splits my consciousness ...I'm in the past and the present simultaneously.

Aweigh.... as in anchor.; Alow ...work on deck; Aloft ...working in the rigging; Ahead...;

Abeam....A line drawn perpendicular to the keel from midships; Abaft......anything  aft of that line

Astern...; Aback ....sails blown back against the spars; Athwawrtship ...perpendicular to the line of the keel ; Alee ...anything not to windward; Avast ...stop what your doing ; Adrift; Aground; Ashore; Awash; Ahull....to take down all sails and drift with the prevailing winds; Aboard; About...to turn , as in come about; Rudder commands: Hard a-starboard, Hard a-port, Rudder a-midships."

~

 To which I humbly added one of my favorites: Ahoy!

Just the other day the  smell from  someone’s fireplace, took me back to Peace Corps, Guatemala, Ciudad Vieja, black beans and scrambles eggs (beans with eggs??!) 1981. Aqua and Fuego— the hot volcano, loomed over the town.   Ahoy, memory, long forgotten friend!

 

 

 

So Much To See

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This morning driving back to the docks from across the bridge I was thinking of that Mary Oliver  line about her job in this life is to be dazzled. I love that.

I remember a friend visited and was blown away by our life on the water. She asked how I ever got any work done around here. I said, well I just make it my work.

Job requirement: ability to be dazzled. Love that. And it’s enough. Simple is usually best. Yesterday over coffee a friend said I was one of those people who writes everyday and I was thinking sometimes it’s because I have to write.

This morning I thought, actually, it’s because I get to write.

Cap'n Orange

Cap'n Orange

a picture of hope 

a picture of hope 

This Morning

photo by Dennis Bayer

photo by Dennis Bayer

This morning I made the coffee, fed the cats, watered the plants

Went up to the roof, took 10 deep breaths, practiced qigong, tai chi

and watched the golden sunrise grow milky white.

Downstairs I read Mary Oliver with Capt. Orange purring in

my lap, with some Bukowski chaser, typed these words

sitting in the brown leather chair, the Mac balanced on

the leather arm because it’s the cat who's the laptop.

These mornings before 7:00 fill my day. They say

breakfast is the most important meal. I haven’t

had a bite, but I feel full.

Window Hunter

We lived on 2 acres with a pond. Pierre had the run of the apple orchard, quite the dainty killer back then. Now he's a houseboat kitty and prowls the roof and decks and rooms afloat. This morning a gull flew  below the long window where Pierre  relaxed in his favorite post following an exhaustive breakfast and instantly the old hunter went into his crouch. Old instincts never die. The gull perched on our piling, surveying the channel. I watched and wrote. Better for all that way.

We lived on 2 acres with a pond. Pierre had the run of the apple orchard, quite the dainty killer back then. Now he's a houseboat kitty and prowls the roof and decks and rooms afloat. This morning a gull flew  below the long window where Pierre  relaxed in his favorite post following an exhaustive breakfast and instantly the old hunter went into his crouch. Old instincts never die. The gull perched on our piling, surveying the channel. I watched and wrote. Better for all that way.

Followed mermaid's call: Please feed cat.

Winning post by Linda Saldaña

Congratulations to Linda Saldana, winner of the  "Six Word Story Contest" based on the above photograph. And thanks to everyone who participated. It was a pleasure to read your words and see where your imaginations took us.  As my friend Ken Rodgers said, " Carumba!"

Congratulations to Linda Saldana, winner of the  "Six Word Story Contest" based on the above photograph. And thanks to everyone who participated. It was a pleasure to read your words and see where your imaginations took us.  As my friend Ken Rodgers said, " Carumba!"

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“I don’t use people I know at all. I really value the shorthand, the compression of suggesting a whole life while actually having to render up very little of it. I feel tired of exposition and backstory; the more you can suggest without spelling out, the more you can encompass in the same space. Fiction writing is always about compression and suggestion.” - Jennifer Egan, The Goon Squad

“I don’t use people I know at all. I really value the shorthand, the compression of suggesting a whole life while actually having to render up very little of it. I feel tired of exposition and backstory; the more you can suggest without spelling out, the more you can encompass in the same space. Fiction writing is always about compression and suggestion.” - Jennifer Egan, The Goon Squad

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Walking the planks, shadows and light catch my eye and stop me in my tracks for a moment of wonder.

Ashtray Stories

I was reading about complementary colors and how they are opposites and it made me think of Chekov's remark - you can write a story about anything, you can write a story about that ashtray for example, as long as it has a north and south pole, a he and a she. I love learning, reaffirming, making discoveries about writing while studying other art, other crafts, and of course, while observing nature herself.

I was reading about complementary colors and how they are opposites and it made me think of Chekov's remark - you can write a story about anything, you can write a story about that ashtray for example, as long as it has a north and south pole, a he and a she. I love learning, reaffirming, making discoveries about writing while studying other art, other crafts, and of course, while observing nature herself.