"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
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. ~
I love the in-between time between Christmas & New Years, out for a walk, tai chi & coffee, this time of reflection
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. ~
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!
great blue heron
- Chuck Brickley
My heavens to murgatroyd philosophy: If I were to exit stage left tomorrow would I want to be doing what I'm doing today?
"The minute you begin to do what you want, it's a different kind of life." Buckminster Fuller
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.
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.
Things I've Seen Float By
- A skiff with a man at the oars and a woman playing accordion
- A heart shaped rose petal
- My neighbor's houseboat being towed out for a bottom job
- A whiskery seal
- A man standing on a paddle board with a dog on the front
- Garden clippings
- A seagull
- A seaplane
- A beer can
- The month of October
Maybe our world will grow kinder eventually.
Maybe the desire to make something beautiful
is the piece of God that is inside each of us.
- Mary Oliver, Blue Horses
Peace Corps memory: a sunset on Lake Atitlan, people drawn towards the shore, alone and in pairs, silently sharing the beauty & wonder of light on the water & across the sky.
Early this morning as the sun rose across the bay I went to the roof and beheld the glow, saw neighbors on their decks, on their roofs sharing in the silent wonder of beauty, the golden joy of light ~
Winning post by Linda Saldaña
Walking the planks, shadows and light catch my eye and stop me in my tracks for a moment of wonder.
I was reading Facebook, checking email, looking for my morning writer's almanac poem, cup of coffee in one hand and a cat in my lap, having already seen Tu off to her early morning shift at Driver's.
A text came in: The sun right now!
Off went the cat and the mac. I climbed the stairs and beheld this, sharing the wonder with two early risers on the dock below.