My friend Neil is a man of the sea. He is teaching us a few knots which I find both practical and metaphoric. They help to hold valuables fast, to connect two lines as one, to keep us safe in our harbor. And when the time comes they allow for quick release. They are an ancient technology, a beautiful art form. This week Phyllis and I began each morning drinking coffee and practicing our bowlines. Next week, it's on to the clove hitch!