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A reciprocal boat

Sometimes the boat NEEDS to sink, little miss willpower.  Sometimes it’s just time to release Her.

Boats are practical things that keep you afloat on water, carry what you need for a journey, bring back what you harvest.  They are all female.

Boats are dreams, freedoms, passions, yearnings. They are shared, protected, obvious solitudes.  In them you can aim yourself to the far horizon, traverse the foreign deep and sing the sky.  They cradle in a soft wind, scream in heavy weather.

Without exception, boats require maintenance. Care.

A reciprocal boat carries two, each with her baggage, each with his wounds which, if utilized correctly can transform into oars, a sail.  A tiller, a keel even, to stabilize a fragile idea in rough weather.  Ingenuity is required, shared goals, a willingness to do all the work made necessary by journey.  If one refuses to bail while the other catches the wind, forgets to balance the agreement of labour and care, well then there is no crew, and the boat, She knows it. If there’s no crew to attend to the moment, then eventually, inevitably, down She goes, in sad, sorry relief.

That one sank four years ago, on September 3, 2013. In the course of that time I’ve sung her Her to peace in honour of her ten years of service. Despite a poor crew.

There are fair weather boats, full of jolly shout and sun.  These are white white above but deep and heavy below with a labouring few who may never be seen.  These know Her engines, Her faults, Her upper deck requirements and tend them, cursing the dark.  Below the cursings, deeper still in the hull are dungeons where the scapegoats molder, banished for being born out of place.  Light above, heavy below, She knows full well she cannot be sustained, but grinds the tending souls to breaking point in any case, for the sake of Show.

One like that finally sank three years ago, in long, slow stages.  I watched her break apart and go under, still raging.

It was not beautiful, or poignant.

The boats still out there are better made; They need maintenance at dock, newer crew, so in They come, a float of dignity and good lines, for repair and Captains who understand the weather, yearn for the horizon.

Still others wait ready, clean holds full of nourishment and good sense.

Me, I’ve found safe harbour. Deeply grateful for the peace after the storms.  I repair, rebuild and absorb new information here, I check the shore for the next journey.

I’ll know Her when I see Her; we’ll sail when the wind is right.

 

 

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Colour Pages #3: inside blue

Blue is internal.

BookreadingRoofShadow

It’s the other side of sunlight, where solitude lives.

Demons also live there.  If you don’t make friends with the demons and fully acknowledge their right to live in the shadows, they grow malevolent.  Eventually, inevitably the malevolence comes to find you in the dark, biting.

East_KitchenBottlesWide
East

This is an excellent method for self-administered shock therapy, though it can be very dangerous.  The fallout is messy, often requiring years of clean-up.

Surrender
If you can imagine the colours of this painting inversed,  then you get a window into what was happening in my world while I painted it- some very serious shock-therapy at the time (two years ago now, and the cleanup is progressing nicely, thank you).

RoundTwo_Surrender_Inverted

A blue story might happen in the shadows under an overpass and never be told.  In a rich dream barely remembered in the morning, blue would be the awareness of vulnerability.  Blue is a difficult question left unasked, a knot of trauma buried in your body and waiting to be acknowledged.

It’s slippery and changeable, the blue of shadow, of vulnerable.  It beckons….what IS that in the corner?  under the bed, in the basement, in the closet…

from #Selfie (2014). inverse image of me on white indian cotton.
from #Selfie (2014). inverse image of me on white indian cotton.

But if you turn on the light, blue is gone.  It does not survive glare.

So, gentle blue.  Patient, kind, tender.  Blue of sadness just before sleep, when a small thing is remembered from the day and filed in a dream.  Blue of rich and enduring peace, as deep and calm as the ocean floor.  Restful blue, healing blue.

TotemFinal

The blue of silent, joyful, floating surrender, unwitnessed by anyone but yourself.   This is the blue that connects you in the most profoundly human way to everything else in the ecosystem you are an integral part of.

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This morning’s texture

The rain on our tin roof keeps me dreaming past the appointed 6 am, then 7am, and even the waking realization of this isn’t jarring.  Now coffee’d and downstairs beside the fire, I gaze out the window where the cat uncurls into a stretch.  It really should be snow, but the effect is the same:  a deep deep heartbeat of peacefulness as the cat re-curls herself.

a rock-wall on Lindenwood trail behind our house
rock

There is sociology study all over the couch and table in front of the fire – it sounds like paper flip, <sniff>, pen scratch, blanket shuffle, paper flip, <breathe, sigh>, paper flip, pen scribble, <clear throat>, fire crackle, woodstove click-click, ping (as it heats up again).  The old fridge – Hazel’s fridge – roars its fan over this, but even through that I hear the rain outside.  There it is, through the big window – straight down rain as steady and familiar and comforting as day following night, the North Star, Orion’s Belt, the Milky Way.  The grass outside glows green – drinking drinking.

same trail, glowing green
moss

In my head a radio is always playing on low volume – is everyone like this?  I don’t get to choose the playlist – it can be anything from an irritating pop song, a Brahms sonata to God Save the Queen (all versions).  Happily my radio selection is appropriate to the morning – Sting’s version of  Gabriel’s Message, performed in Durham Cathedral.

same trail, same day
oak

The simplest of things astonish me today, at 8:20am.  I think I’ve been altered on a cellular level by the movie Life of Pi .

I’ve seen it twice now, so those incredible Ang Lee / Yann Martel images are now imbedded in me, to my everlasting delight and wonder.

Happy Tuesday everyone.