Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sailing Disaster...

A few weeks ago my dad bought a 14 foot sailboat from a friend. He bought new ropes and cleaned it up nice and today I left work early so that we could sail it on the lake. By the time I got there, dad already had the boat in the water and the sail attached…rainbow of course!

We had difficulty getting the rudder into place and the wind was powerful. So I hurdled myself into the boat, he pushed it out and we might have gotten going if we actually knew how to sail. But for the next two hours we stayed in the cove…

Most of the time we spend on the rocks or painfully close to the waterfall. We almost caught some good wind…and the rudder was down but dad spend more time in the water as I learned the finer points of sailing from within the boat.

At one point, people from the shore were coaching us by yelling things…hahah…but we were too far away to hear.

Two guys in a little fishing boat came by to tug us in. But their boat started taking on water and flooded their boat and the battery that was powering the engine made contact with the water. In turn, that electrocuted the guy who was powering the motor as he held onto the side of the aluminum boat.

So, two boats stuck in the middle of the cove. We had to lend them a paddle so that they could make it in shore and dad swam the boat back in!

When we finally got the boat back to shore we put everything away and then it dawned on him….we forgot to put down the keel! My god…no wonder the damn thing had no direction. It caught wind but just kept going all over the place…

The keel is in the middle of the boat under the water. It’s responsible for giving the boat direction and balance….hahaha! We were all over the damn place.

Aside from the slice in my knee…and my exhausted dad (and the electrocuted man) the trip could have been so much worse.

We discussed the lessons learned over cheese burgers and a vanilla shake. Dad will take the boat out again with his brother and then with any luck we will sell it with a profit. Meanwhile I am sticking to kayaks (hopefully I will buy a river one this weekend).

So much for sailing! At least her sail was pretty.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Heart Awareness

About a year ago I had some trouble with my heart. I went to the doctor. They hooked me up to some monitors...things attached to my chest recording activity all day.

You see, my hear skipped beats. I felt it. It skipped beats at random moments. Just like I was in skipped like someone scared me. But I knew what was coming all the time.

So the cardiologist read the monitor and said it was inconclusive. She said that I what I probably have is called "cardiac awareness"

How poetic.

It means that I can feel my heart. It means that my heart is the same as everyone else, except that I FEEL mine more.

From what I understand, our heart can skip a beat and continue on as if nothing happened. Sometimes our heart beats in our chest and for no reason, all of a sudden, you can feel it.

This awareness, it can be alarming...and sometimes it even feels like I am wearing my heart on my sleeve. Which, if I look at my life in retrospect, maybe this is all fitting and metaphorical.

In reality, I prefer to simply live...and love...and not worry about those moments of self awareness/heart awareness and how that might affect me. For as much as I feel and strive for personal transparency, the ebb and flow of life will always cause the momentary skip of a beat.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Late Nights

Lately I've been going to bed with heavy thoughts and having strange dreams.

The other night I had a dream about vacationing in China. Which probably has something to do with the fact that I want to eventually work with people during crisis situations (ie. earthquakes).

Last night I had a dream about sleeping in my kayak. (Lighter subject matter than vacations in China).

Sleeping in kayaks probably has something to do with the fact that my kayak almost flew off the car yesterday in transit (note quiet chuckle). And now the kayak rests in a corner, covering part of a door because I couldn't get it up in the loft (the same loft I want to figure out how to sleep in during the winter which I know is a bit strange).

At any rate...I wake up from these strange dreams, sweating (because I still have my heavy blanket's almost summer) and feeling like I have slept a full night. But I can always convince myself to go back to sleep...and I do. I rarely have trouble sleeping.

I wonder what I will dream about tonight...probably fair labor practices of companies that make athletic apparel...or people who come back into one's life after a hiatus.

hmmmm meditation and bed.

Monday, May 26, 2008

We Evolve

I am currently reading a book by Henri Nouwen. It's cracking into me...hard core.

There is something about a sojourn that really gets to me. Maybe it's the familiarity of the spirit within...the journey...the comfortable/uncomfortable doubt. Or possibly just the sense that I am working on something...that I am forming and growing and being challenged. Maybe it's the reminder...the body check...

Damit...we evolve! And THANK GOD! As scary as it is to change at times, to rip the band aid off the fresh wound and wait for the scab to grow and to heal, our very nature is to evolve. Sometimes this evolution just forms and flows and sometimes it's provoked...out of necessity (Thank you for all those who have held me accountable...we are each others keepers).

So, back to the a prayer, Nouwen spoke about his fear and asked for courage...he wrote, "Is this going to be my chance to see my prison and escape it?"

He goes on to quote John Eudes. "This is a time of purification. A time to identify your ambiguous relationships and ambivalent attitudes, and to make some decisions and chose some directions."

That is where I am. It is so good to know that.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New England Life...

Those who know me have the understanding that my heart is often working out the things of life. Those who are close to me know what things I am working out.

As it so happens, my heart misses a life I once had but lives in anticipation of the present, searching for the moments that bring meaning. Recently I have been reminded, yet again, just why I am here at this place. I was reminded why I am in New England, my birthplace with all her beauty and puritan pride. Sometimes as a native of this strange land, I feel like a stranger. And there are other experiences that feel so comfortable and perfect.

Recently, the goose in my back yard had chicks. (Note: I also have ducks and a beaver but the beaver has been missing for a while). My geese, pictured above, are quite cute. And every morning I wake up and look out the window of my perfect apartment and look for my babies. I love them for so many reasons, but namely for what they represent; rebirth, which brings me to my next point.

My boss recently gave a speech about commitment and weathering the storm, at the end of the year banquet. He used a favorite Indigo Girls ballad called "The Wood Song" to illustrate his point.

As it so happens, this particular song has greater meaning to me than meets they eye. Now I believe that everything takes place for a reason...good and bad... painful and joyful. And so I leave you with the lyrics of this beautiful song to tie together the strings and even find the missing link of how it might bring wonder into our own life.

The Wood Song

the thin horizon of a plan is almost clear my friends and I have had a hard time bruising our brains hard up against change all the old dogs and the magician now I see we're in the boat in two by twos only the heart that we have for a tool we could use and the very close quarters are hard to get used to love weighs the hull down with its weight but the wood is tired and the wood is old and we'll make it fine if the weather holds but if the weather holds then we'll have missed the point that's were i need to go no way construction of this tricky plan was built by other than a greater hand with a love that passes all our understanding watching closely over the journey yeah but what it takes to cross the great divide seems more than all the courage i can muster up inside but we get to have some answers when we reach the other side the prize is always worth the rocky ride but the wood is tired and the wood is old and we'll make it fine if the weather holds but if the weather holds then we'll have missed the point that's where i need to go sometimes i ask to sneak a closer look skip to the final chapter of the book and maybe steer us clear from some of the pain that it took to get us where we are this far but the question drowns in its futility and even i have got to laugh at me cause no one gets to miss the storm of what will be just holding on for the ride the wood is tired the wood is old and we'll make it fine if the weather holds but if the weather holds then we'll have missed the point that's where i need to go

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

He's dying...

I said it for the first time yesterday and it meant that I had to admit it. It was true all of a sudden and now I can’t deny the reality anymore. No matter how many visits he has with the doctor or trips there are to the VA hospital for another procedure, the fact is, he is still dying.

Cancer…it’s taking over. Hospice comes to the house now. We’re hoping for a good summer. Last month we hoped for surgery.

It’s amazing how priorities change when you are dying and how some of the most mundane things in life stay the same just to remind you that there is still a breath within.

He reads books…has conversations (not thinking they could be his last)…goes to the grocery store…even does the laundry. The rest of us go about our day…maybe trying to forget.

For the sake of dignity…he will die with grace, surrounded by those he loves and I guess we can only hope that for each other.