30 June, 2005

Leaving Orcas today.
Heading to Bellingham to meet Widge and Jamie for a little trip into the mountains.
Can't wait.

My bike was "accidently", "borrowed without permission" by "persons unknown" last night.
Let us pray for its speedy and safe return.
And I hope it bore its rider safely and to good fortune. (though, not monetarily, I hope)

It is missed. We have bonded recently. We had an understanding.
What will be will be.

27 June, 2005

Still dragging myself out of my little pit.
It feels slow.
I still read a lot. I am always on my ass, reading, writing, or / and constantly eating.
I think I am addicted to food. I eat for pleasure, not necessarily for appetite. Something I need to deal with I reckon.

I am now exercising daily. I ride my bike up and down, up and down. Two days ago I rode up Mt Constitution. It took about 1:45 to get to the top.
It felt great to really work for something, really push.
The downhill was spectacular. Glad to have a helmet.

I am really alone here.
I am really ready to leave. My nose is fine. A few errands and a change in weather and I will be gone.
Such a nice place though, so sleepy. I think it may have done me a great service.

Tomorrow, I hope to wake up and ride to Doe Bay, about 16 miles. Take a sauna, shower, relax a little, then ride home.
That will be my last real affair on the island.

Then where to? Roche Harbor I guess. Or Friday Harbor.
Something like this. Away......

25 June, 2005

Is my journal messed up, or is it just me????

All is great, but I busted a huge whoopping hole in my nose practicing Capuera, a Brazilian mix of fighting and dancing.
It bled for 6 HOURS !! The bastard! I could probably use a couple of stitches, but I'd have to take the ferry over to Anacortes to get them.
I think it will be fine. A little iodine can fix anything.

23 June, 2005

I have lost all track of what has and has not been written, what has been published or otherwise, but I have had a remarkable week. Peace.
Finally I have taken the time to sleep, read, and recover. I am a new man.

I fasted for four days. No food. Only water. I found the clarity to work out my problems.
My goodness, I feel so good. I just started taking food again today. It will take another day before my body is really feeling energized, but my spirit has been soaring the whole time.
Strange that hunger was never a real issue, only fatigue.

I am re-centered again. I figure now that I’ve been off since this Christmas, a slow slide. I was only partly aware of how “not happy” I really was. It wasn’t so bad, but not my normal self.

Now I feel so lucky that I have been so happy so long. This time really offers me perspective.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was depressed, but now I know how lack of discipline can effect daily routines, how these routines promote health. When these get disturbed, you get lazy and routine becomes more and more difficult, until everything becomes difficult. This is being de-centered. All of a sudden you are looking outward for support, and not inward. Outer validation and not inner.
It’s a mess.
More learning for me, indeed.
This week has been very important. Hopefully now I will be able to do the work that is coming.
I hope to leave Orcas soon, as soon as my strength is back and the wind is right.
Then explore.
A Political-Global Rant on Negative Realities

The globe is heating up, hotter and hotter by the day.
The seas are rising.
The icecaps melting, islands shrinking.

Diseases spread; we name new disorders by the day and prescribe new treatments,
With little talk or thought as to the cause.
Our elderly take dozens of pills, struggling both to afford them and to organize them.

Our homes are breaking apart due to divorce and inattention.
People growing apart; people becoming bored, screwing a stranger for the thrill of the forbidden. Where else is there a possibility of excitement??

Men’s penises are shrinking, the sperm counts dropping, as much as 50% in the past four generations.
Soon, natural conception will start to decrease.

Our country is tearing apart, first fraying at the edges, and now ripping through at the seams.
Our government has been corrupted.
Our democracy aborted.
The media bought, and the propaganda believed.

We, the nation of consumers, are we consuming our own death?
We seem to be sipping the poison that we have ourselves brewed.
It is no mere metaphor.

Our diets of processed, denatured foods have weakened our bodies’ systems.
Our mass production and manufacturing have poisoned our environment, which then grows and nurtures the food we consume.
The same pollutants with which we fill the environment, we fill ourselves.
Many of these toxins resemble estrogen, and attach themselves to the male reproductive system, shrinking penis size and reducing sperm counts.
Others promote cancers and disease, such as the proliferation of asthma.

Our lack of diet consiousness has led our nation, headlong into obeisity, hypoglycemia, diabetes, even alcoholism (also related to protein-sugar imbalance.)

We are out of balance; we are off center.
We have been lulled into a laziness on all levels by opulence and excess, convenience and wealth.

The world, as we have long known it is coming to an end.
The foundation of our present capitalistic system, namely oil, will be depleted soon. The prices have already risen, will not fall again, but will rise continually.
How is our economy to adapt??
The American government will itself not recover from the neoconservative coup of the 2000 election.
It is now the siphon of the rich and powerful, sucking what wealth they can from the world while they have the armed forces to defend them.

China will rise, as will India. They are the hungry ones, as we were during the wars. They are still willing to work, willing to pay attention to what is going on, see it, listen and smell.
They still are willing to work for something better. We prefer the status-quo, which is a shame and itself crumbling. And we work damn hard for it.
Over the last thirty years the wealthy have increased in wealth many times over, while the average American has simply maintained—meanwhile the cost of living has risen around him.
What happened to the old American Ideal of the wage-earner and the stay-at-home-mom?
Forget feminism, it is no longer a fiscal posibility.

The planet’s systems are changing to the new climate, but can we change as well?
We have artificial insemination—so hopefully we won’t go extinct.
Can technology re-invent the wheel, the car wheel, the SUV wheel?

Soon, America will be a poor, or atleast averagely wealthy country again.
In many ways we already are. We buy our luxuries at an incredible price:
We work all the time.
We are unhealthy due to stress, dissatisfaction, no exercise, and terrible diet.
Our marriages are failing, our homes breaking.
Our country is splitting, our armies stretched thin with our children fighting for causes that they cannot discern.
Patriotism has become akin to faith in god invisible but fearful.
We have forgotten what it means to be alive.

Haven’t we all read the novels: Orwell’s 1984, Animal House, Fahrenheit 451, Huxley’s A Brave New World, Lowry’s The Giver??
Isn’t there an eerie reality behind all this fiction?
Can’t we draw the parallels, then jolt back, shocked at the face we find in the mirror—
It is our face, our world—not some fancy.
They have manifested. The authors, like oracles, divined the direction of the future.
It was then already clear. And yet, today, people can not see it just in front of their noses.

What of our children, for those of us who can still have children?
We are bringing them into a world polluted, with polluted fragile bodies themselves.
The world is divided along religious lines, the extremists on both side mirroring the other, blind to their similarities.
America’s youth are becoming a cult of video games, fast food, designer drugs, and porn.
They have no parents and no role models.
The likelihood of building a healthy life in America is fading.

If ever the time was now! It is NOW!
Forget saving the world and save yourself.

There are still bastions of health out there. I found one in Port Townsend.
People share a dialogue on health. They know what it means to eat good food.
They eat organic, vegetarian, and local. –this of course, may mean nothing to you.
They value community and ACT on it.
They disallow national chain stores.
They nurture community festivals, events and the farmer’s market.
The government still responds to and represents the people.
People ride their bikes. There are nature trails for exercise and solitude.

People share.
They don’t buy into the consumerism and greed of our pop culture.
We don’t care about nice cars here, but big vegetables.
People share land, share lawnmowers, washing machines, saunas.
Things become more affordable when shared, less money is required to live happily,
Less money less work, less work more time with family or friends or travel or whateverthehell makes you happy.
Isn’t this what we all are supposedly doing??

We have gotten lost.
By doing so we have endangered all of our race.
Global environmental problems are not a national matter.
Coca-Cola and McDonalds and western lifestyle have spread and encouraged every corner of the world.
We are not the only people who seek luxury after all, we simply are the ones who found it.
And we are therefore responsible for the results.
It is our government staining the sand with blood.
It is our consumption of fossil fuels which is depleting the wells.
It is our fertilizers and pesticides which are toxifying our foods.
And on and on.

It is over for us. Invest in China.
Find a more innocent place. That is, if you understand. Most of us don’t.
Most of us are hobbits, disbelievers: “It couldn’t happen to us, only ‘the other guy’”
That is a cult of ignorance. We always are the “other guy” as much as we are ourselves.
OUR government is becoming fascist.
OUR economy is in trouble.
OUR bodies are sick…………………on and on.

How will you take it?
How do we proceed?

I am taking, for me, a convenient course of action: Exile.
I refuse to pay money to a government getting rich by war, deceit, and pollution.
I can’t support something I don’t believe in.
Being a sailor, it is not a difficult decision, so I won’t make a point of it. It was much more becoming of Thoreau when he went to jail for a bit for his “Civil Disobedience”.
I am not so fortunate, or unfortunate.
But, all the same, I remain true to my ethics and that is the important thing.

I do not buy bad food.
I eat local.
I support local businesses. I don’t create excessive waste. I use a minimum of fossil fuels.
I have no car. I sail, row, walk, or bike. (I have a diesel engine and a dinghy outboard, but us neither unless necessary.)

I consume air and food.
I can serve and participate in a community through teaching and sharing.
I am coming closer to a balance.
As for now, I am still dependant of American dollars in an American bank.
I don’t know if I shall ever break free—or whether I should.
I am an American. I always will be.
But right now I oppose my government and I lament our collective inability to effect change.
In this, I am disheartened and disillusioned.
Bummed out and some terrible writing

To regain my senses:

-sauna at Doe Bay
-fast for the solstice. 3-4 days. Water only.
Meditate, write letters, read, write, occational boat work: climb mast, clean engine.
-daily exercise
-more diet conscious.
-find a routine, a daily schedule to follow: wake up, stretch, food, pushups, ect, read, work.

Need more goals, short term goals.

I feel aimless, meaningless. What the hell am I living for? What am I learning? I’ve lost the string.

I’ve lost the string. Ariadne’s silver thread, that line that has always guided me. Where is it now. I dropped it. It slipped from the fingers of poor form. I stopped exercising, I lost all routine. I externalized my needs. In short, I lost my center. Without a center there is no balance to work from. One loses their way.
Yet somehow I was slow in realizing my deviation. I slowly lost initiative. I became lazy and lacked the motivation to do the things necessary to stay healthy. Soon I began fixating on external sources of gratification—women. I felt I needed comfort and validation, but what I failed to see was that I needed validation because I was no longer able to receive it from myself. I was in a slow slide, too slow to notice on a day to day observation.

How serious? I don’t know. How can one say? I only know I see now. I have halted the downward slide. Now begins, or has begun, the upward turn. I went for an incredible bike-run today: an hour ride up a windy steep mountain road to Mountain Lake, a four mile run around the lake, then the bike ride home.
Tomorrow I shall start a three to four day fast. Cleanse my system. All the toxins and stress need to be washed away with the change of the length of day. I need to go to Doe Bay once or twice and sweat in the sauna there to further my cleansing.
Once the fasting, sweating have passed I will find a routine for exercising on the boat: pull-ups on the companionway, pushups on the bow, stretching, squats, capuera on the dock, ect. Rowing.
I need to eat fruit and healthy food again, but also experiment and stay satisfied.

Next, I need to make a plan for the summer. What do I want to accomplish before the Fall? What learning do I still need? What do I need to fulfill before leaving Port Townsend, to feel good about my time here?

20 June, 2005

Hey, I'm "getting my shit together" so to speak.

This is great. Finally I am on the upswing. The pendulum has passed. I'll learning lots of things about myself and what I need.
I realize how lucky I've been for so long.

I've learned what I've lost in the past eight months or so: Routine, daily exercise, --in short, a degree of discipline.
I allowed myself to immerse myself too fully in my work. Few breaks. Few distractions. But slowly, I became de-centered. The things that once glued my life together began to unravel.

I didn't notice for a while. Or, maybe I did, but I let it go. Then it was too hard to overcome, and I didn't know exactly what was happening any more.
Usually, I am centered, self-contend. But more recently I have been needy, looking outwardly for validation, company, and happiness. I didn't see the connection until yesterday.

Now I am coming back. I am finding a new routine for my new marine life. Right now I am fasting to cleanse the insides and my spirit. I am breathing and focusing and paying attension to who I am, was, and will become.
This has been most educational. Be de-centered is a debilitating and tiresome condition. And now I know where I am and how I got here. Now I can move forward.
I have to have more discipline with my diet. I need to find means of exercise daily. I need time in the woods and time alone (not a problem here).

I can already feel my former vitality returning. My thoughts are more self-oriented and balanced.
I need also clear short term goals. That is another key. Basically, I need to live by the same methodology as I used in University: utilize a "to-do" list. Everyday. Aim at something. Do it.

And then allow for rest and reflection.

Life is great. Orcas is so so beautiful.

14 June, 2005

A First Long Night of Many More to Come

Perhaps it was around four in the afternoon. A calm day, a little blustery southerly breeze, blue skies and sunshine. I was sitting down below reading a Rushdie novel. My boat softly rocked to the southerly swell. I was tied well to a mooring buoy in the northern bay of East Sound. This being the exact spot where I went aground two months ago, due to mooring ball failure, a rare thing, I thought it propitious to also drop an anchor over the side as well—just in case, fate being what it is. I am a lover of redundancy in general.
From the county dock not more than fifty yards, perhaps less, a heard a faint voice. I went on deck and I saw a man calling to me. On asking him to repeat himself, though I heard him the first time, I learned that he was asking me to move my boat. He claimed the mooring was his and he had company coming that evening to use it. It certainly wasn’t my mooring, and it was unmarked, so I found myself in no position to argue.
The wind was now blowing a more consistent ten – twelve knots. I had rocks around on all sides. I had always been a bit skeptical of this place as an anchorage, but I had a boat next door for a few days, just next to the mooring, and they weathered out some good blows, from both the north and south no less. So I figured it safe to take their spot. The only question was its proximity to a small island just to the lee of the spot. Perhaps I could stay just to the side of it.

I weighed my kedge (secondary) anchor and cranked the engine. (How wonderful it is to have an engine that will actually start reasonably again—hurray for the old Farymann.) I was double-tied to the mooring as well (redundancy on top of redundancy—I am wary of this anchorage, I tell you). With a little throttle, I blew the last knot and start motoring forward and a bit to the starboard, which was west, into the wind.
I had tried to visualize in advance where exactly I should be when I dropped. I had taken reference marks on surrounding rocks and trees and the dock in particular. When I reached where I thought I should be, I idled back the engine, put her in neutral and went forward to the bow. I needed to wait till my forward momentum had stopped before I hove the anchor over the side. As we started a drift back, northwards, I started panning out the chain, fifty, one-hundred, one-twenty-five to start. I let it set.
Seeing how the wind wasn’t blowing so hard I decided to back down on it to test just how firmly set it was. But how hard? I realized there was a fair bit I didn’t know about anchoring. Till now, I’ve been mostly a harbor resident. Anchoring is the most important part of the sailing business—where most accidents actually occur. It frustrates me that the standard for anchoring is one good anchor off the bow. In mountaineering, one anchor is never suitable (with the exception of extreme circumstances). Redundancy is the rule. This is the margin of error that keeps a climber alive. In sailing, it is still the rule, but less often the case in practice. Throwing two anchors can be a chore. On a mountain when an anchor fails, you die. When sailing, you simply run aground. Not the same.
As I slowly increased the throttle in reverse, sure enough, I hear the chain pop and we start to move astern. The anchor had tripped. But it wasn’t long before it dug in again and this time in earnest. I may not have given full throttle, but I gave it a good little tug. Satisfied, I sat and made land sights to mark my position. I also marked it on the gps and set a drag alarm. So long as the gps was on, if I traveled more than 55 ft, it would set off an alarm to announce our potential drag (or swing).

In part due to the newness of the skill, its importance, and the ominousness of my location—I was feeling wary about my situation. The wind picked up a bit more as I watched for any drag. We were set well. I went below and started reading up again in my books about anchoring.
The reading, though sparse, verified my concerns about my anchorage, essentially an open horseshoe opening toward the south. With a south wind, like I was experiencing, the bay had miles of open water in which to generate a good swell. The wind and swell had open passage to blow me on to the rocky shore behind me, as it had done two months ago. A northerly wind would be a different story—the harbor would then be somewhat protected, no swell, and only open water behind to drift safely if blown off your anchor.
Also, I didn’t know much about the bottom. All I knew that someone else had safely anchored here. Not much. So I had no problem with throwing my kedge anchor over the side as well.
We laid well all evening in a soft breeze.

I awoke at about one-thirty a.m. and heard that familiar howling noice. The boat was rocking firmly now. As I came to, I recognized that the weather had gone for the worse. I dressed and pulled on my slickers. On deck the wind was howling at about twenty to twenty-five knots, the seas running like white maned horses. The anchor snubber line was stretched taught. The swell wasn’t helping any as we were blown from side to side. According to my landmarks, the ones that I could still actually see, we had moved, but only a bit, and I felt sure it was due to the increased tension on the chain.
The night looked all to eerily familiar to one I had experienced here two months past. That night I had gone to sleep and trusted all to a untested mooring. Not tonight. I refused to go back to that beach. I would take ever precaution availible to me. I went forward and panned out what I had left of my two-hundred feet of chain (In twenty feet of water, that was a 10:1 ratio—pretty good). I tensioned and set by hand the kedge anchor to take a bit of the load.
What would I do if we did drag? Would I sit with my motor running all night slowly de-stressing the anchors? Would I leave altogether? Would I reset them farther from the rocks of the shore?
I won’t drag both anchors, I thought. No way. It wasn’t blowing that hard. It was blowing up to thirty knots, I think, a good blow. But I will surely see much, much worse. But anchoring is all about feel and experience, knowing how a set feels and how a boats sits on it anchor. This comes with time.
I had all the controls on so I could start the engine in an instant. I had to question my engine: it is only a eight horsepower. It really isn’t strong enough to motor into weather like that. My anchors needed to hold. If they didn’t I’d drop my ”tank”—my big storm anchor.

And so I sat. I sat on deck for an hour or so. I watched the gps. I went below and ate some leftovers. I checked for chafe on my lines. All was well. It wasn’t long before the sky began to get light. I knew it wouldn’t be long after that the wind would ease. I laid down and listened and thought. I slowly became more and more comfortable. She was fine. She would make it. The winds started to ease. The gusts lost a little of their sap. I napped and then would look out. The sun started to rise.
The winds continued into the morning but only at a part of what they had been. I went to the bunk in earnest.

I reawoke later in the day to some beautiful gusty weather. I was psyched about being on anchor. This is how it will be from here out. It is the anchor I have to trust and love, not some random mooring. This was how it needed to be.
Who ever was supposed to come and use the mooring never showed up anyhow.

13 June, 2005

A Brief Sketch of the Folklife Music Festival (part 1)
What I Should Have Said. (part 2)


From Hungry, Bolgaria, Russia, from east Africa, Equator, Brazil, Japan, Nepal, Lebanon. There, and so many other places. People from all the world over.
The festival is annually held at the Seattle Center, the site of the Space Needle. It is a sprawling complex, not so different from a big university: grassy ampitheatres and lawns, lecture halls and venues—a great circle with a fountain in the middle. But it is more a college campus with a resident carnival. There are also rides: a roller coaster, fastly spinning contraptions and gazebos with games and prizes.
People fill every patch of grass, each bench and ledge and rail. Young couples with two-year olds, old bearded men carrying mandolins, punk kids, robed Africans. Venues and stages spread throughout the complex, large stages for the larger attractions, rooms for Baltic dance instruction. These were all listed in the flyer I picked up at the gate. But what is written about are the two little girls playing violins here, the man in black up on stilts playing the Empire Strikes Back theme on his bagpipe, the barefoot three piece band, all in overalls, playing a black guitar, a washboard, and a washtub bass—and they drew a croud. Each had an open case to collect donations.
Everywhere people carried instruments. People sat and listened to the staged performers, people gathered around the sidewalk shows—all were the same.
The drums were particularly strong. Many great African players. Djembes, dun-beks, congas, talking drums, ashikas—on and on. There was a drum circle around a band that had as many as forty drums. The circle filled with young people, shedding their control and their clothes, losing themselves in the dance that feels like a heart pulsing.
A man from Port Townsend organized a band to set a world record for the largest harmonica band. The former record was eight-hundred. The record was crushed. In a great big grassy field, sixteen-hundred folk from Seattle and the world played “Twinkle, twinkle, little Star, how I wonder where you are.” A stirring moment that. I forgot my harmonica; what a shame.
A teenager from Panama taught me some steps for samba as we listened to a great Brazilian band on the main stage. I taught a Mexican how to dance to bluegrass—which is not a salsa—which was her inclination.
After the last show of the night, we stopped at a hookah bar to relax and take in the experience. We smoked some sort of cherry or apple tobacco out of a tall eastern hookah. At the table next to us sat a merry group of ladies from east Africa. A man would beat on the table like a drum and the women would sing out a song. They could never finish it however. After a minute or so they would break out into laughter and make this chattering noise with their tongues against the roofs of their mouths: “ne ne ne ne”—no, that’s not it. All I can hear now is their laughter. It was so infectious. They went on like this for an hour. I haven’t a clue as to how many various songs those women knew to carry on for so long. I clapped along and enjoyed their merrymaking as much as anything else that day.

What I should have Said

A Manifest of Emotions and Well-being

This spring has been strangely trying on my emotions. I really haven’t been able to get a good hold on them or understand what it is I have been feeling. I have felt confusion, mood swings, stress, lassitude, frustration. Why?
This lifestyle is so new and different; I myself have changed in so many ways, have had to make so many allowances, have needed to come to terms with new realities. I have had very little solid foundation to rest upon when I found myself worn out and exhausted. I am trying to build upon my dreams, upon myself—but still these things themselves are in ever flux. Who am I? What is my dream?

I know I want to work hard so I can accomplish something special, meaningful, beautiful. This is who I am. I will sacrifice all to serve this end. But the path to this end is often a mirage, a faint, a dead end. It is at the terminus of these dark, sad corridors where I have to summon the courage to turn around and start again.
I also am one who prizes all beauty above all things. Beauty is the only end in and of itself. Things are ultimately judged by their pure beauty. Love is beautiful itself and is nurtured by beautiful things. My goal in life is to fill my world with beauty and thereby love all things around me. The most beautiful life I can imagine is the one of accomplishing something of supreme beauty—this is my dream.

And what is this dream, this dream I try to follow with my conscious footsteps? It is alive and daily changes. It is constantly updating itself with the constant learning of experience and time. I feel that the more one understands anything, the more beauty he can find there. All hatred and dislike stem from misunderstanding. I don’t doubt many disagree with me here, but, for me at least, it is an absolute certainty. There is nothing I understand that I dislike, nothing that I dislike that isn’t vague or veiled.
So my dream in general is universal demystification. I want to learn something about as many things as I can encounter in the world starting with the self: inner to the outer. I want omniscience; this way I can love everything. First learn to love the self, then the world. By loving everything I can serve most effectively; by serving I can create beauty; by creating beauty I can further love myself and all things.
The best teacher for me is travel. The world is constantly changing, people constantly changing. Nothing remains in stasis. I have to be constantly aware, alert. This also serves my personality. I have a short attention span, learn quickly on the onset, then tire and become distracted. Travel keeps me at my peak. Travel is the only way to gain global experience. You can start understanding the difference between the “cultural” and the “universal.” You start to see the bearth of human experience in a way that you can’t ascertain from literature or the National Geographic Channel. Travel is fundamental.
Sailing is the mode. A sailor is only comparable to a mountain man—he must be a master of numerous trades and skills. He is an artist manipulating each of the various strings of his own existence. It is a marvelous thing. You could spend a lifetime learning but one of score of trades that a sailor has knowledge of. But, for this reason, the sailor is entitled an independence, self-sufficiency, and freedom second to few if any.
This knowledge is the same that grants one the self-understanding that leads to self-love. You learn what it means to be alive, what is needed and what is superfluous. Separating yourself from the structure of society shows true dimensions of your selfhood.
The dream is so far travel and sailing. I need also communion with nature and time in solitude. Nature is the sea but also still climbing and mountain exploration. I want to visit lands and bike along their roads and climb into their hills. This will offer me new sights and smells, but also keep my body healthy and whole. Spiritually, it can also become a ritual of supplication. At times I feel the need to offer myself up to the universe, but my body and life in a position of vulnerability to fate, to the elements, and see if I am fit or worthy to continue living in this manner. This communion my come in the form of a climb alone in the mountains or a storm at sea. I have always been allowed to come back, and doing so, I have always felt refreshed and cleansed; life is not a mere hologram; what I feel is real.
Yet there is more to life that an observance of it. One must create. I like to create smiles on other’s faces. I like to create relationships as vehicles for love and sharing of experience. I like writing and photography, ropework, music, and especially dancing. I like creation that isn’t involved with the conscious mind, but instantaneous, compulsive, passionate. Here lies the ultimate validation of the sanctity of love making in its highest form. It is at once the consummation of our deepest and most natural desires. It is self-fulfillment, but it is also our most earnest and heartfelt giving. Never will someone ever give so honestly, unabashedly and with such intensity and passion as when engaged in love with someone they love. It is the most wholesome worship of another being in the form of giving yourself wholly up to them. This, of course, is the ideal, but can and does see reality from time to time.
Another form of relationship is that of teacher and pupil. I hope to find the opportunity and passion to teach as I travel. It will offer me a positive place in the communities I visit and help offset the negative influences of tourism.

Now then.
This is what I am ever working toward. Years and years I’ve been marching toward these slow realizations. Years and years I’ve smiled in their slow realizations. So why now do I find myself troubled by seemingly minor confusions? Perhaps I am simply in a trough of the waves that flow through life, a natural up and down. I am down because people get down. But this doesn’t offer me much to learn from.
I am tired. I am tired of working all the time. I am critical of myself for not working harder. I am becoming comfortable in a community, making procrastination all the more appealing. (It is easy to work when you have nothing else to do.) Now I am hanging out regularly. It is fun, but at the same time, I don’t see it leading me to where I want to be going.
What is more, it is sexually frustrating. I have been flirting with closed doors. I then start questioning my behavior. It is going on nearly a year since I dated seriously. During the fall and winter this wasn’t a problem at all. I was surprisingly content. I was wrapped up in the time. But now those feelings for companionship have awakened. Why can’t I be happy alone? If I didn’t need women I would be totally content. But women bring me such happiness I can hardly describe. They are worth the discomfort in the end. The are beauty incarnate.
I haven’t been exercising enough, perhaps. My diet is still unstable. I haven’t been exactly where I want (in the boatyard as opposed to at sea). I’ve spent money because of it. I am hard on myself for spending money. (Vicious cycle.) It seems all my problems are vicious cycles: I love women: I am hard on myself for loving women. I love to work hard: you can’t always work hard, nor can you objectively be aware of how hard you are working, so I criticize myself for not doing better.

Amidst everything else, I am finding now that I am still insecure about my birth, the fortune I was given simply by being born with my name. I have a good family living in a strong country, imperialistic it may be. I was born healthy and then educated and loved. I’ve never been in want. I often work more out of a desire to work (a symbol of social stature) then out of need. To be blunt: I come from money.
This has been hard to accept. Six months ago I thought I had come to total acceptance on this natural reality. But now, in a lower point in life, I find it is creeping back into my insecurities. Everyone else around me works. Right now, I don’t have to. I work on my boat. I am not un-busy. Yet, somehow, through the influence of those around me, I feel like I should have a job.
This is socially influenced behavior and I know it. I should do what is right, not what those around me do. I am not them. My needs are different. If they were in my shoes they would do similarly and not feel a wink of guilt. Yet I don’t shoulder my fortune so easily. People compliment me on the work I have done, not mock me because I don’t have a job. In fact my good friends encourage me not to work if I can bare it—not the usual conformist “everyone has to fit-in” lingo I’m used to.

What I am afraid of is slowly deteriorating into lazy hedonism, letting my ambition and determination fade through slow decay, so slow I don’t notice but with hindsight. I am truly afraid. It would be so easy to be just another “yachty” sailing the seas, drinking stiff drinks in the shade, island to island, slowly becoming grey and ineffectual, incorporating more and more gadgetry to do his work for him. Hedonism can lead to a life of service, but is not a life of service in itself. It is an education and, at times, a vacation.
I am scared. A life of travel, adventure, and lovers is not enough—it would be a shallow enterprise. I would be a liar and a hypocrite if I were to undertake these things for the sake of pleasure and ease. The pleasure and happiness I gain from hedonism is validated by how I use the experiences to create something greater than myself. I must transcend.
But will I? Presently, my life is so good, all is so wonderful. I have full confidence in my own physical future—sailing, teaching, whatever else—it is this confidence that bares the seed of doubt. I am too comfortable, too sure of myself. I am prideful and pride is scary.
We are taught that pride is a mortal sin. But this is Christian ideology which, unfortunately is often self-serving. What does pride mean to me? I think it is often misunderstood and misrepresented. The one who most demonstrates pride does so because it is he who has none. His fearing that his inadequacy be obvious, he overcompensates with rash demonstrations of confidence. Conversely, those who appear most humble and self-effacing, I find are often the opposite. They are so sure of themselves and their paths that they need no external reinforcement whatsoever. Therefore they allow other people to have the last word or walk upon them, for they have nothing to prove and nothing to lose. Their self-esteem is not contingent on social factors.
Some people, of course, are the see-what-you-get variety. They are shy because the are unsure; they talk loud because they think they know. So what is the nature of my pride?? Did the pride of Oedipus blind him to his ominous fate? Should it have been otherwise?
Perhaps mine is the best: confidence with fear as its own balancing scale. With pride I have the ability to risk all things. My pride is love of myself—and this is an utter necessity; it is the ground of my being. Yes. I am damn proud to be who am I and to be doing what I am. I am fortunate beyond expression and am determined to utilize every resource at my disposal to build something magnificent.

One thing is undeniably true and sets me apart from the other “trustifarians” of the world: my undying allegiance is to the poor. I may have been born with the rich, but I will certainly die with the poor. In this knowledge I take refuge when I think myself weak because of my birth. My birth is beyond my control, but my heart is sound.

Do I feel any better about myself after writing this?? Have I re-explained myself to myself? Will all be right once I get back on the water and sail away from this wonderful place that I have perhaps become to comfortable in? Time, of course, reveals her secrets at her will. I still question what else I could be doing with my Saturday afternoon other than writing yet another manifesto in defense of myself. What a load or garbage!
My problem may be that I have difficulty accepting happiness and comfort now. I want to struggle forever until some marvelous epiphanic end, where I am happy all at once then I die. Isn’t this true creative vibrancy? I can’t come to terms with my own happiness. How strange!
No, right now my happiness is a mirage and an illusion. I am not self-sufficient yet. Not until I am can I truly relax and reap the pleasure of the lifestyle I have chosen. Now I am getting nearer to the mark. I need patience then. Wait, good friend. You are nearly there.
It is that I want it so bad. I want the world that I dream of and I am close, but I am still held up. The process is slow. But I have come a long way. I have grown along the way—it is coming true.

09 June, 2005

At Home on Orcas

A new life. Finally I am living aboard, afloat, and not paying moorage. I am moored in East Sound just off the shore were Christina's Restaurant and Vern's Tavern overlook the water southward.
I feel so relieved. All is different. The constant toil is now past. No more heavy bills from Admiralty Ship Supply or Henery's Hardware. Now it is subsistance living. Food is my only expense.
I'm taking a short-term part time job in Christina's Restaurant. I need a vacation from my vacation. (My vacation is wearing me out.) I'll work three days a week, all in a row, and sail and travel the other four. The money I'll make will help replenish what I spent int he last six weeks in boatyard.
Alsoworking and living here will have a grounding effect. When you are working on a boat it is nonstop, 24:7. It never goes away; you can't hide. There is no vacation.
Now I can afford to relax a bit. Now I am away from PT. I am away from "the scene" that was forming amongst me and the fellows heading south in the fall. It was fun, but it was confusing me. I "hung out" more than I felt I should. Somehow I was losing myself in it all, my direction, and my satisfaction. I haven't been myself.

I see now that the spring has been a real drain on me. I've been run over. My patience is low, my tolerance sensitive, and my attension short. I am far from a hundred percent. But now I feel I am on the up swing. Good things at last seem to be on the horizon.
This is about me again. What do I want and need? I have been so so distracted by women recently, sad as it is to admit. I haven't been able to get them out of my mind. Now I think I can do better.

So this is my new center for a while. Orcas Island. For a few weeks anyway. I am trying to get together a trip around Vancouver Island if I can manager some crew......

08 June, 2005

Orcas at last.....

Saw a humpback at the entrance to Boat Haven

04 June, 2005

Waiting for wind.
Where is the wind......
Maybe tomorrow......for Orcas.

Went sailing briefly yesterday. Great to be on the water again.
I'm stoked all over.

And, what's more, Jamie and Widge come down from Alaska in ONE WEEK.
I can't wait. She has a cousin on Orcas.
Widge will meet Grim.
What a union that will be.

03 June, 2005

The engine is aboard
What's more,
The engine is running
And if that weren't enough to make me ecstatic,
The engine is running great.

What a world.
Only, it turned back into winter today. Oh well.