FEB 16 2015
Tonight I made soup (it has gotten that cold – after the weekend’s scorching weather) and seeing it is, technically, a holiday (although there’s no such thing as a holiday for a self-un-employed writer) I am taking the evening off; not stressing about the many deadlines stacking up like jets into LAX, or Christmas shoppers outside of Walmart ...
Instead I’m unpacking and sifting through boxes of ‘stuff’ – a menagerie of treasures that have been stowed for years, moved from place to place, or hidden, dusty and sneeze-inducing, in storage.
Unearthed, after a couple of decades: a keepsake box with remembrances from Transpac 1993, ‘95 and ‘97. These were the days prior to sailmail and other satellite communications, so the only messages we had were the letters and cards I’d collect from the crews’ family and friends – and scatter in random ‘mail calls’ during the week(s). I sifted through letters, cards and pictures from friends, family, co-workers ... so many from my mother I was taken aback (including one of a naked man – REALLY taken aback by that one Mom!). Her love, and concern, were palpable: particularly since I left my little princess in her care. She must have thought I was nuts (well I know she thought so – she told me as much). So many cards from Coco – the first mere scribbles (1993) ... the outline of her little hands (1995) ... her 6-year-old scrawl saying ‘TRIM FOR SPEED’ (1997). From my Dad, two priceless letters, written on lined notebook paper, I can hardly read through tears. "Maybe it’s the mystery and attraction I had for airplanes and the sky that you inherited – but only for boats and the sea ..." that goes on, pleading us to be safe.
There was a dialogue between my two guardian angels, from my now deceased friend Rosalie. A note from Amanda reminding me to "hide the good stuff from the other watch and make sure you give them a really hard time." Another, from Bill (who introduced me to sailing) saying, “The only good thing about standing watch at 4AM is that dawn is coming soon, and there hasn’t been a bad sunrise yet. Every one is a reaffirmation of the beauty of life on this planet."
There were poems and jokes a cassette tape, and this excerpt from THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD, from my sister-in-law: "Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board for some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing, until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly."
Well surely I have not had my dreams mocked to death by Time.