I am sequestered at home these days. The cold November rain spatters down. A dull grey is as bright as the day will get. I’ve just posted my Remembrance Day blog and I’m not feeling especially brilliant myself. The doctor tells us that Jill’s recovery will be long and slow and that she is lucky to be alive. I’ve vowed to stand by her but I’m terrified of not having the courage to do this as long as she needs me. I’ve been the jut-jawed aviator and never feel as at home as when sailing a boat in heavy weather but this, this leaves me feeling wholly inadequate. Like all things in life, you deal with it one step at a time and then one day you emerge from the swamp, ground down but allegedly a better person. Yeah right!
Yesterday, before I’d had one sip, I managed to dump my entire coffee mug into my computer. It wasn’t as exciting as low-level aerobatics but there was certainly a rush of adrenaline. I was brutally confronted with the reality of how much of my life depends on this damned lap-top, something I love to preach against all the while I swim in that addiction fully immersed. Well, I blew, and sucked and dabbed and heated until I actually got a murmur of life in the old computador to the point of being able to write this blog. Humiliated and diminished I took the doglets and headed off for a circumnavigation of the local fish hatchery. There are usually a few nice dogs with nice people in tow and one comes home feeling affirmed and uplifted. The salmon are spawning and there are bus-loads of junior school kids hearding around the streams and ponds. Those were a challenge to out-manouver and the dog’s faith in humanity was not too severely dented. We made it back to the vehicle without them finding any fishy bits to roll in. No cleaning up after that dreaded yum!
On the way home a buddy telephoned. I pulled off of the highway onto an extra wide part of the shoulder. Glancing into the rearview mirror there was a sudden image of a black pickup truck almost fully over on the shoulder zooming up from behind at warp speed. There is nothing you can do as you watch someone’s grill expanding in that little rear-view mirror! It’s amazing what can go through your mind in a nano-second. There was a rush of panic for my little dogs, the thought that I couldn’t kiss my arse goodbye while sitting behind the wheel and then the hope that this wouldn’t hurt too mch before the lights went out. All the while I’m trying to maintain my chat with my buddy. All’s well that ends. Life goes on such as it is. ￼
Last night I came home severely disillusioned. I’d travelled over to Gabriola Island to attend my friend Bob’s ‘Celebration Of Life.’ I signed the registry and departed after ten minutes. Bob loved people and was tolerant and accepting but the hall was filled with a mob whom I doubt many never knew him or he, them. Banks of acrid hydroponic pot smog formed an initial barrier around the entrance. Clots of guffawing folks blocked the doorways, and a milling crowd of gormless characters were tripping over each other while carrying heaped plates dripping with food. I know I’m jaded but I was repulsed at a yuckfest of jolly people helping themselves to the free buffet. I was hungry but refused to partake. I’ve been to wakes where the body was present in its coffin as if participating but this event showed no respect for my friend and I could not bear it. A photo portrait of him looked out on the hall with a bemused grin. It seemed bizarre to me. A sailor is, by nature, a lonely soul and this was not the way to send him on his way. Fairwinds old salt, we’ll see you on a distant shore. I later explained my cryptic view to Bob’s widow; she replied that he would probably have enjoyed the event. Dunno!
Back at home the dogs cuddled up close to comfort me. They know! We sat and watched the tide ebb in the last rum bottle. It did not turn back to flood. I went to bed.
Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same.� Flavia Weedn