I have seen the sea from beneath.
I have seen the sea from above.
I have felt its gentle tug at my fingertips.
As my arm drapes over the leeside, hauled close to the wind.
The sea has loved me.
The sea has terrified me.
The sea has opened my eyes.
Showing me this cup of truth.
Quenching my thirst for answers.
With a salty smack on my lips, as I drink.
And a burn in my throat as I swallow.
My errors become all to clear.
As this life giving brine, boils in my belly.
As an untimely grin, grows on my cheek.
Here in Alaska, weather does not pass over predictably. It is literally created at your doorstep. The North and South Poles, being the center points of the Coriolis effect, the winds spiral away. Like spinning paint art across the globe. There is simply less time to react and prepare.
Wind, and current here are strong. They work in your favor or against you. They are a mapped out, regular randomness that churns the green ocean beneath your feet. Predictably irregular in every way.
Yet in all this coarse irregularity, a subtle hum is found in its nature. Each area with its own specific tendency. A tendency that can only be sensed, by one who offers time… Time, in exchange for the keys to a sea chest of mystery. True for that beach, that Cape, That cove or that Passage.
Like the precious contents of a letter, delivered by hand over a mountain range. So should appreciate the wisdom of a local sailor. For the advice they give was bought at a price.
You see, a local sailor who carries such intimate charts in his mind has discovered something that many of us have not.
They accept the sea for what it is at the moment. People say the sea is; angry, lonely, heavenly, fierce, enchanted and so on. But really none of this seems true. It is indifferent to our existence. We are a guest, welcome only to the degree, to which we can accept it in its entirety.
Simply put, the sea is more like a woman than I ever knew. A brew that is; Beautiful beyond words; Full of majestic wonder; Unpredictable in the conjure of great storms; and mesmerizing in a thousand ways, that a million words a cannot fence.
So here is the key I have found. It opens up my chest in a long awaited unavailing of the obvious. M stubborn hand turns this rusty key, in a soul bearing moment, this very windy cold night in Prudhoe Bay Alaska.
I have about as much of a chance at changing a person, as we do telling a Hurricane to “Stop”. How audacious was I to ever believe I could. Moreover how audacious was I, to believe it was my place.
Not unlike the sea’s many currents, people are on a path. Before long, we can see that path in their life and where it is headed.
A good friend once told me “Show me your friends and Ill show you your future”
I have finally learned that lesson and take it for what it is. When I accept a person into my life, I accept them in their entirety. In doing so, I am a better friend to them. I also choose more carefully and take more time doing so.
I sail those local waters until I feel their rhythm. If it suits me, I enjoy those waters from that day out, whether storms blow, fog creeps or stars fill the sky. I accept them in their entirety
As for those I once held in distain, like stormy waters churning beneath me, I sail safely toward waters waiting to be enjoyed. Knowing that the foul circumstances between people may not always be that way.
That very slick of water may revisit our hull again. Somewhere warmer. Somewhere calmer. In fact that very water may evaporate and rain down on you. Purged by the sky of the rage that held it down… That water may fill your casks and sustaining you in your time of need. Though you once look upon it in fear and distain.
In essence, trying to “Change someone for their own good” “Hating someone for hurting you” or “Refusing to accept whom you are within” are full time jobs, which bare heavy on the soul and yield no fruit.
The changing of a heart, like the changing of the sea, is better left to stirrings, by a much larger hand than mine.
“Whether it be friend, Mother, Son, Neighbor, or Lover”. Accept them at face value and let your meeting be mutually beneficial. As you prolong, or expedite the dismissal of each other’s company accordingly.
A sea faring Maiden may find her way to my heart fully one day. She will accept me at the moment, each moment. I will study the rhythm of her heart and the currents beneath, her intricacies and tendencies to rain shine and storm. Our currents will join and be the stronger for it…. Sailing the oceans as one, sharing a common path that is fundamentally rogue.
Until such time, I turn my studies inward; to my Crew, to the oceans, to the helm, to the magical pull of the wind, and the cold, crushing ice, of the Northwest Passage.