whales, waterspouts, wind

chart with course and fixes marked on it
from the log, down in Lake Erie
from the log, off the coast of Nova Scotia north of Owl’s Head

So with all this sorting and packing, I am discovering all sorts of little treasures, lost memories, happy mementos. Yesterday, I chanced upon the only remaining pages of the log I kept many, many years ago when I set out on a long sailing journey, double-handing a wooden yawl. It made me happy to see it.



For some reason, all that remains are some copied pages of the log, spanning about three months of time. The log picks up at Harbor Island heading into the North Channel at the top of Lake Huron and covers the trip to Owl’s Head Bay on the Atlantic coast of  Nova Scotia, via the St. Lawrence Seaway. The rest of the log, and the originals, are gone.

The rest of the log covered the rest of the trip, from Owl’s Head Bay all the way down the Atlantic coast to the Bahamas, then sojourning there for a few months before returning up the coast to the Hudson River and the Erie Canal. Those pages are forever gone, deliberately burnt in a fire long ago. Wish I had them now, though, because the incredible memories are getting fuzzy.

pen & ink I made of one of the views while sitting in harbor
pen & ink I made of one of the views while sitting in harbor


Anyway….. Fun to find these pages. I can see as I leaf through them how I grew comfortable with the cruising life, and how I enjoyed every damned day no matter the weather or the difficulties. Whales, waterspouts, wind, tides, locks, storms, mountains, fog, freighters, submerged rocks, cities, isolation, birds, people – it’s all there.

I was very alive, very aware. The whole point was the journey. It still is.

thinking of Aaron

I have been reading today about the death by suicide of Aaron Swartz. This amazing person was only 26. He was obviously gifted, and apparently burdened with a sense of responsibility to our community, in the broad sense, that he could not help but act on. He applied his formidable talents and insights to make significant contributions,  to make things better in the world, and in some unconventional ways – something many people will never even dream to do.

And indeed why would they? For his efforts to free up information in service to all, Swartz was facing felony charges. A treasure in his own right, a person whose value and potential to us all was immense, was being fenced in, cornered, with intent to crush and imprison. How is it that a person with innovative, positive contributions bursting at the seams was not treasured and protected, but instead pinned down and threatened with jail? What exactly is it that we value?

While the federal prosecutor pursuing Swartz apparently boiled it down to “stealing is stealing,” somehow that same yardstick has not been applied to, say, Wallstreet bankers, who very clearly did not have the greater good in mind like Aaron did. And they’re just the first ones that happen to come to mind.

In Aaron’s tragic death, and the loss of his amazing potential, I think we must pause to consider our roles in this. We cannot leave the possibility of positive change to these singular brave people. It is simply too much. It is not enough to watch from a distance. We must gather behind them, and be the wind beneath their wings.

We must be willing to step out ourselves. We need to identify our true values, and stand by them. We need to use our gifts in their service.

I am sad beyond words about Aaron. Obviously, I do not know the whole story. I do know that we have lost a beautiful person – his brilliance and his creativity and his personal commitment. His fight for what is right, and, indeed, his battle with depression – those fights are our own, they are everyone’s.

car stuff

ImageI have noticed a trend with guys working on car projects. There’s generally tools and nuts and bolts and duct tape and parts all over the place. I bet you’ve noticed it, too. ahem. There’s usually a little metal dish or a turned over hub cap with a bunch of little parts in it. I must have seen these car scenes a million times over the years. But today, I had a rather freeing thought about it: It’s the same thing as sewing.

That little pile of parts in the dish probably looks pretty good to the wrenching guy. He knows what the parts all are and what he’s going to use them for. He’s guarding them in the dish until he’s ready to put them in place.

It’s just like my fabric and scissors and needles and pins. When I look at my little stash of felts and the various colors of threads, hey, that’s a good feeling. It makes me happy to do the work of designing, tracing, cutting, sewing. I love the potential I see in my little stash of stuff – just like the car parts in the dish. Check it out, I bet it makes you happy, too.

Believe it or not, I have a hard time giving myself license to work on these projects. I have discovered, however, it is essential to my emotional well-being. (Car stuff probably is to car guys, too.) So, even if it’s just a little bit, I am trying to find time in my day to pick up my sewing work. To me, my sewing is a creative art.

In other matters, it was a fantastic blue-sky, sunshine day today! It was windy and cold, but the sun eclipsed all that for me. Spent about an hour on a good brisk walk, even singing out loud to myself at one point. I came back with a new knowing, and some settledness in my mind about where I’m headed.

Tomorrow, it’s my favorite run of the week – Saturday with my running group.