“All the Hemispheres” — Hafez

In celebration of the solstice with the Persian tradition of seeking the divination of Hafez and for my lovely friend Leila whose visit conjured up good times past, contemplated who we have been and become, and inspired possibilities of days ahead…

All the Hemispheres


Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out

Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadow and shores and hills.

Open up to the Roof.
Make a new watermark on your excitement
And love.

Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
And giving
Upon our intimate assembly.

Change rooms in your mind for a day.

All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.

Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
Back home.

All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire


While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of



      One of These Things First --Nick Drake - Nick Drake

somewhere between plan B and C

One year, one month, one day and (who is) counting since I  started this pursuit. I’m still here and the planning and preparations continue even with so much already accomplished. Some by design and endeavor, some by chance and circumstance…
…I learned to sail.
…I became a citizen.
…I fell in and out of love.
…I bought a beautiful boat.
…I moved onto my beautiful boat.
…I sailed my beautiful boat 1,000+ miles.

That was the whirlwind of the first six months. Recently, my days have settled into more typical routines. Sharing my attention between all things sailing and that pesky need to make a living. I’m back at work while patiently making headway checking items off my lists, counting the days to the next waypoint.

All things according to the original plan, I would have been cruising by now, thousands of miles away through the Panama Canal and floating in the Atlantic Ocean. I knew it was ambitious but it was never unrealistic. The plan had to be both to keep me inspired and believing. I am proud to come as far as I have and so close. I did everything I had to, could do, and more. The universe having done its part too and, graciously, I must add. I was just one month and one wildcard shy of untying the dock lines and heading out to sea.

Keeping to the timelines would have meant more tradeoffs, compromises and risks than my instincts would bear.   Managing change is challenging enough that there is little upside to trying to move further, faster, and away from your  center. Only so much of one’s self can be in a state of unrest at any given moment and still net out on the positive side.  So, the plans had to change instead…

Now, I have landed somewhere between the original plan B and C and have crafted a new plan A. The pursuit didn’t change nor did the numerous lists of all that needs to be done. If anything, they are  further refined having learned so much in the past year. Only my pace needed adjustment and I expect it will again. The new plan gives me a year to prepare myself and the boat with the original goal of three years at sea. This too is a lofty goal and still feasible. It’s still the same formula of personal endeavor and a bit of chance and circumstance. So this time next year, I will either be able to take off for three years or one or some other scenario in between.

This, too, is part of the dream. Trusting my intuition to set the pace, to keep me whole while changing, to help me evolve gracefully.


songs Extraordinary Machine—Fiona Apple

      Extraordinary Machine--Fiona Apple - Fiona Apple


“Consumed”–James Tate


Why should you believe in magic,
pretend an interest in astrology
or the tarot? Truth is, you are

free, and what might happen to you
today, nobody knows. And your
personality may undergo a radical

transformation in the next half
hour. So it goes. You are consumed
by your faith in justice, your

hope for a better day, the rightness
of fate, the dreams, the lies,
the taunts. —Nobody gets what he

wants. A dark star passes through
you on your way home from
the grocery: never again are you

the same—an experience which is
impossible to forget, impossible
to share. The longing to be pure

is over. You are the stranger
who gets stranger by the hour.

—James Tate

the siren song

– Odysseus tied to the mast so he could listen to the song of the Sirens and not follow the temptation

They are calling me again. These puzzles of optimization, of organization, of alignment are luring me like a siren song and I am feeling compelled to dive in and bring everyone along. One next step after another, anticipating the questions, the options, the resistance…the possibilities for progress. Oh, how I crave to see them all to resolution.

But, really, why the temptation to take on additional responsibilities when I could carry on as I am, comfortably, as an individual contributor? Why would I knowing it’s a diversion from my own path take on directing that of others? Why risk getting caught again in the nervous energy, the messy conversations, the weighty obligations?  I want to understand the allure. I need to understand if for no other reason than to strengthen my own resolutions.

The work itself is honest enough, the objectives worthwhile. I have done all of this before and I am confident I can do it again. It would be simpler to stay my course so what would drive me to answer the call and chance delaying my dreams? Is it vanity, benevolence, ambition, power, money, stability, the challenge, insecurity, curiosity…or is it more innate? I don’t know and that has me unsettled and vulnerable to impulse.

I may not be able to pinpoint what’s attracting me to this opportunity but I am certainly aware of the risks. All the reasons why I removed myself from the  business still remain. They say a catalyst is not consumed by the reaction it generates but may be instead effected by the secondary reactions. That’s exactly the role I have played before and can see ahead. It’s inherent in the nature of conflict resolution and forging group transformations. I can solve the puzzles in my sleep but it’s the energy I have to exert to manage all the side effects of the transformation that will ultimately consume me.

Maybe I am holding out hope and an aspiration that this time around with new variables and a new me the outcomes will be different, better, optimized. Maybe that is the only reason I need to answer the call.

songs Sympathique —Pink Martini

      Sympathique - Pink Martini

finding dog-ears

So You Say

It is all in the mind, you say, and has
nothing to do with happiness. The coming of cold,
the coming of heat, the mind has all the time in the world.
You take my arm and say something will happen,
something unusual for which we were always prepared,
like the sun arriving after a day in Asia,
like the moon departing after a night with us.

—Mark Strand


So these are the books that made it aboard the boat. One shelf’s worth exactly as planned. I am surprised I can’t remember why some made the cut. Some are collections I picked up to consolidate and some I included just for variety. About a third make up the start of a requisite cruising library. Altogether, they don’t exactly strike me as the list of books I would have packed for life on a deserted island. Then again, that wasn’t the objective. No matter, they are the ones I kept and along with them loose pages of poetry torn from those left behind.

made the cutpile of poems

I remember the reservations I had tearing out the first couple of poems but it was such a simple solution that I carried on. I must have torn up fifty or more books and with great delight. How convenient, I thought, that poems are compact. How clever of me to use this to my advantage.  I hadn’t even anticipated my amusement months later flipping through for an old favorite and instead being distracted by what’s printed on the reverse or why the folded corners. I certainly didn’t expect the games I could play for hours trying to figure out the names of the poets with only page numbers and vague recollections of book covers  for context.

A different me would have never destroyed books without abandon.  A different me would have noticed the missing names and felt compelled to note them in the margins. A different me showed up that night to pack the books without much design and a different me is here tonight dog-earing pages for reasons I will eventually forget.

songs   Everyday I Write the Book —Elvis Costello

      Everyday I write the Book - Elvis Costello

in pursuit of a cruising life