Category Archives: the kitchen sink

this time

This time will pass slowly not because I have mastered my perceptions of it. But precisely because I have not, I surrender. This time I will be intentionally accepting as not to be regrettably forgiving. This time demands no confession or persuasion. The story is not to be written before its telling.

It’s been four months living aboard Onyx. Most days pass as they did before. The hours lost in thought gazing at my garden or meticulously arranging my belongings still have a place. This time they are spent organizing for efficiency, with nautical whimsy and in reflection of the sky and water. Even here, laundry piles up without care and the kettle whistles blowing off steam. Somehow still, all is simpler, calmer, slower, lighter.

Jake appreciates the extended outdoor living as well. Lounging in the cockpit in the sunshine, we keep good company. In the evenings, we go for walks around the docks. Rather, he meanders and I follow making sure he stays off other boats. jakeforwardWhen we have taken the boat out for a sail, he is more alert than usual but not at all displaced or concerned. He is one cool cat and all the neighbors agree.

Yes, there is a community at the marina complete with neighbors whose names I can never remember despite engaging chats about their recent hikes or ex wives. There are impromptu invites for drinks and standing offers to crew or lend a hand. The older ones love to recant stories or give advice and I am just as content taking it in. Occasionally, and more frequently than I have before, I find myself stepping out with my own invitations.

A friend had asked what I found surprising living on a boat. It’s the still half-empty shelves and drawers despite having more of everything than I need. It’s the asymmetries of the boat’s design. It’s forgetting to pick up my mail for weeks at a time. It’s the reminders of how much further I still have to go in pursuit of simply living.

Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War—Paul Simon
      Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War--Paul Simon - Paul Simon

“Poet’s Obligation” —Pablo Neruda

To whoever is not listening to the sea
this Friday morning, to whoever is cooped up
in house or office, factory or woman
or street or mine or harsh prison cell;
to him I come, and, without speaking or looking,
I arrive and open the door of his prison,
and a vibration starts up, vague and insistent,
a great fragment of thunder sets in motion
the rumble of the planet and the foam,
the raucous rivers of the ocean flood,
the star vibrates swiftly in its corona,
and the sea is beating, dying and continuing.

So, drawn on by my destiny,
I ceaselessly must listen to and keep
the sea’s lamenting in my awareness,
I must feel the crash of the hard water
and gather it up in a perpetual cup
so that, wherever those in prison may be,
wherever they suffer the autumn’s castigation,
I may be there with an errant wave,
I may move, passing through windows,
and hearing me, eyes will glance upward
saying ‘How can I reach the sea?’
And I shall broadcast, saying nothing,
the starry echoes of the wave,
a breaking up of foam and quicksand,
a rustling of salt withdrawing,
the grey cry of the sea-birds on the coast.

So, through me, freedom and the sea
will make their answer to the shuttered heart.


The stars suggest patience may be enough
to forget the gravity of want
to hear you speak again of high seas
and weather without fancy
holding your gaze steady
on the horizon
against my softened outline.

But I,
knowing more than the stars
of distance and time,
made of mortal light,
cast my own shadow
heavy on the water
craving to tell you now
of all my desires.


songs   Speak Low (Bent Remix) – Billie Holiday
      Speak Low (Bent Remix)--Billie Holiday - Billie Holiday

“Wind and Water and Stone”–Octavio Paz

The water hollowed the stone,
the wind dispersed the water,
the stone stopped the wind.
Water and wind and stone.

The wind sculpted the stone,
the stone is a cup of water,
The water runs off and is wind.
Stone and wind and water.

The wind sings in its turnings,
the water murmurs as it goes,
the motionless stone is quiet.
Wind and water and stone.

One is the other and is neither:
among their empty names
they pass and disappear,
water and stone and wind.


…was created from Venus’s scattered fingernail clippings when Cupid gave her a manicure while she was sleeping. Because no part of a god should ever perish, the Fates turned the clippings into stone.

.onyx..deflects negative energy by absorbing light and is believed by Persians to protect one from the evil eye.

…promotes regeneration, stamina, focus, and intuition, offering the gift of wise decisions.

…quells tensions, confusion, conflicts, and bad habits, instilling balance and control.

…is going to take me across the seven seas.