Dancing with my feet in the sand today reminds me of being a child; being tricked by the ground and the waves. The sensation of being overcome by an elemental too vast to understand; of simply being completely speechless at the enormity of what I stand before. The sound really is music enough. I can remember playing for hours as a boy in Bolinas; Bo-bo. The sights one could see on the Bolinas beach were magnificent, especially when what’s-her-name would gallop her horse bareback and naked down the shore. I can’t remember if that’s my memory of my father’s relayed and I don’t much care. It’s a good memory.
I’ve always felt a connection to the sea. The men in my father’s family five generations back were all merchant mariners, and my great Aunt Brookie would swear up and down that we are related to the pirate Jean Lafitte. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree I suppose unless it’s to take a divergent career path into the arts. Being a pirate is kind of like being an artist though I suppose, just with an added merciless obsession with boats.
Walking through Port Townsend is enough to make anyone want to be a mariner. The sublime surrender it takes to commit yourself to the sea in a dinky yet elegant collection of wood, rope and canvas and trust it to get you back to land somewhere inspires the adventurer in us all. And some of them are just so damn pretty, You want to run your hands across the bow like the leg of a beautiful woman, pausing to notice the supreme quality of how its all put together.
I thought today’s visit to the boat haven (where they keep the BOATS) would provide me an epic deck side dance opportunity. There are usually some pretty interesting ships laid up in the dry docks. What caught my eye though was dichotomy and contrast once again. My eye always goes to it; how such different things can be found existing alongside each other at the same time. Technology and Nature. This giant boat lifter just hanging out next to a piece of pristine beach (I mean where else would a boat lifter reside other than by the ocean?) and off in the distance, the Port Townsend paper mill.
If the wind is right you won’t have to smell it, but it’s rarely right everywhere. It’s baffling to me how such things can still exist despite all our advances and all our awareness around how badly we’re damaging the planet; you’d think such a thing would be dismantled and sent across the bay to the naval base to be made into ships or bombs or something. This corner of the world is so curious. Such incredible natural beauty all around and yet, here collide industry and military in the same back yard as the bucolic scenes that surround one in these parts. My focus shifted to wanting to both honor the men and women who work the mill and draw awareness to the ways in which we silently allow our trespasses against the environment to persist. There are other way better things than wood to build things out of and put ink on. And they might not smell as rank. Isn’t it time we got around to exploring those options?
I really like clean water and each time I see this mill so close to the ocean I just shudder a little knowing how important it is to those who work here and also how toxic it is. My occupation of the beach was brief but full today; sent them over a whole bunch of good dance juju so they might feel the love. It will take individuals having their own realizations about the tragedy we’re writing in this time for us to start making the changes. We can only continue doing what we know to be right and creating in love for peace and health for all.
It’s the feeling state that’s so important! If we can stay happy, smile, look each other in the eyes and show we’re all made of the same stuff, we stand a chance. I calculate now, here in Port Townsend, I get about 1 in 3 people to make eye contact with me (a little side experiment I’ve been running while I’m here). For a somewhat older, somewhat (more) conservative (than me) crowd I guess that’s not bad. Sure a better ratio than any city I’ve been in. I wonder if it’s aaaallll the Nature around here that chills people out. Ya think?
Occupy Nature. Occupy the Public. Occupy Yourself. It could really read the other way, or lots of ways, but the POINT is, (there’s a point), in order to truly start creating healthy global community, we need to remember our connection to the natural world, begin breaking down all the walls we’ve built to protect us from all the “bad people”, and fully embrace and embody a feeling of love; for ourselves, for each other, for our silly, blessed little lives. My challenge in this project so far has been and will continue to be to get myself outside and do what I do in places that people don’t expect me to do it. I guess in a way, it has been my mission ever since college. I’m tired of all the barriers, and borders and I’m just READY for us all to be folks together. I mean, maybe I SHOULD just move to a small town and forget the rest. I know diversity is the spice of life and sometimes you just got to be alone. GOT TO. What I want is an end to fear. Maybe an end to privacy isn’t the answer to that. Maybe it’s just a lotta bit more sharing of ourselves in our joy and receiving it when it’s offered that I’m looking for.
Like a mariner who comes across the sea seeking adventure and new experiences, I step out into the unknown each day in search of that promise held in the hand or the pocket or the smile of a stranger. That’s all I NEED, really. What do I want? That’s the mystery, isn’t it? What turbulent waters will we cross to get what we really, truly want? It all depends on the state of the vessel and the spirit of the sailor. If those are in alignment, I imagine just about any storm couldn’t stand in the way.
Feeling my feet in the sand I feel young again – that youth that never comes to anyone twice. The mysteries are never ending amidst the stories on the shore. Endless hours guessing the origins of water shaped shrapnel spewed or exposed by the sea. And me, leaving my own instantaneously expunged mark in my transitory exuberance within her folds, or at least brushing at the edges of them.
Thanks For Collaboration!
Thanks to The Polish Ambassador for his awesome tunes. So inspiring to know artists creating with a mission. Check out his upcoming Pushing Through the Pavement Permaculture Tour! They’ve got 7 hours left on their IndieGoGO to get in on the magic!
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Blessings and gratitude,