Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Evanston: listed; symmetries; 'Farewell to Florida'; 'T'

        I started to write:  As nature abhors a vacuum, I again have a list; but caught myself in time.  
        Nature, however defined, cannot ‘abhor’ anything.  Any more than seas can be ‘treacherous’, as a television talking head said of the area in the Southern Ocean being searched for the missing Malaysian airliner.  (And, naturally, he emphasized the 100’ waves.)  Or that mountains can  be ‘cruel’ as was claimed in the narration to a documentary we watched two evenings ago about a day when eleven climbers died on K2, the second highest mountain in the world.  Only people can be.
        The fallacy is pathetic in all meanings of the words.
        Readers of THE OPEN BOAT may recall my writing then, The sea is insensate, a blind fragment of the universe, and kills us not in rage, but with indifference, as casual byproducts of its own unknowable harmony. Rage would be easier to understand and to accept.
        Nevertheless with our return from Florida and the beginning of April, I do have a list.  Actually two.  Both short.
        I remembered that GANNET’s flares are about to reach expiration date and I have several details I need to take care in Evanston before I leave.
        So, again, ‘To Do’ and ‘To Buy.’  I felt the void.

        Symmetries.  Some chance.  Some intentional.
        As I have noted here before, when I sail next month on GANNET, I will be starting a few hundred yards/meters south of where I began the open boat voyage thirty-six years earlier, and heading out the same Mission Bay channel to the Pacific Ocean.
        When GANNET was being towed from Lake Michigan to San Diego in October 2012, she passed within a mile of the suburban Saint Louis home in which a half century earlier I had sat in my room, looking out over empty fields, dreaming of the ocean.
        Twenty years ago Carol and I had our picture taken standing on the stairs in the background of the second photo in Monday’s entry.  Last week we had another taken in the same place.
        And I just realized last evening that December 12 next year will be forty years since I first rounded Cape Horn.  Marking that anniversary in GANNET in those waters has a certain grace.  And the timing is right to sail from New Zealand.


        Also last evening I glanced through my newly downloaded Kindle edition of Wallace Stevens’ poems.  There were so many that are unfamiliar that I suspect that I had only selected poems before, not complete.
        I read a few whose titles caught my eye.
        You might enjoy, “Farewell to Florida.”


        So many photos have been taken recently showing me looking goofy that I have concluded that I do.  Sad.  Both that I do and that at my age I care.
        However, in an effort at damage control, I have just included one of the photos taken by Steve Earley on the Webb Chiles page of the photo section.



        take:  to acquire, frequently by force but preferably by stealth. 

        telephone:  an invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance. 

        telescope:  a device having a relation to the eye similar to that of the telephone to the ear, enabling distant objects to plague us with a multitude of needless details. 

        truthful:  dumb and illiterate. 

        twice:  once too often.

        tsetse fly:  an African insect whose bite is commonly regarded as nature’s most efficacious remedy for insomnia, though some patients prefer that of the American novelist.