Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Hilton Head Island: beautiful soup; last day; measure

        Well, Webb Chiles is finally over.
        First he finds a place ashore he really likes and now he is posting pictures of food.
        He too is food:  toast.

        On the other hand I might merely finally be going with the mainstream.  Almost all articles in so-called sailing magazines are not about sailing, but the food and shopping ashore.  And a recent post by a friend about a day sail with his wife and daughter included two photos of them and three of the food they ate afterwards.
        Bowing at last to your real interests I share the above photo of yesterday’s lunch at the Santa Fe Cafe here on Hilton Head Island, featuring ‘Painted Desert Soup’, which is a work of art that tasted as good as it looked.
        Restaurant reviews will now feature prominently in this journal.  Or not.


        Our last full day in Hilton Head has begun overcast and still.  I have now been living here a month and I look up a hundred times a day at the view and walk onto the terrace a dozen times with pleasure.
        Tomorrow we fly to NYC where I am to receive an award, then on to Evanston.  When I return about May 1 I will be living on GANNET.  The condo is about to be torn apart, floor and ceiling, and a lot in between.  Hopefully, three or four months and a small fortune later, it will be back together and a thing of beauty inside as well as out.

        Here is a paragraph I have cut from my award acceptance speech.  I will post the speech here after I give it and possibly upload a video of my rehearsing it.

        I believe that the species sends off random sparks that are original experiments.  I believe I am one, and as can be found in STORM PASSAGE, my first book, I went in knowing that almost all original experiments are failures.  I do not know if the experiment I am is a success or a failure.  I do not know how to measure that.

        So how do you measure a life?
        Many of you have children and if they have turned out well, that is certainly a valid measure.
        For many, probably most, money is the measure.
        If so, I offer an almost certain fact:  every single person reading these words has greater life time earnings than the person who is writing them.
        I saw the heading of an article in the NY TIMES a few days ago: ‘Everyone wants more followers on social media.’  It was about ways people game the system to appear to have far more followers than they actually do.
        My first thought was that almost any statement that begins “Everyone” proves the deficient intelligence of the person who wrote it.  There are perishingly few statements that can be made about ‘everyone’.  My next thought was that the NY TIMES is now being written by people far younger and less experienced of the world, not to mention less intelligent, than I.  And the last was that if life is measured by followers on social media, I don’t have one.
        Some measure life by awards.  I don’t. 
        So how does one measure a life?
        There is a perhaps apocryphal story about Abraham Lincoln.  At a cabinet meeting an issue came to a vote.  Everyone in the room voted, ‘Nay”.  Lincoln voted, “Aye”.  And then said, “The Aye’s have it.”