Monday, November 6, 2017

Evanston: the first Alma; obvious solution; JEREMIAH JOHNSON; paradise lost; testing

        Last evening a segment of 60 Minutes was devoted to a twelve year old musical prodigy, Alma Deutscher, who plays piano and violin and composes music.  Some of her music was performed and it is enjoyable and impressive, but what impressed me most was when the interviewer compared her to Mozart and she replied—I don’t claim to have her words exactly— “That is flattering, but instead of being the next Mozart, I would rather be the first Alma.”


        The world often takes a while to catch up with me.  Sometimes it never does.
        The current issue of one of Carol’s professional architecture magazines is also about global warming and has maps of which areas of the U.S. east coast will be flooded twice each month at king tides by 2100 in worst case scenarios.  It also includes an article headed, ‘Some people don’t believe the climate is changing, but the insurance industry sure does.’
        The solution is obvious and I lived it fifty years ago.  Water rising:  live on a boat.

        Something James wrote in an email reminded me of the 1972 Robert Redford film, JEREMIAH JOHNSON.  I’ve not seen it for many years.  Yesterday Carol and I rented it from iTunes.  It is as good as I remembered.


        I woke for a while around 1 a.m. last night and half imaged, half dreamed I was sailing across the Bay of Islands toward Cape Brett and Piercy Island.  I could hear the water rushing past the hull.  I could feel the wind on my face.  I went outside Piercy  Island and gybed south beyond waves breaking on ledges.
        As we neared the narrow entrance to Whangamumu Harbor, I lifted the anchor through the forward hatch and carried it to the bow.  Tied down the end of the rode to the port bow cleat, pulled twenty feet of chain and fifty feet of line from the rode bag, tied the line off on the starboard bow cleat, and secured the anchor to the pulpit so it couldn’t fall over board prematurely.
        A couple of hundred yards out, I furled the jib, lifted the tiller pilot off the tiller and steered with my left hand and hand held the mainsheet with my right.
        Inside, pleased to find I had the place to myself, I sailed to my usual spot in the middle of the harbor, turned into the wind when the depthsounder read 20’, released the mainsheet and dropped the tiller pilot onto the tiller pin to keep it amidship.  I went forward and released the anchor, looping the rode around the cleat briefly at 50’ to set the anchor, then letting it catch again where it was tied off at 75’, before uncleating it, letting out another 50’ of rode and tying it off a last time.
        I returned to the cockpit and sat in a Sportaseat, gazing around at pristine wooded hills, fading light on rocks and water, savoring the scent of the sea and silence.
        For me, paradise lost.
        I happen to be re-reading Milton’s PARADISE LOST just now, along with Ron Chernow’s biography of Grant.
        Visiting the poetry page of the main site frequently, as I know you do, you will be familiar with the following, which perhaps because I just saw JEREMIAH JOHNSON reminds me of an Indian chant.

            I know these trees.
            I know these hills.
            I know this water.
            I know this sky.
            I know this light.

            I will carry them with me.

        And I do.


        This week I will be dining  mostly on the above Good To-Go freeze dry meals.  I probably won’t finish them all until next week.  
        I’ll report the subjective results.