I am sitting by our oversized bedroom window. Too hot to be on the porch. A monochrome night.
After posting the photos last night I realized that one evening I should take photos at ten or fifteen minute intervals from the same position to show the changing of the light in sky and water and sometime I will.
Climate change is undeniable and totally out of control.
I checked back and see that I Ubered to a supermarket and nearby liquor store last Monday. Five days ago when I bought three bottles of Laphroaig.
This evening I find one of those bottles empty. Clearly evaporation. Surely I did not drink it myself.
I am a freak of nature. You know that, but it is quantifiable, and I like to quantify what can be. The brain of a scientist in the body of an athlete with the soul of a poet. I note the arrogance of that, but hell I have lived it.
I say that with limited pride because I know I am flawed and a creature of chance, except I take some probably unwarranted satisfaction in having gone the distance with the gifts I was given.
Of the extraordinary numbers, I googled what percentage of 80 year old Americans take no medications.
This was beyond Google so I got what percentage of Americans over 65 take prescribed medications. The number is 89%. And half of those 65 or over take four or more medications.
As perhaps you know I take none.
I do naturally most of the things one ought to do. I don’t eat much. I don’t eat much red meat. I am almost a vegetarian. Not by principle, but preference. That is self-regulating. My body is uncomfortable when I eat too much as when traveling and eating in hotels and restaurants which provide far too large servings for me, though presumably not for most of their customers.
I use my body hard. I always have. Unlike almost all except those in the military and some police and rescue services, I have needed my body to survive in extreme situations. But beyond that my body wants to be used hard. That is the animal I am. What I was born to be.
Now I have some bad news. No matter how much you continue to use your body, time and gravity will prevail.
In the right clothes I still look pretty good. My weight is what it was fifty years ago. But when I do my push-ups my gut sags. My skin has lost elasticity. And there are too many scars.
I drink far more than doctors recommend.
I am 80 and in better health than the doctors, and as I have written here before if drinking shortens my life, it will have made what life I have had much more endurable.
I have done my workouts this week. I have even extended them. The standard workout Monday, Wednesday, Friday. The weight workout Tuesday and Thursday. And I pushed all beyond the usual numbers. Tomorrow I will do the resistance bands. But it is not enough and the heat here prevents me from doing more. My body wants more.
The other extraordinary number is that of the stars in the universe.
I saw an article about achieving immortality, which none of us deserve and would be a total disaster. As I have written, that we have so little time is our dignity. If you don’t understand that, well, I can’t help you.
The number of stars in the universe is truly beyond comprehension. We have no comparison for such a number.
I became curious by wondering about other semi-intelligent life forms.
On our planet there is limited intelligent life as is continuously proven by reading or watching what poses as the news.
So how many stars are there around which there might be planets to support life of whatever intelligence.
The answer is absolutely astounding. There are approximately 200 billion trillion stars in the universe. Or, to put it another way, 200 sextillion.
That semi-intelligent life only evolved on this planet is beyond belief. Actual intelligent life has probably evolved on many. It might eventually even evolve on this one. But because the universe is expanding we may never know one another.
I have sought understanding and not found it. I don’t know what is going on.
As a young man I decided there were two possibilities. One, our brains have not evolved in a manner to understand. We evolved so that a few of us are good at figuring out how, but not why. There may be information we just can’t know such as dogs being able to hear sounds beyond our frequency.
The other possibility is that the age of science is brief. Only a few hundred years, and in time answers will come.
I and all of you will have to live with uncertainty.
Of uncertainty, I believe I have finally figured out the dying part of my life.
It has taken three years. Well, it is an unusual problem and as often in my life there were no precedents so I had to figure it out for myself by myself.
I have made a five year plan.
Audacious for an eighty year old.
I have twice before made five year plans to escape the land.
One leading to my first circumnavigation.
The second with Carol to sail from Boston in 2001.
I stuck to both, Both were successful.
Now I don’t want to escape from the land. I like the land I am in. You know that I live in serenity and beauty.
At this moment rain is falling. Lightening flashes.
I am not going to tell you the plan. I don’t even know when I will tell Carol.
I will not mind if time and chance intervene and prevent this one and I die one night peacefully in my sleep. Somehow I don’t think it will be that easy. It must have hurt getting in here, even if we don’t remember, and I expect it is going to hurt getting out. I sit here certain that I have already done enough to repay the genetic gifts I was given. And I sit here knowing that if I can I will do more.
So if what I write mostly does not interest you—though I may be a legendary sailor, I am interested in more than the sea—come back in 2027. It is unlikely that your attention span is that long. Mine is. And if in 2027 I am still here and still strong, you will be startled.