I am writing this two Webbs in. An eponymous drink if you are not a regular reader. I am feeling them, as I want to. But I know enough usually not to write after drinking. I do so now because the Internet has gone out again. This has become a daily occurrence. We don’t have many Internet options here. One is T-Mobile over their cellular network. I have ordered a router from them. I will see if it is a viable option.
I received a birthday card from an American woman I knew decades ago when she and her husband were sailing across the Pacific when I was in CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE, accompanied in port by Suzanne—and permit me to say that her living in port with me on CT was rare and admirable. Few women could have done so. I was only friends with this woman, who remained in Australia—a good decision—and have not seen her for maybe twenty years, but with the failed Internet I am listening to an Australian singer, Gurummul.
I have written about him in this journal several times before. When I first heard him over Australian radio I thought what a shame that such a pure original voice would remain unknown. I was wrong. He became, briefly, a world wide sensation. I expect he will soon be completely forgotten, as will I, unless some academic happens across me and wants to further his or her career by ‘discovering’ a forgotten genius.
But I sit here, two Webbs in, having just watched the last lingering orange-gold post sunset glow over Pickney Island. Early now that we are off Daylight time. I wish we always were. I like living with natural rhythms.
Nicole is heading my way. I do not expect much of it. As you may know I don’t think storms should be named and I refuse to call it ‘her’. It is an unknowing it.
A friend emailed concern about Nicole a few days ago.
Here are my responses:
I appreciate your concern. I get information from many sources, but in fact there is nothing I can do no matter what weather develops that I have not already done. GANNET is as prepared as she can be. Lines doubled, etc. And, although I have been eating into my hurricane supplies as the season draws to a close, I still am fully capable of being self-sufficient for well over a month, and if necessary by rationing, two. Are you? Is anyone else reading this? I truly have lived on a different dimension and have no way to evacuate and don't want one. I've been in eight storms of hurricane force at sea. Never one on land. However, remaining calm and awaiting events when you can do nothing about them seems to me appropriate.
And to a later email in which he apologized for being alarming and said I was right and he was wrong:
I don't think anyone at this moment is right or wrong. As I have written, meteorology is not yet an exact science. I rather expect that with even more powerful computers and better sources of data accumulation, it may be in a decade or so. Too late for me. But then I have done well enough by looking at the sky, looking at the sea, looking at the barometer. And by animal instinct which I expect is more sensitive in me than most.
I have been prepared for the hurricane season since June, as I believe all who live in the hurricane zone should be, but few are. So when I learn a storm may come this way, I don't have to do much. At this moment I would need to go down to GANNET and bring back a knapsack of stuff: the foldable solar panel, solar lights--which I forgot last time; a solar charging flashlight. I would also need to fill the two 5 gallon jerry cans with water which I have left up here, and fill the bathtub, and bring in the outside furniture. I can do all that in an hour.
I might still be killed by a storm if this building collapses, but I would put myself in the safest place possible, and I could have died at sea dozens of times more likely.
So I pay attention to the weather, but there isn't much I can or need to do if a storm comes my way. I have lived totally unsupported at sea and unable to call for help for years, probably a decade. The longest period was two days short of five months. I would not be one of those in the long lines at supermarkets trying to buy supplies. Or one of those in long lines on highways evacuating.
This might seem egotistical, but I don't mean it to be, but I am likely the most prepared for hurricane seasons of anyone in this country or perhaps the world. I am not your average bear. I never was, and think that over now eight decades I have proved it quantifiably. And the words, which are at least as good as my voyages, can't be quantified.
I have faced the natural world unsupported for half a century. If it finally kills me--no, unquestionably the natural world will finally kill me and relatively soon--I have had a life, and I believe I have done what I was genetically designed to do: go beyond the limits of human experience and report about it. What I did not do is send my genes into the future, which seems to be the most fundamental demand.
I do not claim to know what is going on and I have tried. But I have observed and noted in my journal before that consciousness resists unconsciousness in countless, perhaps all species, which is odd because consciousness is fraught with pain, and unconsciousness is not. And that DNA seems to demand that it be projected into the future in an endless passing of the buck. Males of many species engage in life threatening combat to try to obtain a mate. Well, I obtained many mates, but I was deliberately careful not to send my DNA into the future. I did not believe I could be a good father and live the life I wanted to live. Many artists do not share that value. They casually leave unloved children behind. Because of my childhood I could not do to another what had been done to me.
If I make it to next Friday I am going to be 81. I have already said that I do not fear death, only the probable pain in the process. It probably hurt to get in here--though we do not consciously remember that. It is probably going to hurt to get out.
There can be great beauty and joy in between the pain of birth and death which may redeem what I have called our butterfly's cough of life. I have known such beauty and joy with women on land and alone at sea. I hope you and others have known such joy, too, wherever and with whomever you found it.
The Internet has come back on. I think.
I am going to reread this, which I have written offline. If you are reading it, I have despite two Webbs decided to post it and am going to pour myself another glass of something.