Spark

After-the-rain.org / Flicka watercolor

10/3/21 Sunday

There is no longer a tiny ship waiting for me. No sails to mend, no rigging to tune, no bottom to clean. I’m more efficient at work, no longer distracted by fretting about wind and tides, planning the next adventure. Chart #18441 (which covers the southern Salish Sea) has long since been rolled up, collecting dust in a storage unit at the marina. The sound of the bow crashing through waves, the risk of going forward untethered to clear a fouled jib sheet, and the satisfaction of bringing a sailboat back safely to a slip singlehanded are all memories now, fading quickly with time.

To pile on, summer is long gone. Darkness comes early these days, and a quiet gray is creeping in, subtle but persistent. I still go walk the beach sometimes, but the sand is cold, and now I wear shoes. The soles of my feet are becoming soft, muscles are disappearing, and my palms are pasty. Frankly I’m getting fat. The new Monday through Friday work routine is really sealing the deal, and this is having the same dulling effect on the inside. Slowly but surely life is becoming comfortable. The rainy days of autumn are quiet, peaceful in a way, thoughtful, and soft. The only new excitement is my Swedish friend.

It’s late at night, and the rain pitter patters on the window. My energy is spent. I lie on my stomach, legs loosely tangled in a sheet, staring at the flickering candle by the bedside. Her fingertips softly trace my body, like warm little raindrops down my back. Without a word she hands me something. It’s a birthday card, a card and a chocolate bar actually. The chocolate makes me smile, but the card is a stunner. It’s a tiny watercolor of a little yellow Flicka, with tanbark sails no less. As usual she’s really not aware of how much these little gestures mean. I say thank you (a lot), blow out the candle, and lie wide awake drifting on a sea of memories as she quietly drifts off to sleep.

Author: Rainey

after-the-rain.org What started out as chicken scratch notes on the back pages of my boat’s logbook has now grown into a blog. These words and images help me cope with a loved one struggling with mental illness, and they help guide me through divorce, and the process of moving on. Thanks for reading along as I learn about life the hard way, do the best I can for my son in my new role as a single dad, and find weird similarities between restoring an old blue water sailboat and putting the pieces of my own life back together. Come check out my story and feel free to say hi!

13 thoughts on “Spark”

  1. It’s a common theme in much of my writing in here, that life is mostly lived in avoidance of three emotions: fear, loneliness, and boredom. Ironically, however, moving away from one always seems to bring another into proximity, so that finding balance is an always somewhat *uncomfortable* task.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been thinking about your comment, and will try to clarify my problem with comfort, at least in the context of this post.
      For myself, there is a fine line between physical comfort and indulgence. This can lead to a dull body, which quietly slips into spiritual complacency. A couch, a tv, multiple kinds of insurance, and a steady job may sound great, but they slowly take their toll, slowly separate me from the real world, a world of intense beauty, intense pain, mind blowing love, and deep despair. Comfort becomes a silent prison to a soul that feeds on raw life. It masks problems, and can cause fear of the worst kind, fear of living.
      I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to walk in anyone else’s shoes, but I know what it’s like to walk in mine.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A belated happy birthday Rainey. I get what you are saying. We are all dying a little with each day that goes by but it is true that when we become comfortable, complacent and our curiosity and determination to maximise each day, to challenge ourselves subsides, we begin to die inside even though we are still alive. Perhaps a good compromise is to know that there is a season for everything; that all seasons in life are necessary and give meaning to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

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