Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I dont write with my hands

By Carmen, 11 years old

Just to clarify, I know I'm going on a grand adventure across an ocean for a month with some friends that i met when I was cruising for 13 months and going from Alaska down to the end of Mexico. But why didn't I write abut it Because I honestly don't choose what I write. that last post, it was sopposed to be about eggs in a nest with a momma sitting on them in the back yard of the house we're renting while we prepare The boat to go in the water to go on a grand adventure across an ocean for a month with some friends that i met when I was cruising for 13 months and going from Alaska down to the end of Mexico. But instead, it was an inspiring piece about writing your own story and blank-page-people. I don't write with my hands. I believe with all my heart and soal.

Everyone is afraid of something

By Carmen Gordon-Rein, age 11

    I hate blank pages. But when I see one I cant help feeling ba for it. You might say that they're jst waiting to be filled, but what if there was a forgotten little paper. Growing old and coated in dust. Then finally being found with this newfound hope trys to glow whiter. I must be irisistable! it thinks. I'll finally have a story to tell! But, alas, the victory is short-lived and it getts balled up in the trash. So whenever I see a blank page I cant help but write or draw or give it it's own story to tell. I think everything should have it's own story. Don't you? Don't you want to fill those little papers' hearts with hope and joy and adventure? I know I do. 
    But what ifthere were blank-page-people? No- not what if- where are. I think that everyone is born a blank page. We're just waiting for something to give us a story to tell. How would you feel if you were that old paper, forgotten in a corner. Destined to end up in a ball in the trash. I thik no one should be that dust coated blank page. everyone should have a story to tell. Just because you're down does not mean you dont have a story to tell. So keep on telling you're story, little page. And if you ever have doubt, believe in your self. Because you are just as capable, just as strong as the person sitting next to you. So be your own person and tell the world your story.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Manic Planning and Finding the Spaces

Those of you who know me well know that I get a sort of sick thrill out of planning adventures, that I somehow create complicated logistics for any outing or event, from a simple night out to weeks-long vacations.  I change the plans numerous times before the event actually occurs.  I rattle on and on about possibilities and options.  It is part of my process, and many of you know better than to take any of it to heart until the time of the activity is very close at hand.

I sometimes wonder how you can stand to be around me while I am doing this.  And then I wonder how I can stand to be in my own head during these manic episodes of planning.  

Well, believe it or not, I may have reached my limit when it comes to logistics.  Over the past ten days Carmen and I have been getting ready to depart on a sailing voyage across the Pacific Ocean, from Mexico to the Marquesas as crew members aboard our friends' sailboat Sweet Dreams.  We've been working on getting the boat ready, making modifications and improvements, creating and sewing a dinghy cover, wondering when we will leave, what route we will take, how long it will take us to get there, where we will sleep on board, how we will do night watches, what foods we will bring and in what order we will eat them, what paperwork we will need, how we will check out of Mexico, how we will check in at the Marquesas, where we will sleep while the boat is being worked on, what kind of rescue insurance we will get, how we will send emails and blog updates via sat phone, which books and movies we will bring for the slow days in the doldrums, whether we will get seasick and for how long and what will we do about it, and so on and so on...

I've been worrying about all of these things while also trying to figure out what to do with Northern Passage, our sailboat that is here in San Carlos, Mexico.  How and when will I get her out of the water without Bruce?  What needs to be done to put her to bed properly?  Can I do it myself?

Two days ago I melted.  I hadn't been sleeping well, and that day I could do nothing productive.  I had a headache all day. I shut down.  In the end, I finally let go of control.  I stopped fretting and wondering, I stopped over-analyzing and trying to know what was coming next.  I gave in to not knowing.  And I slept.

After a series of loving, encouraging and centering texts from Bruce and about 9 hours of sleep, I awoke happy, productive, relieved.  Capable of doing anything!   Including proceeding with confidence while still not knowing all of the answers.  Many of those decisions I had been fretting about seemed to resolve themselves during my unconscious state.  Or they became less urgent.

This journey has not even officially begun, however I think I am changing already.  And if this is what happens during the logistics part of the adventure, imagine what will happen during the actual voyage!   Bring it on!!   

Meanwhile, I will be sure to have happy feet in the sand, even if only for a few minutes a day.   Because for me, clarity happens not in the time when I am looking for or working on a solution, but in the silence of time spent in nature, in the sound of the waves, in the peaceful rocking of the boat during sleep, in the space between the thoughts. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

On the Road To Mexico

Here we go, driving to Mexico today.  All packed up with 6 weeks worth of food, gear and toys (laser Pico sailboat, surf boards, bicycles, fishing poles, art supplies and many many devices).  For six people!  

We will most likely make one more trip up to Arizona for last minute odds and ends.    

Time to start the engines!!   More later....

My Universe

    I suppose it depends how you look at it. In the eyes of a mother or a father, it would seem like the child (or children) are the sun of their universe. But in the eyes of a child, the mother and father would definitely be the sun. We gravitate toward it. That yin-yang swirl of light that we see by. We gravitate toward it when needing food or warmth. As I wrote in a poem once, "My moher is like the sun, sometimes shining with a calming grace, and other times scorching the world with her blinding fury."
    A family is a universe, and just as no universe is the same, no family is very alike. I am lucky enough to have a yin-yang sun that cancles it's self out perfectly. My mother is demanding, pushing, and angry, yet fiercely loyal and  brave for all that she loves. But my father is more the calm and quiet type, he is a gentle giant; intimidating until you get to know him. Then he is like the song of a dove in the morning. 
    My brother and I are two diffrent planets, but we manage to live in the same space, among the same stars. We orbit our parents in a line so similar and close, it is almost like we are one. But no solar system can be perfect. And every once in a while one of us accidentaly wobbles too far out of our ring and clashes with the other, and we are thrown apart, but the families' gravity always pulls us back into line. And we maintain a nearly smooth course.
    My family means the world to me.
    No. More than that.
    My family creates my universe, a calm place to rest in a swrling ocean of rip-tides and rogue waves. My home. My life. My soul. Me.