Monday, August 24, 2009

Joy To The World

There's a spot on a sailboat--the alley formed by the outside of the main sail and the inside of the jib--where the wind funnels out at a brisk pace and you can see clearly over the bow past the timeless waters of Peconic Bay or the Caribbean Sea to the tree-lined shores of the island ahead. You can hold onto the stainless steel rigging and spread your legs and lift into that superconscious land of Joy. For me, there's not much better in this world. The smells. Salt water and clean air mixed with other boat smells like suntan lotion and lunch in the galley. The sights. Colors, shadows, sky, sea, land, other boats. The sounds. Wind whishing past the sail fabric, rigging ringing, waves slapping against the fiberglass hull, muffled conversation.

Herman Melville wrote about people and water early in Moby Dick. He said that people are drawn to water like iron to magnet. They purposely walk to the edge of the bay and just stare out. Past the horizon. To that place where I would like to live permanently. Maybe a Greek Island-type stone/adobe house with as much outside living as inside. Lots of terrace and vines climbing and providing shade from the white sun. Views of the unbelievably blue sea from every window and seating area. No pool. Too much. If you want to swim, walk down to the Sea of Joy and take a dip. Bring the dogs. Red dirt track leading from the road to the house. Remote cooking area for grilling. Wind everywhere all the time. Sheer curtains flying through shady rooms. And a boat. A sailboat. With lines that drop you to your knees every time you look at her. Single mast. Main and jib set-up. I would need that sweet spot. That magic place between main and jib so I could always find my way home.