Mapping the limits of the soul: It’s the sky up above that he loves
And he’s still alive, and for him that’s enough!
*OH I forgot to mention that yesterday we saw humpback whales as we motored to our first site. I am told that one was a baby that later partied all over the reef!! (life is amazingly sweet when you forget to add that you saw whales breaching – if only to breathe – 50 metres away)!*
I was raised pretty much literally on the beach in Australia. In primary school, we walked to school a couple of times along the beach, as it is was set just back from the sand dunes. We complained bitterly. My Scottish father told us we had no idea how lucky we were. Now I know every moment of every day how lucky I am! Every moment of my life, I am taking back those complaints, walking happily to school along the beach, knowing what I have!!
In summers (I guess) our school would go en masse down to the beach with our teachers, and sit on the beach and watch the migrating humpback whales as they swam along just outside the breakers. Magical stuff. I have been lucky so long that this is becoming a deliriously wonderful habit!!
Seeing the whales yesterday took me straight back to those days. Not nostalgically but gratefully. Every moment is a gift in this short life, but we all get double, triple gifts because we can appreciate the gifts of our pasts too! I am drowning in the exceptionally lucky, privileged life I have always known!
Speaking almost in contradiction:
When I was little there was little food around, due to either real or artificial scarcity. Now I eat compulsively, always subconsciously expecting the availability of food to diminish at any time. I guess I am greedy for what I am afraid is ephemeral in my life.
Today, the strangest thing happened to me. I was bouncing along on the bow of the little baby boat as we beat our way to the site. An occasion that occasions much song and shouting and bouncing from me! Today, the little man who runs around in the padded rooms of my brain banging gongs, defying gravity, fell silent.
Normally, he is greedy for every salty kiss from the ocean, for every wave to bounce him, for every interaction with his love the ocean, like a man dying of thirst next to the river because he cannot believe he can reach it.
Today, for hours, we sat together, him and I, taking it all in with grateful eyes. I was at peace. He was at peace. It was wonderful, a gift from the superabundance of the ocean. I did not smile; it was not necessary. Every thing had been said, and an agreement had been made in that moment. I could reach out and touch the connection between me and what I always wanted, but had been afraid was too transient to grasp. Living in that moment was a new experience for me, and I can always go back there now; it lives in my mind.
But now I am back to bounce bounce bounce!! Grab all of life, stuff it in a sack in your brain!! Hoard all the life you can, cultivate all the joy you can stand!!
Today we dove in the most wonderful places I have ever been. It was like someone had drawn a coral reef from the most amazing parts of their imagination, and I was immersed in it!!
Here is a picture:
You see what I mean?
That is much bigger on facebook. (like our relationships!)
Tomorrow, at noon we leave Johnston Atoll, which, incidentally, is a weird ass place. The US Army made the island, and it is covered in abandoned concrete slabs which used to foundate buildings that housed 5000 people during the 60s. The only building here is a massive block of a thing with no windows, built to withstand nuclear blasts from the nuclear tests they did here. Now it is become the domain of ants. Crazy!
Here is a pic of my feet ashore:
So tomorrow we steam 1050 nautical miles (we are currently only 710 nautical miles from Hawai’i I am told, so this is about to get a WHOLE LOT more remote!) down to Howland Island. I shall keep you abreast things with GPS points, but as we approach the equator, two things become true; 1 our internet will probably be out for a week due to connection issues with the circum-equatorial satellites that provide us with innertubes (something to do with being directly under them…) and 2 I shall soon be hazed with my virginal crossing of the equator on a ship!!
And I shall leave you here with a picture of bubble I have waited my whole life to take!