What Are You Avoiding?

Right now I’m avoiding changing out the plumbing in the head. It’s a stinky job that not only is inherently nasty, but involves weird twisting and bending, and getting into awkward positions all while dealing with old toilet pipes. And it’s not the kind of thing one can stop halfway through. Once started it really needs to be finished. So yes. Much rather write.

the-head
Under the head I must go!

And avoiding applying the next coat of varnish on the britework. And haven’t even starting rebedding all of the deck hardware. And then there is thinking about the rest of my life.

I’m told my saturn return is heading full force into my reality. Every 29 years or so we are given the chance to delve deeply into what the hell we are doing with our lives. Remember back around 29. Various paths were presented. Well here we are again. Been a dad. Worked hard for the money. And now what is it? Travel around the world in a floating house on a semi permanent vacation? Is that the next phase? Where is the “meaning” in that? Is it enough?

The plan is to go back to Boulder in early summer to continue the Dad phase to help shepherd Ethan through high school. But what does back home mean anyways. Life on a boat tends to make me leave many of my old problems behind. The questions are simple. The answers, fairly easy to come up with.

stairs-at-st-thomas
Stairs to Blackbeards’s Castle. St Thomas.

But “back home” is full of not only the stresses of today, but the accumulated stressors of living in the same house for over 30 years. Patterns and grooves of stress have been dug into the floor as I go into my office on a Sunday to pay the bills with money that never quite seemed to be enough. With computers that remember the deadlines of long, long nights just before going to the printer with not quite enough time. With the trauma of a marriage ending. The months spent caring for a sick girlfriend.

But then the joy, the beauty, the moose in the backyard, the kids growing up, the laughter, the music. The whole package. Once I’ve seen a truly different way of being, how to go back to the the old? And if so what to create in that old space that embraces the new?

The sailing life I’m hoping will give a good strong pause to the inevitability of the continuation of the continuum. I do have choices about where to go next in life, and getting away from the overwhelm might just help provide some clarity. But right now I feel very much in the gap. The future will unfold. But for me part of the learning is to let it, instead of to push it. The big questions arise. Much easier to just go and fix the head.

orion-form-afar
Orion from above. Caneel Hill St. John

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