Saturday, February 21, 2015

... is dream

Chilly this morning, still dark, a stiff breeze. Wind in the face looking out into the blackness reminds me of being on the bridge of my first ship, a WW2 destroyer, at night. Underway, the wind was invariably too stiff for comfort, would sail hats away, generally forced the bridge watch to be inside. Our new skipper, a commander who knew ships, summoned the chief engineer to his cabin and ordered him to fabricate and install a -- he called it a "venturi," a long concave shield across the front of the bridge deck, to direct wind up and over. The chief did as ordered, but under protest and insisted on a written and signed order. A new ensign, I asked why he didn't simply follow orders, why so formal. He told me about NavAlts and ShipAlts, that ships were not the property of the skipper, and alterations had to be directed from higher authority, generally from BuShips, as it was called, in Washington. A NavAlt referred to all ships of a class, a ShipAlt to a particular hull number. But the captain insisted and the venturi, which had already been installed on many ships and on all new ship design, was effective, did the job, made the outside bridge comfortably usable.    

A really pretty view from our balcony Friday evening: during the sunset, Venus and Mars in conjunction with the Moon in the western sky. Jupiter with its four Galilean moons in the east, visible all night as it makes its transit. 

Does Jupiter know it’s making a transit, I’ll bet not. Jupiter probably thinks it’s just out there floating around the sun with its solar system speeding through the universe as part of the Milky Way galaxy . Nope: we are the center of creation and you are just transiting earth’s night sky, get over it.

For supper we had pizza, shared a small thin crust cheese pizza. Linda’s half was plain. My half had the olives stuffed with anchovies that Kristen and Joe picked out for me on their Christmas shopping trip. Also a half tin of double layer sardines; “double” guarantees they’ll be tiny. With a glass of cabernet sauvignon from -- Grocery Outlet, we call it Bill's. OK, two glasses. Afterward, a cup of coffee because we had a thin slice of fig cake, also a Christmas gift that we’ve been hoarding and rationing out. 

This may be reading like an imbecile’s Facebook post, but it’s going someplace. The someplace is with the ship that left port and headed out to sea as I stood on the porch in the chill night air leaning against the rail, watching and waxing sentimental, rehearsing my history of standing on deck and watching as a port moved by and into the distance, my face into the freezing wind. Simply memories, it’s no longing for the sea. 

Truth, it could be a longing for the youth who sailed, and for the adventures that lay behind him, ahead of him waiting to be lived, now cherished in life’s twilight. 

“Life’s twilight” do sound maudlin, don’t it. Well, it ain’t, it's just this place where I am. Would I go back? To some of it. How far back? What do you think, mind your own dreams. Would I change anything? What if I would, I can’t, so it makes no difference, does it. Besides, My Laughing Place is only a stroll away. Or a dream, all I have to do is dream.

St. Andrews Bay: black velvet with a sprinkling of diamonds and an emerald. If you can’t see it, or don’t understand, too bad.

Rather than the bridge of a warship, this place is like being at sea with a balcony stateroom. Something melancholy being at sea when the sun goes down. Or romantic: the sunset creates doggerelists of the worst order. Mind wandering, the Navy was insane to put women in warships. I got along with a tape-deck in my stateroom, a tape-deck, a tape of The Archies, “Sugar, Sugar,” and others including one of Andy Kim, “Baby, I love you” also the Everly Brothers with their full repertoire, and earphones. It was 1969, remember. A female in officers’ quarters, in the next stateroom? I don’t think so. 

Diocesan convention is meeting including this morning to elect a bishop. I thought there were four candidates, maybe one dropped out, Linda said there are three, she’s checking online. Retired, I care as much anymore who is elected bishop as I do who is appointed Chief of Naval Operations. Saw a pic of Fr. Anthony wearing the tippet I gave him years ago when he was a deacon working with me at St. Thomas. I loved that tippet, but with waves and colorful fish swimming across, it seemed just right for a marine scientist, which he is. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.