There’s no avoiding the Butterfly Effect

Tonight I fell asleep very early, around 8 o’clock. I had a wonderful meal prepared for me by my dear friend the Kiwi and after the meal, 2 glasses of wine and listening to  a really terrific band called Supergroove from NZ, I conked right out. But then I woke up around midnight and went out back and sat under the stars and the Birds of Paradise when this thought came over me. Consequences.

Consequences of words. Consequences of actions. Consequences of motive and thought and intent. I believe it works like one of the laws of physics that says for every action there is an equal and positive reaction, or a thing in motion stays in motion or energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only transformed. What does this mean I wondered and how is it applied to human behavior? And just so you know, animals do not suffer this fate. They operate only within the laws of physics and never intentionally cause an effect to occur. It’s not like an opposum was cheating on his taxes and 2 weeks later a semi squished him into the pavement. It’s more like he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is immediate cause and effect and not what I am referencing.

These laws do not only apply to car accidents or creating fire or the birth of a star or even the birth of a baby, they apply to the things that people say and do in their lives. Often the results are not instantaneous. Sometimes the results of one’s words or actions will not be seen or felt for quite some time, perhaps even many years. I guess then we should all be very careful of what we say or do. And, if the Law of Attraction and Manifesting Your Intentions is correct, well then we should watch what we think too.

Fortunately I stick to that golden rule, maybe not like glue because anyone can make mistakes. But what about deliberate, calculated mistakes or wrongdoing? Words and actions that are executed with the supreme knowledge that it is wrong or maybe even perceived as, “evil”. (I hate that word because it sounds so pompous but sometimes it is the only word that accurately describes a thing or deed).

I’ve seen the consequences of others actions many times and I am certain you have as well. It’s like you could set your watch to it and wait for the the clock to chime out the hour of the consequence. Have you ever heard of some really bad misfortune befallen on someone and felt empathy for their plight? Have you ever wondered if that was the direct result of some action of theirs some time previously that you are completely unaware of? Without sounding like jury, judge and executioner, I’d bet it was.

Sometimes it is obvious. Someone robs an old lady and beats her over the head. You know they have it coming to them. Or some nasty teenager purposely harms an innocent creature and years later is eaten by sharks. (I figured that would be the perfect effect ). But what of those less noticeable actions? Maybe someone intentionally got a co-worker fired so they could take their post. Or someone lies for years about their true behavior and when it come out a family member kills themselves. I actually know of something like this that just happened, but I won’t go into the gory details.  I guess most people call this karma. You get back what you give out.

Sometimes I don’t believe this at all or that there is a god or a law of averages. I think that is because the Universe makes changes so very slowly and we here on earth are stuck in a time warp and rarely get to see the karma or effect occur. Anyone that has studied physics or science even a little has to at least wonder about the time-space thing. So it’s no wonder we rarely get the chance to see the bad guy get their comeuppance. No worries folks, the Universe is slow, but very exacting and if you notice, does a magnificent job at  keeping things running smoothly. Like clockwork.

So while I sat alone under a gorgeous southern sky, beneath that grotto of Birds of Paradise watching as the stars, moon and planets sped by, (a trick of the eye when the clouds move swiftly), I realized that there are consequences for everything and they occur all the time right under our noses every second of every day.

I consider myself very lucky. I live a semi-charmed life and though it has its ups and downs I can honestly say that there is no bitter or miserable effect waiting in the wings for me down the road because of something I said or did that I knew was wrong. Whenever I have done wrong, I have felt the immediate slap in the face. So I know I’m all right and in the clear of chaos theory or the laws of physics. I’d hate to have a big black hole swallow me up. Phewww…

Have a happy winter solstice everyone.

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Pick of the litter (box)

Somewhere in my attempt to understand human relationships, I made a connection one day several years ago that choosing a mate can be quite similar to choosing a pet. That realization came back to me last week, while tending to my mother’s cats’ litter box.

I have driven far and wide and paid a fair penny in my choice of animal companions. Once I drove to Fredericksburg, Virginia from the Jersey Shore to purchase a puppy. Not just any puppy mind you, a top bred Bloodhound from a long line of man-trailing hounds whose lineage harkened back to the Civil War. The breeder was an FBI agent at Quantico. The puppy I chose, tripped over his ears and weighed in at 17 pounds at a mere 7 weeks. He was  gi-normous. His Auntie Jemima, had given testimony in a murder trial. She uttered  a “Woof” when presented with the scent of the perpetrator and helped to convict the assailant. (I was informed at the time that when it comes to canines, it is only the Bloodhound whose testimony is accepted as a forensic science in a court of law. I swear I couldn’t make this up).

He was an incredible hound, with ten miles of ear canal and feet the size of a saute’ skillet, upon which he typically carried the entire backyard’s mud into the house with. He also deposited what I affectionately coined, “shoestrings” on the ceiling. Mucous drippings that averaged over 2-feet in length. It was reminiscent of the Gak that kids poured over each others heads, a ‘la,  Nickolodeon kiddie programming. Or at the very least, Alien slime. My days were spent dodging slime covered ceilings, counter tops and door jambs. I wanted everyone in the house to call me Ripley, as I felt we had a common bond.

To this day, I refuse to be a serf to a beast who needs his ears cleaned or toileted day in and day out. If you are unskilled in these minor tasks, our relationship probably will not last.

But how I loved this dog. Who tracked my missing three-year old one day with the help of local law enforcement; only to be found in a neighbors basement eating an entire pizza by her tiny self. We were never able to ascertain if the hound had tracked the child or the food to the hidden location. Either way, we were happy she was all right and he gorged himself on cheese.

Jean-Luc lived to the ripe old age of 11. He died after delicately, surgically even, removing 2 ears from 2 different human beings. Oddly enough, this Civil War lineage, FBI trained hound, was the pick of the litter.

My second choice in animal companionship was a German born and bred, solid black German Shepherd who understood and spoke, German. Achtung, der Hund wirklich verstehen Deutsch! Weighing in at 135+ pounds, he is the exact replica of the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood. But, it was not the breeder at Jaegermeister Kennels  that convinced me of Jack’s  linguistic abilities, even though all of my dog’s forebearers were international Shutzhund champions that only responded to German commands. It was the day he sat in front of the television, mesmerized by old black and white grainy WWII footage, cocking his head sideways like the Victrola phonograph dog Nipper. Listening to Adolph Hitler’s agonizing German rhetoric and propaganda, I was simultaneously entranced and terrified. Again, my choice was the pick of the litter and it cost me nearly 2k.

Nowadays, I keep my menagerie much easier to handle. I have 2 white cats. What is wonderful about them is that I am not reduced to being a litter box maid. They are trained to do their business outside. I refuse to manage a plastic container in my home filled with foul smelling dukie. Anyone with cats needs to understand that this is simply not a viable solution to a habitual problem. Cats prefer to poo in the bushes out of doors, where they can dig a hole to bury the stuff and wipe their paws on the surrounding fauna. A box, to which you must regularly purchase litter for and then scoop the poop to maintain the thing in the laundry room or some other place within the home, is weird to say the least. Honestly, why would anyone keep a box of poo hanging around anywhere? So I will have none of it and we are all the better for it.

Last week I found an old boyfriend’s sweatshirt buried in the back of a closet. At first I believed he was perfect in nearly every way. Handsome, polite, charming and intelligent. If you have read any of my posts about sociopathic relationships or narcissism, you probably know him by now.  It turned out, he was none of these things. A liar; a married cheating womanizing thief and someone who can only be pitied for his inability to be a human being with a conscience. He was not the pick of the litter. He was the pick of the litter box. Coining that phrase years ago, it had not occurred to me I had met one until the sweatshirt discovery. Ranking far below a man trailing Bloodhound, the slime he produced, a Hitler fascinated canine linguist or 2 pussy cats. He ranked right next to a cat turd.

I found myself laundering this sweatshirt and while I folded it without thinking, I came to my senses. Aghast, I took the sweatshirt, with his diving company logo emblazoned on the front, and promptly tossed it into the garbage. Since I was visiting my mother at the time, who has the nasty habit of being a litter box maid, I lovingly took out a pooper-scooper, and added a nice mound of cat poo to the sweatshirt, bagged it up and took it to the garbage can outside. It seemed a fitting end to that ugly sweatshirt, the nasty cat poo and decidedly to the only pick of the litter box I’ve ever known.

“Pick of the litter box” is a Summersaid Registered Trademark  😉

Spark of Genius

It is important to take stock of your life from time to time. When surrounded by ignorant and asinine people and situations, it is as though you won’t ever wriggle out from under them. As they say, “if you walk with a cripple, you start to limp”. What is fundamental is the ability to recognize the truly puerile and expose it for what it is. A spark of genius is then called for.
I want to take stock of the exceptional parents I had and the experiences and education they afforded me. It’s rare in today’s world. Our educational system is not what it was. Gifted and talented meant you really were gifted and talented. Today, everyone is gifted and talented. I beg to differ…

Sometime after 1977, during the infamous and heavily ridiculed “Carter” years, amongst a host of inept social programs and a massive deficit, our educational “tracking” system was eradicated. The kids that were slower to learn or in classes modified to meet their needs, were suddenly in classes with the “accelerated” group. I was one of those “accelerated” kids and it changed the face of American education forever and it also changed the direction I would take. Suddenly everyone was “regular”. Believe it or not, they actually instituted that label to differentiate from “accelerated” or “modified”, the latter meaning unusually slow to learn. Bless those liberals.

The kids destined for “vo-tech” and took “shop” class, in other words, the not-ready-for-prime-time-players, were now in my Algebra and English Lit class. While raising my own children and putting them through the public school system, it was common practice to lump all the students together and create a simpler curriculum that everyone could grasp. (Against my better judgement, I adhered to my then husband’s Canadian wishes and kept them in public school). It was brutal to watch. Smart kids sleeping, bored out of their wits while the poor little dumb kids were catered too. One of my son’s teacher’s took offense one afternoon and sent him home with a note that read,”Your son feels the need to “shine” constantly and it is not fair to the other students”. He was in the third grade at the time and had corrected her that on that particular year, Pluto was not furthest from the sun because every 12 years Neptune trades places. Vexed she was as I recall. (Readers, please don’t take offense here if I am hitting a nerve, I am not judging the less scholastically inclined nor the mentally acute, I am merely making a statement of fact.) Fortunately for my son, by high school he had one teacher that applauded his brilliance and had him teach the sophomore astronomy class the entire year. She was unable to explain dark matter, black holes, “spaghettification” or the time space continuum to 16 year old’s. And apparently, he could.

Liberal minded governing entities decided it wasn’t fair that some kids were labeled “smart” and others were not. Ask yourself this: How many people do you know with a college degree that got into college when they probably never should have graduated high school? Or take a look at a local newspaper, a sales ad, a real estate slogan or what some people refer to as art or music. Have you noticed the plethora of idiotic ramblings purported by so called specialists in their fields? College graduates now speak and write in juvenile mumbo jumbo as if it were grammatically correct and are no closer to realizing that,”wuz”, “cuz”,”wanna” or “i be” are actual words than my cat realizes his own sentience. Even while perusing job ads one finds typos, text message style abbreviations and absurd remarks. It’s disheartening to say the least.

We used to have structure in school. Our curriculum’s made us think and work. I studied ballet my entire life and played violin at the age of 4. We had mandatory language classes starting in the first grade. We had to WRITE our papers longhand. Which meant we needed to spell correctly and understand diction, phonetics, syntax etc., and not rely on spell check; which never works anyway because it cannot recognize the difference between “there”, “their” or “they’re” for instance. It is astonishing the drivel one runs into today. I refuse to watch any television for this reason, especially local or national news. I am fully aware that if you allow yourself to be duped and manipulated by the propaganda regurgitated by the corporate media whores, whose main interest is consumerism and not the welfare of the nation, you will mindlessly plod through life with the rest of the herd idling towards the slaughter-house sitting in an easy chair while watching Jackass or Jersey Shore. We should all be terrified of where the future of the American intellect and ingenuity is heading.

I suspect there is at least one social program afoot, (please note the inherent sarcasm) to blame in the dumbing down of our nation’s educational system. Having been raised by a Yale PhD, Columbia U professor and NSA/CIA father, I received an exemplary education. An education is not exclusive to being able to graduate from college and walk away with a piece of paper. A good education begins in the home and is cultivated by capable parents and a well rounded experience.

For a good idea of American intellect, ingenuity and strength, Alexis De Toqueville’s, Democracy in America outlines this superbly well and is one of, if not the best read and should be required in middle school along with classes in civics so our populace has a grasp on who is really in charge here. The Washington pundits have all read it. It’s required reading for anyone studying political science or law and somehow, they have tossed the book on the back of the shelf as if it were some sort of nasty little secret. Toqueville even prophecies on what will happen when capitalism and democracy fall into the hands of the ill-equipped, illiterate and  greedy. Smart populace=Strong nation people.

Did you read my post about the Social Disaster? How on earth can a person claim to be a specialist in the field of social work or in helping battered or abused women in a shelter, when they have never had children, been married or divorced, survived a battery or rape or have any practical social skills to bring to the table other than a piece of paper and a measly year in Africa at the governments expense? You’re kidding right?

Take the music industry today. Everyone thinks they can be a rockstar or get a signed record deal. All they have to do is either get the funding, (many times through illegal activities as in some Rap artists) or know someone, as in the nepotism running rampant in the music and film industry. Talent is no longer necessary nor is paying your dues. Everyone gets a free pass, makes a million overnight and gets their asses all over the television. Re: The Kardashian dolts.

Though, I must ponder. I’m a humanist, an animal and environment lover, with a brain and an extremely versatile education and background. Where are we going with all of this degradation? What do we have to look forward to 10, 15 or 20 years from now? A welfare, “socialist” state saturated with the socially and scholastically inept? Where is the spark of genius that America is known for? Our strength lies in our populace. Our populace is getting weaker by the second as millions gorge themselves on national news, the disasters and the mayhem, the fear and loathing and political scandals all designed to keep our eye not on the ball. Why are we taking political sides as if one is any better than the other or care about what Lady Gaga or Charlie Sheen are up to? Who really gives a crap?

Has not one person noticed that a bi-cameral system doesn’t work with over 300 million citizens and that Lady Gaga, (who actually is quite a talented pianist, go figure) and Charlie Sheen pay their publicists to start fires to increase their notoriety? Are the American people this inane? What happened to taking pride in our hard work and ethics? We were founded on that principle and farmers with pitchforks and 12 year old boys with muskets proved it to an entire armada of British soldiers.

Please America, wake up from this nightmare. Please bring back the genius, the spark and the reason that the entire world envies us and leans on us for leadership.

For those who do not possess this spark of genius, please refer to our neighbors to the north for assistance and asylum. They love to feed and house drug addicts, tax over 60% to your income, permit known terrorists entry and club baby seals. They certainly do send a mixed message to all those tree hugging liberals don’t they? Sure, they’re a pacified bunch I guess when it comes to having a military industrial complex, but then  why do they do hang onto our skirts, pockets, purses, technology and charm? And then have the audacity to snub their noses?

If something doesn’t happen soon, I am going to find a third world nation rife for a takeover, where its absentia inhabitants are here, getting American financial aid, starting businesses and getting college grants and start my own social reforms and government.

Screw it. 😦

Islands in the stream

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Something magical happens as soon as you get to Florida City. The United States of America ceases to exist. It is where, at the first gas station, it is a common ritual to crack a beer and head towards the Overseas Highway with a Keys state of mind. You are now entering the Conch Republic. Mind you, I don’t condone drinking and driving. But this is different. This is a rite of passage.

If ever there was a place to let the world slip away it is the Keys. You only need a few bathing suits, some shorts and tees and maybe a little sundress or wrap. In fact clothing is optional all together in many places. Where I just spent three days, it was.

The “Rugby” camp is located on the ocean. In the Keys you have two options, be on the ocean or be on the gulf of Mexico. Since I had never been to the “camp”, I assumed we were staying on the ocean side. I was surprised to find that the camp is literally on the ocean with the deck hanging over and into the ocean. We are abutted directly against a small sea wall. It’s the closest thing to being on a boat while still being on dry land. Waking  every morning on the ocean is intoxicating. Watching the sun crack through the horizon is a sanctifying experience. A comforting solitude.  A great heron greets me and my coffee. Water is all around you from every angle except for a small point of land stretching out a few hundred yards. It’s more of a jetty than anything else and just slightly breaches the vast turquoise briny sea all around you.

There is no one at the camp now. The entire place is deserted and so we had the whole place to ourselves. It’s a great place to come to get centered with who you are and to let your mind wander free. My cohort on this excursion is an ex pro Rugby player from New Zealand and I recently found out a pretty darn good photographer. Although he wasn’t interested in taking photos of the natural surroundings like I was, he prefered to do a partially nude photo shoot of me with the ocean and coral scree as a backdrop. I must say they are the best and most aesthetically pleasing shots I’ve done to date. I’d place them here on my blog because they really are so beautiful and so artistically done but I think it may come as a shock to many of my readers. He captured something in me I haven’t seen in quite some time. Au naturelle in Islamorada. He wants to submit them to Conde’ Nast. I’ll have to think about that. For now, they’re safely tucked away on my hard drive.

For three days we lived on cracked conch, fresh fish and “dark and stormies“. We visited some museums but I was most impressed by a full sized model of Ernest Hemingway’s boat, Pilar. I could visualize him, motoring in the back bay catching snook or mangrove snapper, or to and from Cuba smoking his pipe and plotting his next great novel. I felt the wood, the decking and all along the transom. It seemed to vibrate back to me the words and images so that for a second or two, maybe I could tap into it; tap into Papa directly. Even though the real Pilar is in Cuba, I still picked up his essence and imagined even more vividly his adventurous and colorful life. I strive to live life just as he did. There’s always an adventure waiting.

Islands in the Stream was part of a trilogy, the last being The Old Man and the Sea,  and was published post-humously. In the novel there were to be three parts, “The sea when young“, “The sea when absent” and the “the sea in being“. Somehow they are indicative of me as I’ve grown through the many changes in my own life. I feel now I am the sea in being.  A knowing, a constant flowing. Vast and fertile. To place my dreams within this vessel and to know that they teem with life.

Eleanor

My mother-in-law and previous business partner passed away at 4 am today. I will always consider her my mother-in-law even though I have been divorced from her son for over 10 years. She was an incredible woman.

Born and raised in the Canadian Maritimes she met and married a pilot from Saskatchewan. After the birth of their children, they moved to the States where he was a pilot for Mohawk airlines which became Eastern Airlines and she began a career in modeling. From developing the New York Fashion Couture Group, her career spanned the globe taking her to Paris, Egypt, Spain and countless other countries and all over the states and Canada. When her husband died she was left with 3 small children and began a career in the cosmetics and beauty industry.

She was my mentor, good friend and business partner for over 15 years. She taught me how to open and operate my own business while still only in my twenties. She gave me courage by believing in me. The knowledge, experience and confidence she gave me will last me a lifetime.

With Eleanor I attended several incredible functions.  I’ve had dinner several times with exiled Romanian Prince Paul, the owners of the Times Square building in NYC and a dinner party for the retirement of the Ambassador to Bahrain, hosted at the United Nations in NY.

She adored my children and as they grew, she brought them along with her on many of her journeys. When my son was 9 years old, she took him skiing to the Horn of Kitzbuhl, in Austria with Olympic gold medalist, Tony Zeiler. Today my son is a film maker, traveler and skier. My daughter has Eleanor’s ethereal grace, elegant looks and when she glides into a room, just like Eleanor did, all eyes are upon her.

This was a woman who taught me that anything is possible and to believe in myself. She was a beautiful, strong, intelligent, capable and exciting woman and her memory, her teachings and her gift will remain inside of me, all of us,  forever.

We will always love and miss you Eleanor and never forget that we are of this world and not merely in it. You taught us all to spread our wings, to believe in ourselves and to live without fear. You gave us your strength and beauty and the knowledge that you cannot have one without the other. I think of you often and though I will miss you, I cherish that you were a large part of my life and that part sculpted me into the woman I am today. I could never thank you enough.

Dear Mom and Dad,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve always wanted to thank my parents but for some reason, either the words came slowly or perhaps were forgotten after speaking them. So I am going to do it properly now, and have it be journaled forever. I know my Dad is watching everything and is beside me all the way and my Mom’s Cherokee blood will hear me dancing on the wind.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Did I ever tell you how lucky I was? How blessed? Firstly, my entrance to this world was one of sheer luck and serendipity and probably never would have occurred except and only by divine intervention. Who would think a Yale grad from Pittsburgh and a dancer from Saint Louis by way of New Orleans would meet, have me and go live in Europe and the Mid-East.

My childhood was spectacular first off. I swam in the Aegean Sea naked at 3 with you Dad and rangled baby mountain goats in Mykonos while on holiday. Mom had me backstage with some really famous people when we came to the States for her tour. I wore sparkled and bejeweled costumes far too large for me but made my first on stage appearance in Washington, DC and stopped the show. They put a baby blue spot on me. You have both simultaneously introduced me to the wonders of the Universe and the sparkle and glitter of show business. Dad, I loved when you read to me Homer’s Odyssey, MacBeth, Robinson Crusoe etc.,  and Mom I loved when you taught me the time step, worked on my turn-out and helped me get more height with my grande jete’.

Thank you for the ballet lessons beginning at 4 and violin from 5 to 16. I still dance all the time and my finely tuned ear and metronome timing is spot on. But Dad, you always knew I loved drumming. I think it was so far out in left field as a girl and I’m sorry I never made first row violinist or went to Bryn Mar. But, I can play a set of Ludwigs or Yamaha’s pretty darn well. Reading charts escapes me for some reason though. I play by ear.

Dad, thanks so much for my intellect. It overwhelms me at times because you taught me to be such a deep thinker and to question everything. I do both daily. I guess because of that, I love to learn and absorb like a sponge. I loved studying marine biology and still regret not taking that position at Woods Hole Oceanographic. I think it is my only regret. But it worked out fine. I’ve got great sea-legs, am fearless offshore and can fish like a pro with the guys and know almost all the species; flora and fauna in Latin. Thanks for the Latin lessons too Dad. You were right, it pays off. It is the root language of all things.

Mom, I really never thanked you properly. My sense of humor I know comes from you. My cooking, from French to Low Country, Soul Food to Cuban, Mediteranean and everything in between come from you too. Also my smile and my tender love of all animals and plants. Because of you I am an organic gardener and an environmentalist, but not a tree-hugging liberal. I also got that from you. For a performer you sure did have a great sense for politics and all of our conversations eventually got me to major in Poli Sci as well. The years and years of ballet training is one of the greatest gifts of all you gave me. I think I will dance for the rest of my life Mom. Remember me watching the movie, “The Red Shoes” over and over and over? Dancing is my soul and I also have a peculiar fondness for red shoes.

What you both have given me I have given to my children, Gregory and Erica. Gregory is a brilliant writer, producer, director and editor. Erica is a willowy, elegant and beautiful photographer who loves horses and rides as if it were a ballet. I could not have asked for anything more in this life. And now Sophia, who is just like me. She dances and sings and paints and reads and absorbs everything. She calls lizards here in Florida “wizards” and catches them in a big pink net. Though I’m not correcting her diction. I think maybe they are little wizards.

Your legacy lives on through us and we will always be grateful. We all miss you so badly Dad. I feel you near me now and then and know you’ve come to my side most recently to open doors and windows of knowledge and clarification where none existed before.

All of my love….

Your daughter Jacqueline

Permutations in Impermanence

Why is getting caught in a downpour offshore in south Florida so electrifying, so stimulating and so romantic simultaneously? I’ll tell you why…

Two days of lolling about the beach, riding waves and undulating in the surf; trolling offshore for hours, fragrant, sweetly oiled and salt drenched skin, the gentle rocking motion of the seas with nothing present but a moment. Away from traffic and noise and away from all the worlds bigotry, malicious religious beliefs and personal pretenses. All you have is you, a boat, the sea and the perfect companion. There is no room to be anything but real. A squall, rising off the horizon brings a bit of added tension, but not too much, just enough to get your motors revving. Making a moment precise. The period at the end of a sentence.

And, as if it weren’t enough, the sights and sounds of a placid, glasslike southern Atlantic ocean, 12 miles offshore, with sailfish shooting beneath your boat in 1000 feet of the most cerulean blue water you’ve ever seen, with its thick zooplankton and phytoplankton mixing up a prehistoric soup, is being one with the Universe. This is where god lives. We are one in this place and if it were up to me, I’d stay out there eternally. I belong here. My spirit resides here though I am earthbound.

Why is this place, where you are at its mercy, a mere speck bobbing on surface tension, in a world alien to ground dwellers so incredibly sensuous to me? I suppose it is the adrenaline rush of absolute acceptance, fearless trust coupled with the vast unknown. And yet I know it. I know it like I know the palm of my hand; the curve of my hips. I love it and it loves me back. Openly and honestly, without facade it accepts me into its arms.

Every day it beckons from my doorstep. Everyday I see what most never do. Manatees at lowtide approaching slowly and in circuitous fashion, surround me like an amoeba-like ball of bait fish, only to snort water from their nostrils at the last second in my direction. Late afternoons, with no one around, a marlin slams the surface to rid itself of sea lice bearing witness to only my eyes. Early morning, a shark patrols in 4 feet of water, passing by smoothely without intent. Baby loggerhead sea turtles, pop their heads out of the sand and scurry toward the shoreline on the full moons brightly lit sky.

When my father read to me Robinson Crusoe at 3, I believed, even though just a little girl, I could subsist on a island in the middle of the South Pacific. I still believe it. When I read Ernest Hemingway’s, An Old Man and the Sea, I believed I would too, haul to shore the biggest catch in the tiniest of boats. I still do. Though a metaphor, big things do come in small packages still… 😉 In Castaway, I believed in the pain in losing Wilson. It was much, much more than a soccer ball. He lost in order to gain something incredible. A pair of wings. I too have gained through loss and then rise like a phoenix from the ashes.

I am a believer. No matter what has or ever will happen to me in this life, I believe I can make happen anything I dream of. I see it in my head and I believe it with all my heart. I have learned that dreaming is believing and it is possible to string those dreams all together and live a dream of your own making from these permutations in impermanence.