No Matter Where You Go . . .

Sometimes, even for an atheist, the universe seems to be sending a message. Either that or you just need to be good where ever you go. I had the weirdest revelation this evening.

I found a boat on the internet this February, bought it, quit my job and moved to Bay City, Mi where the boat is. Earlier I had commented to people that it was a little eery that I found this boat straight across the river from where I found a boat 10 or 12 years ago. I thought that boat was THEE boat, but it wasn't for a variety of reasons; not the least of which is that I had even less money then than I do now.

I found who I think was the previous owner. I even poked around and found out some details about the guy. I'll not reveal him, until I've discussed that with him. Last summer, while ushering at the Elkhart Jazz Festival, I stood no more than 20 feet from the very person who used to own my boat!!! I believe that he played there the year before as well. When I saw the band's website a couple months ago, it did not occur to me.

I was trying to find an email to send a note to the previous owner. As I cruised around the website again tonight something hit me. I hadn't even finished reading about the places they'd been. I looked at the previous owner's picture again and I could see the whole band in the tent by the river in Elkhart! What a great show too. I'm just dumbstruck.

There is some info that I can share with you. I suspected that the boat's name, In A Mist, was derived from the 1927 Bix Beiderbecke jazz piano composition. The band has actually played a Bix Beiderbecke festival out in Iowa. I love it! I am leaving the name just as it is. I will, however, add "Bay City, Mi" on the stern in celebration of where my adventure started. For all intents and purposes, my home port.

Just remember, be good no matter where you are!


The Tao of Spork.

My brother commented on a favorite geeky website of mine, that he had had a titanium spork for a long time. These little things get stuck in the cracks of my mind.

A few years later, I'm thinking of things to outfit the galley aboard s/v In A Mist. I thought of the Titanium Spork! There are also some cool chop sticks on ThinkGeek.com as well.

So, I was talking to my friend Emily, who is wise beyond her years, about the spork. Her response was that the spork ends up being neither a very good fork or a very good spoon.

I am struck that Emily's First Law of the Spork goes double for people. If you are trying to be more than one thing you'll be good at neither. Especially people who are trying desparately to be something or someone they are not.

One of the things that my coach Kathy helped me so much with was to separate these two. This is not a yin and yang relationship, it is a parasite and host. Once you stop listening to the constant hum of the what if's and worries of your life you can begin to here the soft whimpers of the real person you've been ignoring for so long.

You must do this now. Your real self, your actual soul, is not going to survive forever without nourishment. Consider also that you may have just enough in your life that your real self is alive. But if you slap it down everytime it rises to the top of your mind, it will find some other way to die.

I was lucky in a way. I had gotten so low that I didn't have much to lose. I also didn't have much to pay off or sell. I was really lucky in the timing of it all. Almost as soon as I realized I was on the wrong heading, I was able, and willing, to gibe and start heading away from the clouds.

I am not completely on the right heading, but I am going the right direction. I have a few details to clean up. Nevertheless, I am back. It is the real me. I am doing, almost exclusively, exactly what I want to be doing. It was some work to get here but you can do it too.

It takes a real hard eye and an internal ear. It is not unlike what I've been going through the last couple weeks. I am a natural born pack rat. While packing to go from a small apartment to a small boat, I am making decisions about stuff. Man, that's hard. There are things, and boxes of things, that I have been carrying around for years; and many many moves. These things are excess baggage; sheer dead weight. I have had to literally go through boxes three and four times. Each time I manage to sever the emotional attachments and really make a hard decision about something. I am staring now at three years+ worth of my sailing magazine. It is a lifestyle magazine more than a how-to publication. I have loved every sentence I've read and all the deck fluff pictures. :o) I haven't been able to throw them out yet. They will contribute nothing to my voyage. I subscribe, I will get them a while longer. I need to read them and pass them on. I may see if Dad wants to look through before I pitch them. I have done the same thing with clothes, knick knacks, books, two portfolios of drawings from junior high and high school etc.

None of that is easy, but is the same thing that I did with my life. You go back through several times. Each time that you pick something up, ask yourself: does this contribute to my happiness? If you cannot give an unqualified yes, it needs to go. I am not belittling all the different considerations and commitments you may have that I did not. The process and its benefits are the same. If you are carrying around more than you need, that is too much weight. If you are trying to be someone you are not, you can't possibly be happy no matter what you tell yourself. Go through your life's boxes. Ask that hard question.

You can't get rid of it all, but you can make your life easier, better and happier. I never did sort my CDs. I'm taking them all, you've got to have some ballast in a sailboat. :o)


It must be right.

This morning, the beginning of the first week of my new adventure, birds were singing and the sun was up. It was an awakening of a new sort. Things are working quickly and according to plan. I will keep you posted.

A new era has begun . . .

My last day in the rat race was friday! It took three guys and four parties to get rid of me.

Last Saturday night, Junior and the Igniters were playing at the venerable Midway Tavern. 6 or 8 of my closest friends were celebrating bon voyage with all attending, including several of my blues show phone bank friends from WVPE.

Wednesday night, I had sushi and beer with a wonderful woman and great friend. We must have been the talk of the bar; laughing and carrying on. A true friend, we talked for a couple hours, I think.

Thursday night, Mouldings Division people, plus Jeff D. and Bill, went to Hacienda. Chuck's Deb was there too. It was fun. Pete and I traded bad puns for hours. Somehow, I talked to Tony F. for three or four hours and we closed the place.

Friday night after work, my old friends from Industrial, Roxi and Ralph [with wife Cathy], Emily and Suzy, and Elaine and her husband Mike feted at Between the Buns. Food and Friends. Thank you all.

My coach Kathy got to BTB just in time, she and I tried to talk over the din; moved to the Mishawaka Brewing Company. Then, the MBC band Jazzy Grass showed up. I lost my voice about 11:30. Kathy and I will try again. I owe all this to her help. Jazzy Grass sound pretty good. I don't think the grass referred to bluegrass. :o)

Saturday, I helped Albert celebrate his birthday; 37, what a pup. 6 of us joked with Randy, all star bartender and harassed his compatriot, Charlotte. The waitresses were probably sick of us and we sat at the bar! The food was good, the beer was better. Albert had is Blazin' wings and several Guinness. I had Mango Habanero and Newcastle. The rest of the guys were whimps!

I was in sad shape and went to Barnes and Noble for coffee afterward. A couple hours of cruising the web did me good. I went home and slept the rest of the day away.

Hopefully, all that, except the good friends, is out of my system.