Angle to Key West: Force a Smile (6/9)

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Barnegat Inlet, NJ – June 9, 2013

Sailboats look like shark teeth strewn across the water. Hundreds of white triangles running from one side of the bay to the other, but no wind for the race.

They topple sideways and flounder. Their captains lean over the side and try to will them through the water by hand. Motor boats string batches together in long lines and pull them across the bay. I slip through the lines, listening to their shouts back and forth, too shy to say hello.

Something has shifted in me. I feel wilder every day, drifting further from civilization. I move away from people along the shores. I hide from them at night and avoid them in the day. I glance down when I catch their eyes.

I’ve always gone invisible at night, stopping on deserted islands, hiding in quiet cracks, sleeping where no one will find me, but it’s becoming harder to turn off.

I’m worn down from waking up at dawn and camping after dark. I feel tired all the time. Weariness bleeds away my smile and people look through me like I’m a ghost.

I don’t blame them. We’re like mirrors, you know. Smile and see smiles. Frown and see frowns. Try to disappear and the world disappears from you.

“What are you all doing?” I shout to the last boat. “Why are there so many of you?”

“It’s the championship today,” the man shouted back. “We’re hoping the wind picks up soon.”

“Good luck!” I say as the tide pulls me away.

I smile and wave. He smiles and waves back. And I leave the shark teeth behind.

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5 thoughts on “Angle to Key West: Force a Smile (6/9)

  1. This aloneness has its benefits and its costs, doesn’t it. It has been over a year now, and despite the wonders of wildlife and people that you have benefited from, it is a long time out. More to come. Worn and tired is understandable. But I cannot believe that weariness has bled that incredible wonderful smile of yours. Breathe deep. The universe supports you. All of us who love you support you as well. Paddle on, Dear One.

  2. Catching up on your blog after a long weekend in the Apostles. Sounds like you could use a couple of days off. You have been pushing your limit for a long time.

  3. @ Rob Jackson wrote: “….pushing your limit for a long time”
    Verily, you have. That was a fast run from the Riverkeepers to the marvelous lighthouse sculptures.

  4. When I get that way I try to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for a little longer than usual, until I feel my life contain lift, and tranquility is restored. Too much rain. Perhaps you will find another place like that southern cooking joint where you can enjoy a great meal with other food mystics. May sunshine and happiness fill your heart.

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