Friday, October 27, 2017

Tales of a Baby Sailor

I've been racing sailboats for over a yearn now and it's easily one of my favorite hobbies. I got invited to write for the fun people at Wandering Feet and my article is pasted below. It's a paper magazine but I have screen shots of rough edits of my work attached afterwards, please excuse the typos. Enjoy, and grab a copy!

I could write you a love song about sail boats and the feeling in your eyes when your sails are full, your crew is working in harmony, and the wind is just right. 

I could talk your ear off about the exhilaration that comes with racing as foredeck, trying to hoist the spinnaker when going down wind and knowing that everything you do(n't do) affects your spot in the race. 

I could show you all my bruises, sun-burnt forehead, wet shoes, smelly gloves, heart full of joy, face full of smiles and convince you that somehow, I had a great day. 

I could try to express what it's like to rig the boat before leaving the docks, watch the sunset during a race or jump off an anchored boat in the middle of a lake during a lazy sail day.

I could go on about the love and support in the sailing community and how sailing clubs for children are producing better sailors than I'll probably ever be. 

I could do all that but it would never compare to the peace, happiness and freedom you will experience from getting on a boat yourself and sailing away from shore. Words will never be enough to describe the swell in your heart as you countdown to the start of a race while your skipper tries to cross the start right as the horn goes off. 

I understand that some people get sea-sick and others just simply don't care much for sailboats. However, can you truly knock it if you've never tried it? Power boats are fun and I can understand the joy found in the simplicity of turning on an engine and jetting off. Sailboats however are a deliberate experience, taking the time to work with whatever nature is offering and bonding with others while setting course on vast or narrow waters will always be captivating.

Friend, it is my hope that you will one day muster the bravery to set sail for a sunset. Dare to get on a boat and ask your skipper to teach you a few things. Learn a knot or two. Grab the tiller and learn to work with the winds. Sail off to the horizon and look out for me.

“I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea - whether it is to sail or to watch it - we are going back from whence we came.

[Remarks at the Dinner for the America's Cup Crews, September 14 1962]” 
 John F. Kennedy

*I've since raced circuit stops and in the ocean,  and had the time of my life!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Salty, bleeding heart

Maybe you're right. Yes, I have a bleeding heart. Yes, I don't always know what I want, but no, I refuse to settle for the things that I know I don't want.

Maybe if you give me a second I can write you into immortality, give you wings that span the ends of the earth, a heart that loves fiercely, protects the hurting and softens the gaze of the wicked.

Maybe I also know that if you go out of your way to hurt me you will die a thousand deaths, all by the wrath of my pen.

Maybe I've been blessed with motherland curls that don't let my afro go anywhere without serious persuasion, so forgive me if I decide to walk out the door looking like a riot and not giving a hoot that you would rather I at least had Becky's messy bun.

Maybe I don't want you to light a flicker in my heart if you don't have candles for eyes to light the way for all who experience your being.

Maybe I know that sometimes people are punished for crimes of which they are the victim. Why do rapists get months, a few years or nothing behind bars when we all know the raped get  PTSD?

Maybe I think that Jesus would have totally kept up with the Kardashians because He spent His life loving on people we wouldn't be caught dead talking to. We say we want to be like Him yet we lock Him up in church, only spend time with other christians and only love on "unbelievers" so we can show it off on social media or brag about how accepting we are.

Maybe my world has spectrums full of grey that makes loving on the world a little easier and I understand that your bleached whites and ebonies will never truly feel at home here, loving on all these people that think so differently from you, yet feel and love just as hard.

Maybe people who say things like "you're kind," "you are a Christian," "you're a woman of faith," "you give back a lot," as if they are major character flaws and conclude with "I don't think I could ever live up to who you are" are the kind of people I'm terrified to be with.

Maybe I remember what it feels like to be left with no exit strategy for my feelings and I'll be damned if I do that to another person. Someone smart once said "you can put a band-aid on a finger, but what can you put on a broken heart?"

Maybe I don't know exactly what I want but maybe we both know that whatever it is, it isn't you.