Tacking with the Wind

An artist friend recently said: “when the conditions change, reset your sails, not your destination” (RC) in a philosophical attempt at responding to the dream-quashing effects of a global Pandemic parading like a diva on a media-blitzkrieg stage.  Days later, after making difficult decisions to scrub the launch of a best laid plan that had taken months to prepare, a loop from an archived memory bank replayed in my storm-battered mind, featuring my younger brother on a family vacation in western Maryland determined to windsurf around a blustery lake.  He was a young and fit gymnastics coach at the time, so his best efforts at muscling into a tack and sail allowed him to head into the wind and still determine his course forward.  I remember being in awe of his skills, since I’d tried and failed to simply keep the board upright with my feet firmly planted for about three seconds before capsizing.  Guess that makes me a better fair-weather soloist than course-corrector for the collective.

I’m working on letting go and not looking back, but when too many heart-felt dreams get dashed it takes a while to come up from sputtering to catch a life-giving breath and walk away without blaming the Universe for some dirty slam-dunk warfare tactic.  Watching a documentary last night on WWII and how an admired world leader discontinued sending children off to “safer shores” of the US, after a German submarine targeted and sank a ship filled with children, made me even more aware that good intentions don’t always lead to happier endings once envisioned.

This morning, after several nights of interrupted sleep with more questions than answers washing onto a virtual shoreline littered with broken shells, I woke hoping to find something salvageable, among the flotsam of yet another dashed vision.  A storehouse of fabric and thread, along with donated supplies lay on a table next to a portable sewing machine I had once considered non-essentials.  Now they were in line to be re-purposed as virus-transmission-deterring masks, since the powers that be had advised (even legislated) demonstrating our status as Patriots and Global Citizens by covering up and silencing what makes us unique—“freedom of (unmuffled) speech” —with an unspoken caveat to “think before you speak” and “filter what you eat” to improve chances of survival.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being creative and making things with my own hands, whether its functional art, growing plants, or food to eat, but my thoughts are also tempted to sway towards “don’t get me started on a fashion statement that causes judgement and further divisions within communities where the truest forms of Trust (Truth or Dare) are found at the grass roots level”. It’s where lies and deceptions are found out and confronted.  By the way, my chosen “fire arms” for countering are words for now, though a “conceal and carry” permit remains active in the wake of a fellow Realtor losing her life while showing a house a few years ago.  In recent years I’ve come to understand forgiveness, grace, and even renewed love offered to past offenders works a much better magic than seeking vengeance—a responsibility belonging to One wiser and better at dispensing consequences than myself—but, again, don’t threaten me or test my best intentions to defend the ones I care about— barrels set on a decline can still roll.

One lesson I’ve recently accepted is that sometimes we choose to fully invest ourselves and available resources, but then walk away when it becomes too painful to sustain a relationship or a venture.  The miracle of healing comes when unforseen turns of the wheel reveal a stronger force than our logical minds can wrap around, connecting us in spirit, somehow against all odds.  We are bought full circle back around to the foundation of a greater Love humans cannot bottle like a new prescription.  I choose that life to one filled with fear and regrets.  For whatever the reasons, I choose to  embrace fully the people and places that make my heart know it’s “Home”, feeling no further need to explain what I cannot.  “Home is where the heart is” could be in many geographical locations in my experience.

So, before redirecting my course with lookouts to the Port and Starboard (a good wine label idea for anyone bottling “essential beverages”), I’ll share a few photos of a recent ghosted past, just so you can be assured I had a plan and it seemed to be a good and honorable one.  Like many of you out there scratching your heads trying to creatively re-imagine all the people in the world living through this debacle of modern science, ill-prepared “healthcare”, and disjoint political leadership, I am not at all sure of the remedy.  Stay awake, stay positive, and find small blessings in each moment is my personal ascription.  Be careful about looking to the stars for guidance, if you’re tacking with the wind, because there are a lot of man-made satellites and stations in the heavens now, whose lights confuse the former reliability of the Constellations for guidance.  As Edward R. Murrow once signed off his CBS News show during the McCarthy Era witch-hunts to “root out Communists in America”, we could all use a little more “Good Night and Good Luck” as we read Goodnight Moon by Maragret Wise to our children, trying to keep our house-boats steady.


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