Sunday, December 29, 2013

End of Another Year


I really jinxed my last post by incorporating the least-read post I ever wrote. Hmmm. Moving on.

What gives with this weird early winter? (What gives with my hiatus from this blog?) All seems out of joint, and I have no answers, so I observe best I can.

Weather is a medium for migration, both aquatic and aerial. Fish have moved up the creeks; crabs have burrowed in the mud. I have seen one flight of geese and one flock of small ducks (teal? too far away to tell). Otherwise, aside from the weather itself, this world of open water, shoreline and estuary has been eerily still.

Fine Lion made it to the Jumentos. Charisma arrived at the Berry Islands. And Katkandu, with a late departure, skipped offshore from Winyah Inlet and moored a couple days later at St Augustine, its entire crew intact. A boat or two coasts upriver, but mostly it is quiet, the human migration having slowed to a trickle. WPM is nearly empty with only My Dream to keep Wild Haggis company. Instead of cocktails on the dock at five, as we do in summer, Butch and I have a fireside (electric) beer on his sportfisher.

We spent Christmas week squatting at Linda and Jerry's home in Greensboro. They were visiting family out of town, so they did not mind. Cold nights with gas logs and a big screen TV were a distraction from boat life. But I hate High Def. It reduces good film cinematography to cheap soap opera video. And it reminds me why I am glad we do not have TV on board.

As happy as I was to spend Christmas with Taylor (and to see Beth's family), I missed the water every day. We returned yesterday in time for a gale out of the south, nearby gusts over 70. Beautiful.

Much of our time away I devoted to thinking about my next book project or other art projects. Sharon and Chuck gave me Pat Conroy's My Reading Life which they stumbled onto in Charleston last week. I devoured it in a couple of days. It is Conroy at his best, writing about his passion for writing -- that necessarily encompasses reading great writing. The biggest surprise was his declaration that James Dickey's Poems 1957-1967 is the best American poetry ever, inclusive of Whitman's Leaves of Grass. I ordered a copy to see for myself. A secondary surprise was his enthusiasm for Jonathan Carroll, a novelist of difficult-to-classify work that mixes genres such as sci-fi and fantasy (sounds normal enough) and who is more popular east of the Atlantic than here. I plan to try one of his novels. See http://www.jonathancarroll.com/.

The gale is blowing out here, the seas settling. It is good to be home aboard Wild Haggis.

Best wishes for the new year.

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