Saturday, January 12, 2013

Toa, Interrupted

I'd like that job sailing across the Great Australian Bight. I really would. The skipper will pay my airfare. The boat will traverse the same course, at the same time of year, as those sealers and Pallawa women I am writing about.
So I'm stewing in my own juices here. The twitching pit in the base of my stomach is a feeling that I recognise from past experience as wanderlust, wanting to go sailing, knowing the job is right there for me if I dare ... and knowing that I can't step off the jetty right now.
It is completely maddening. How to reconcile my reality with a potential reality.
A friend said yesterday that a line from the Eagles song reminded him of me:  
Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.

The red glow of a Flanders poppy against a green paddock is only a memory til next spring. Pumpkin tendrils are sending forays onto the driveway, laden with flowers and little bulbous babies. Australian christmas trees are dropping their orangey yellow blooms onto weedy watsonia and the ficifolia are flowering all their cool to warm reds. The easterlies are roaring in. That easterly is the rub that itches me. They should be the winds to usher me home on the catamaran or, if I were fishing, be the onshore whore I've cursed for years whilst out on the whiting grounds with Old Salt. I've never thought of that wind as a friend until this week.

Instead I'm watering the windblown garden, editing the latest copy from my publisher, freaking out about my thesis deadline, thinking that I really should sort out that bottle of milk I spilled in the car a week ago and patting the brindle dog whenever he puts his paw on my lap. I spend every day in front of a screen, typing (not writing), surfing the internet, dawdling over a sentence ... until it gets to the hour when I crank the Indi500 around the block like some crazy woman possessed with dreams of sailing the Southern Ocean.


  1. I feel the same way, but I am not having to edit the latest copy from my publisher...

  2. Yes, maybe ... fair enough.
    I'll be okay in a week or so but right now it is driving me friggin' nuts.

  3. You never know until you go.

  4. Choice. And paradox. Life's full of it. It's often the choices I DON'T want to take that I most often need to. The psychology of it for me is that when I am pinned down the hardest is when I most want to escape. I have to turn back harder and deeper into something I want to turn away from. But that's where the greatest rewards are. I guess a bit like parenthood.

    There will be other sailing trips. But you are a great writer. Go getum girl.

  5. Yes ... I know what I've got to do. (Sigh.)

  6. :/ I am sure it will be worth it.

  7. That may just about be the most affecting post you've ever made. I had Lana above playing while I read it.

    It reminded me of the Yeats Poem, 'When You Are Old And Grey.'
    It's one of his maudlin weepies penned for Maud Gonne so it doesn't strictly apply, but the sentiment is all there.

    That sense of passing time, of being unable to grasp what you once thought you owned. The feeling of detachment and loss that goes with that. But also here, a claim to something. A defiance. 'But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, loved the sorrows of your changing face.' It may be gone, but it WAS real.

    "When you are old and grey and full of sleep
    And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
    And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
    Your eyes had once and of their shadows deep.

    How many loved your moments of glad grace
    And loved your beauty with love false or true
    But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you
    And loved the sorrows of your changing face

    And bending down beside the glowing bars,
    Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
    And paced upon the mountains overhead
    And hid its face amid a crowd of stars."

  8. Oh God no, Ciaran!
    Was not WAS. Surely now I am in a worse state than before!

    Seriously though, rather than Was, I am waiting for When ... my mothery friends keep knocking sense into me, whilst listening to my whining: 'Soon they'll be living their own lives and you'll be fretting about why they never visit, believe me.'

  9. I just had all that Lana del Ray going on. :-)

    Mine are 14, 12 an 9. All moving up a notch mid year or so. A distance to go yet before they're moving on.