Tuesday, April 22, 2008

On sailing and hope, from the new story.

Location: Monnickendam, Holland 
Statistics:  N/A
Category: Diatribe
<------ <------ The Boat
Background: I wrote this about my first day sailing, which was a complete disaster with a golden moment at the end. The tone is heavy because a lot of this story keeps coming back to my dad.

I'm not a fool. I know that everything will never be okay. I know that life isn't some grand cosmic funnel, where all of the excess and bullshit and pain is squeezed to this one moment of purpose and clarity, a final Destination on this mottled path from goo to grave. Things don't happen for a reason. They just... happen. And they keep on happening and happening whether we like it or not, until one day we don't have a choice anymore and we're gone for good. Donezo. Roger, over and out. But there are moments, like that one tonight, where, without impossible levels of conceit, the pieces appear to fit. A has travelled to B, C has revealed D. For just a flash, the pain feels purposeful. These are the moments we need to hold onto. We label them Hope. They are what push two-ton sailboats through 8 knots of head wind and impossibly bring us home. Somehow, these moments allow us to accept ourselves even as we are dripping wet failures;  they keep our hands steady and eyes clear when our mortality fails to keep its facade of conceptuality any longer; they embolden us to re-imagine ourselves as men even when our fathers are buried; and they push us, force us, demand that we keep trying, keep expecting, keep living, when all forms and manners of death are sniffing us out too. Even though we know that for all our running the road- not ourselves- will eventually fail us, we keep sprinting, keep breaking our lungs, for that next moment of hope. 

Maybe I am a fool. But at least I know enough to drink beer when it's cold, and mine still was. I drank it without swallowing. All on its own it just slid and slid and slid. 

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