Tuesday, 23 December 2008

a manifestation of excess

Like many people, the lights are my favourite element of this time of year, especially the lights in the trees. Maybe because they are so needed right now. I can't quite believe how much I've been sleeping these past weeks. Fortunately I've finally thrown in the towel and accepted the long nights. I think part of it is due to the tremendous year I've had. After all, it's not every year I get to fulfil a 15 year old dream (buying the boat).

I was aware during the process of research, search and purchase of the boat of feeling overwhelmed by what I was embarking on. So overwhelmed I pretty much stopped writing anything. Which got me thinking about the nature of my creative output. It seems to me that I have to be feeling pretty big, overflowing somehow, to have the imperative to make something. It's like I cannot contain myself; I need to be manifest beyond my own physical boundaries. And this feeling comes when I have a sense of awe or love or illumination over something/one/place. And so I write a poem, cook food, take photos or whatever seems most appropriate given the situation.

But the boat was (still is) far bigger than me. It required vast knowledge I didn't have: maintenance (for god's sake, there's an engine!), gauging tidal heights for anchoring, sail trimming, skippering other people. So I had to learn. Although I soon realised that I did have some of this knowledge, I needed refreshing. I needed confidence. Still do. And so I wasn't (and still am not) overflowing my boundaries, but feel rather small in the shadow of its sails.

I think this is okay. A healthy respect for the boat and where it'll take me - the last wilderness of the sea - has got to be a good thing. Although I do wonder when the balance of our sizes will balance out and we'll sail in an equilibrium.

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