sailing to sunrise on the horizon line

We’re Halfway There on This Gyrating Merry-Go-Round

Posted on Posted in Ocean Tales, Reflections on Life, Sailing

A gyrating merry-go-round,
we teeter-totter across the sea.
60,000 pounds of steel turned tiny rubber duckie at the whim of wandering waves.

The American flag whips in tatters, the stripes stripped into ragged ribbons.
Persevering. Presiding. Present.
Like the rest of us.

Each day a repeat of the next or the last
until the uneven rhythm of teeter-tottering echoes through
every cell, meal, word, step, dream.

Until — after 1,000 miles — you want to scream:
At the flogging sails snapping against your sunbaked nerves.
At your sleeping-again seasick husband leaving you to jellyfish stings in seawater dish suds.

Until — after 2,000 miles — you want to sing:
To the dolphins dancing in moonlight and the single orca that surfaces alongside.
To the power of passing squalls that bequeath gin-clear drops to drink.

Noise become your constant companion:
The goblin-growl of the groaning auto-pilot, the rattle of loose pots, the whistle of rigging.
The slide of hanging clothes, the swoosh of waves over your head as you sleep.

Back and forth, forth and back. Back. Forward.
My bones rocking, gnawing, rubbing, riding, swiveling.
My brains swishing and sloshing on the gyrating merry-go-round.

We chant to the sails: keep full.
We dance for the wind: don’t leave.
We plead to the waves: stay out.

We’re halfway there: can’t you tell?
The blue water looks bluer, the white clouds whiter.
Halfway is directly below my Montana home.

Over and up, down and around.
We circle a straight course.
I circle my own midline.

It’s all the same: a movie set of false sunsets and frothy whitecaps.
There is no middle, there is no end.
Or perhaps the middle is it’s own end.

I stare at starry skies, searching for my personal revelation.
I listen to waving seas waiting to hear the meaning of life.
I taste the salt on my shoulder, in my hair, hoping it will move me to meditate.

But revelations refuse to alight on our swinging mast.
Meaning can’t break through the noise and movement.
There’s no room for mediation amidst daily survival.

You have to stay still to receive the benefit.
You have to stay still to hear the ending.
We are never still.

Only a salty slingshot slippery sliding
rolling pitching creaking rocking flogging singing laughing
forever blue merry-go-round teeter-tottering across the endless sea.

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6 thoughts on “We’re Halfway There on This Gyrating Merry-Go-Round

  1. I kind of feel like you’re describing what it’s like to be a new parent. It’s constant merry-go-round that seems unending. You want to marvel and wonder but you’re too busy trying to survive. Yes, it sounds familiar. You’re preparing yourself for more than you know on this journey. Keep stealing little seconds of beauty between the waves.

  2. Well-written salty words of a blue-deranged wind-teased wave-wracked sailor ready for and wanting the next cloud on the horizon to just stay still. And be land. Soon now, one will.

  3. I was relieved to see this, since I have not seen a position from Llyr on YOTREPS since May 16, although Rob did post on Saturday, May 18. Keep writing, this is good stuff.

  4. in some dryland expanse, years from now, the warm scent of pine will surround you on a lazy montana spring day, and you will remember the slosh and squeak of the porpoise as she rode the wake behind you on a midnight watch, when all you had for company was her kind & curious soul and the million stars overhead. maybe only then will the maddening sameness of rolling seas and the stubborn stabbing halyard twanging become a markereminder of not only a place you crossed..a border of sorts,.but it will become a memory that brings longing for a type of solitude with your very own soul, that hass changed you forever and you will never experience the same way again.. sending a big bunch of balsam root and meadow lark love from your beloved montana hills.

  5. Very well-written – feel like I’m there. Glad I’m not, though – I’d be as seasick as Rob. Hope the wind is kind and that you hit land easily and soon!

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