I’m currently back in LA, carrying the sea in my pocket and following the flow of land. The flow of land…. What is the flow of land? Is it the weeds growing in the cracks of concrete, the smoke of a forest on fire, a river of lights, a snake in the grass, the blood of the sun?
In the buildings of earth’s cities, I can’t sit still. I watch the hands of clocks tic and toc, with glazed eyes. I want to break out of this stained fishbowl! I want to live on the fringe and throw the need for money into the wind.
I run into the street and stare up until my eyes unzip the sky, and the world grows almost silent. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch. The only sound I can’t shake is the sound of death’s rattle. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch. From it, I run and run and run. I run until the pavement turns green. I fly through fields of poppy flowers, I climb limestone mountains, I somersault until I am a rolling stone made of smoky quartz. I eat snow, grass, sunflowers, and pinecones. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch.
Juniper is far away. In Oahu. There is a tundra of ice between us. She sits there listing to starboard and waiting for me to come back and fix her. I can hear her moaning. I am moaning too.
She is half the boat she was when I left San Diego. While the sea made me stronger, it nearly devoured her.
She needs over $5k worth of repairs. All of the water leaks corroded and fried her electrical systems, and now she is a floating firestarter.
I must fix all of the holes where the sea gets in. I must haul her out and put her on the hard in a boatyard. I must repair the crack in the hull that is bringing the ocean into the cabin. I must repair the holes on the deck. I must put in a completely new refrigeration system-compressor, evaporator, and module. I must replace her battery monitor. I must put in some sort of valve on the stern cowl vents to prevent water from coming in through them. I must fix the oil leak on the engine. I must pull and rebed a chain plate, perhaps two. I must sew lee cloths. I must repair Juniper’s rickety heart. I must, I must, I must.
If I don’t, Juniper will sail herself onto the sea floor. There she will release bubbles until she is all out of air. Her turquoise paint will fade away, snails will turn her wood into a honeycomb hideaway, all her metal will rust, and she will become a bottom-dwelling skeleton.
I need Juniper, in the same way that (wo)mankind needs temples and deeper meanings. She is where I go to drink the medicine of immortality, commune with creator, and shake the wings of divinity. Her raised sails- the antidote to my banality.
I am not in love with her as a material object, it is the freedom she provides me that I adore. As a kid, I found that same feeling on a horse. That expansive, empty, floating feeling. I remember breaking a wild horse in, until his body bent towards a synchronized motion with mine. I was only in elementary school. I don’t remember his name, only that he was white, that he hated to go slow, that he loved to canter and gallop, but that he always bucked me to the dirt when it was time to walk or trot. Once so bad, that I am not certain if I ever really got back up. At least not in the way that I had done before.
Falling from the horse taught me to be like the horse. To gallop towards everything. To not let another’s words or will break the motion of my stride. If someone says, “You can’t succeed at that,” I throw their words down and keep my hooves flying fast across the ground, jumping over hurdles, turning left, turning right; until I either succeed or fall flat. Failure is its own success, perhaps the greatest success of all.
I am back here in LA, because I haven’t yet found a way to keep me and Juniper alive at sea. I am here to make money for her repairs and to feed our next adventure. I am here producing a TV show that will air on NBC early next year. The work is fun, the team is awesome, and I feel blessed for the opportunity.
Juniper and I will set sail again in the spring, or whenever the space between work allows. Nature won’t let us leave until around March, and our window will stay open for a while beyond that. We will go somewhere in the South Pacific. Somewhere that humpback whales go. Exactly where, we don’t know… just yet. All we know is that wherever we go, we will go alone.
For us not to go alone, the other person would have to be a world walker with a deep silver heart. Someone with the sky in their eyes. Someone who peruses the spark of a dream like a hunter- with stealth and singular focus. Someone who likes falling off the horse. Someone who doesn’t mind living on a wing and a prayer.
I like not really knowing all of the details, like where exactly I am going to be tomorrow. Being so far into the woods of today, that tomorrow doesn’t matter yet. Tomorrow, next month, the future, is still wet clay on a wheel waiting for me to shape it.
When everything is unknown there is room to change directions and fill the empty spaces with something I couldn’t have thought of yesterday.
Hello empty spaces! Geronimo!
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