Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Back in St. Thomas

Something about the jets flying over, screaming wind onto the runway, people going places. I love listening to the rastafarians on the bus—there are lots of different religions here, I tell Tallulah, and she asks, “Do they believe in the crossroads?”
     I guess we believe in the crossroads. Our life is a perpetual crossroads, it seems. Anchored below the university, I feel at peace. I wonder if I should apply for a job here. But maybe there’s something else I am invited to learn. Be here now. It’s a cliché. On the other hand, it’s the most profound wisdom. Isn’t that the way it always is?
     Copyediting a book about women’s cancers, it’s hard not to ponder the meaning of life.
     This is what I’m learning from sailing: don’t make plans. Prepare as if there is a future, but know deep down there is only this density of now.
       On the bus, the length of the island, taking our cat Daisy to the vet with the life seeping out of her. The sweep of the bay, the cruise ship, a crowd of tourists waiting in line to get on the shuttle that will take them back to the boat. Cruise director wearing black shorts and a blue polo shirt. Like Julie on Love Boat. Was that a show for adults? How many of my ideas about women and men, and life at sea, have come to me, slipping in, from Love Boat?
     I am a freelance copyeditor, traveling to foreign ports. One who does not belong. There is something powerful about always being a stranger. I have come to cherish it. About doing my work, which, quite honestly, I do not enjoy.
     The air blows cool off the sea. I have a revelation—something dawns on me—something about how the only thing that’s ever gotten in my way is me, myself—it slips away, turning the corner to pass the old people’s home, where once on the way to the grocery store I saw a twisted body being brought out, mouth agape. 

[Update: It looks like Daisy will be OK!]

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